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Published: November 29, 2021

Written by: David Kent

  • With Overwatch 2 on the way, competitive Overwatch is going to change for good
  • Teams are extra diligent in ensuring they have the best possible roster
  • Some changes, however, have really taken both fans and analysts by surprise

With Overwatch 2 around the corner, teams are frantically making changes, resulting in some unexpected developments.

The Most Curious Roster Changes of This Offseason

Esports organizations are known to be more dynamic even than the most popular of traditional sports, with team changes occurring all the time. Players leave or get dismissed, some retire, others change their game of choice, a few turn to a coaching profession, a few get traded between teams and so on.

In the Overwatch League, things are currently very frantic – both because the league is currently offseason and because the next competitive season will see players trying out an early build of the game’s second iteration.

Overwatch 2 will notably remove one of the tank slots, switching the game to a 5 versus 5 format, instead of a 6 versus 6 one. Organizations want to prepare for the changes in advance and secure their potential for the next year.

Overwatch-focused Dot Esports journalist Liz Richardson, who recently compiled a list of the best OWL rookies, has detailed some of the most exciting roster changes.

Atlanta Reign Trusts in the Next Generation

The Atlanta Reign franchise is undergoing some pretty heavy roster restructuring. The team is planning to trust in the new blood and sign two Contenders players from the American Tornado team.

Main support Christian “Ojee” Han and flex support Benjamin “UltraViolet” David will be joining the Reign’s lineup, ensuring a promising young backline to support the Atlanta franchise.

Furthermore, Atlanta Reign has secured another Contenders player, Lee “Venom” Dong-keun, as well as the seasoned professional Charlie “nero” Zwarg.

Under the right guidance, the three Contenders graduates may be a key to Atlanta Reign reigning over the OWL.

Houston Outlaws Spares No Money to Acquire the Best

Oh “Pelican” Se-hyun will be leaving the Atlanta Reign lineup and will join the Houston Outlaws where he was traded. Pelican became famous for his dedication to the game and playing with the Reign despite the health issues he faced. His devotion eventually earned him the 2021 Rookie of the Year award.

The Outlaws also picked up Seung-hyun “Ir1s” Kim and most recently acquired Jung-won “Lastro” Mun.

The franchise’s pricey acquisitions show its strong drive to perform well in the next competitive season.

London Spitfire Snatches Poko Before Paris Eternal

London Spitfire acquired Gael “Poko” Gouzerch – a former Philadelphia Fusion member who became renowned for his spectacular D.Va plays.

This acquisition came as a big surprise since fans were absolutely convinced that Poko was going to join Paris Eternal. Furthermore, the very first competitive season saw the Fusion lose to the Spitfire, which makes this acquisition even more curious.

Poko joining London Spitfire rather than Paris Eternal will further fuel the competitive spirit between English and French players and fans and is sure to result in some thrilling developments.

San Francisco Shock Shock Everyone With a Full Transformation

Even though it failed to replicate its usual success, the San Francisco Shock was still one of the best-performing teams in the 2021 season. With this being the case, not a soul expected the franchise to do as it did and dismiss seven of its players in a day. Off-tank Choi “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-bin later retired from esports, leaving the Shock with only two people on its roster – Matthew “super” DeLisi and Park “Viol2t” Min-ki.

Shock has since replenished its human resources by signing O2 Blast players Oh “FiNN” Se-jin, Jung “Kilo” Jin-woo and Kim “Proper” Dong-hyun. One of the most anticipated things for the next season is seeing whether Shock’s gambit will pay off.

Seoul Dynasty Acquires JJoNak to Complete Veteran Roster

Bang “JJoNak” Sung-hyeon was a staple player in New York Excelsior’s roster for several years. However, the last season showed that a change is needed and the team bid farewell to the athlete.

It wasn’t long before JJoNak was picked up again, this time by Seoul Dynasty, which was looking to establish a veteran-heavy roster. Other than JJoNak, the Dynasty also fields Park “Profit” Joon-yeong and Yoo “smurf” Myeong-hwan.

With such a strong lineup, Seoul Dynasty is set for success.  

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