A newcomer to the Overwatch League and a mystery, Toronto Defiant do have an amazing style. However, looks don’t win games. Can they use the element of surprise to their advantage?
Most of their roster is relatively unknown to the public which can be said for the majority of the new teams joining the second season of the Overwatch’s League. The team’s focus has been three main things – mechanical ability, synergy, and coachability. The key ingredient that Toronto are looking for is receptiveness to suggestions and input from the coaching staff.
This is not a bad strategy altogether – many teams have fallen due to the temper tantrums of their star players. Having a solid core of players that prioritize teamwork can often be more critical than a single exceptional star player that doesn’t work well with his teammates. Their goals seem in the right place, and hopefully, the execution doesn’t lack as well.
Dennis “Barroi” Matz, founder of Winston’s Lab, was in charge of identifying promising talent, scouting is essential and critical to acquire a solid roster. Three players in the team have prior experience in the first season of the League. Kang-Jae “Envy” Lee, formerly from Los Angeles Valiant, and Se-Hyun “Neko” Park who came from Boston Uprising are veterans with solid experience that should be able to assist the rest of the roster. Additionally, Joon-seong “Asher” Choi was part of the Los Angeles Gladiators. Both Seung-Hyun “Ivy” Lee and Kyeong-Mu “Yakpung” Cho have shown to be quite promising as well, despite their rookie status. They participated in Overwatch’s “Path to Pro” so that should give them some extra leverage since they already have an existing synergy.
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A bit of a drawback for the team would be Neko’s punishment. The player will be serving a three-game suspension in the start of the season for “boosting, account sharing, and for obstructing official league investigation”. He was considered to be a Top 3 Zenyatta player in 2018 which should put the team at an early disadvantage.
Toronto Defiant will definitely struggle to overcome this early challenge. This might be the make-it-or-break-it moment for the team. With one of their veterans on the bench, they might not have the necessary “oomph” at the beginning of Season 2. A bad start may snowball, causing a cascade of failures for the team down the line. Hopefully, they can capitalize on the element of surprise early on and the fact that no one has seen them play before.
If they can utilize their inherent unpredictability, they might be able to successfully defy their early opposition despite the obstacles they have to overcome.
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