OWL Free Agency Winners and Losers
If you are like me, then you love free agency and the offseason as much as you do the regular season. This was the second year of free agency and it definitely did not disappoint. There were shocking trades, underrated signings, and heart-breaking releases. Many of the original 12 teams had a lot of contracts ending and were faced with some tough decisions on who to keep and who to let go.
I looked at every single offseason move leading up to the 2020 season and compiled my thoughts on some of the most impactful signings and trades, while also looking at the most impactful losses. Let’s go back in time and take a dive into the winners and losers of free agency.
*All statistics are average per 10 minutes unless otherwise stated
Free Agency Winners
Dallas Fuel trades for Decay
Think of the best DPS players in the league and who comes to mind? Profit, JinMu, Architect, and sinatraa all come to mind but nobody ever talks about Decay. Top 15 in hero damage done and top 15 eliminations makes you one of the best damage dealers in the entire league and that is exactly the stat line Decay posted in the 2019 season. Dallas traded away OGE in the process and while he was a favorite of Fuel fans, he wasn’t the best player in the field. He had his popping off moments but overall is not someone the team needed. OGE was top 30 in most deaths in the league throughout the 2019 season and really only excels at Reinhardt. He also plays a solid Winston but with how powerful
Reaper currently is, it may be tough to see Winston come to the forefront anytime soon.
Dallas Fuel sign Gamsu
What’s one way to help combat losing your main tank? Go out and sign a much better one. Dallas trades away OGE and signs Gamsu who, in my opinion, is one of the best main tanks in the entire league. He already has chemistry with Dallas’s off-tank NotE from their time together in Boston and it amazes me this will be his third team in three seasons. He was a top tier main tank in Season 1 of OWL and he proved to still be dominant while also showing versatility in Season 2. Gamsu ranks towards the top of the league for tank players in eliminations at 16.84, but he is top 25 throughout the entire league in most deaths at 6.08. I rate this as such a great move because of Gamsu’s wide hero pool of Reinhardt, Wrecking Ball, and Winston and because of his prior chemistry with NotE. They are very good friends away from the game and that only helps them once they put the headset on.
Los Angeles Gladiators sign SPACE
Best off-tank in the world? Best off-tank in the world. SPACE goes from one Los Angeles to the other and I am still in shock the Valiant let him walk away. This is the best signing of the entire offseason and there is not much that will change my mind on that. Space is by far the best D. Va in the entire league but also showed how strong he was on Sigma throughout the 2019 Overwatch World Cup. Along with Corey and sinatraa, he was truly a carry for Team USA. Looking at the Overwatch League, he is top 25 in fewest deaths and top 50 in eliminations as a tank player. His D. Va bombs are incredibly clutch and his Gravitic Fluxes strike fear into opposing DPS player’s hearts.
Other notable signings:
Guangzhou Charge sign Support Player neptuNo, formerly of Philadelphia Fusion and re-sign Damage Player Nero
Houston Outlaws trade for Flex Player Hydration from Los Angeles Gladiators and Flex Player Blasé from Boston Uprising
Seoul Dynasty trade for Tank Player Gesture and Damage Player Profit from London Spitfire
Philadelphia Fusion trade for Tank Player Fury from London Spitfire
New York Excelsior sign Tank Player BiaNcA, formerly of XL2 Academy, a Contenders NA team
Paris Eternal sign Damage Player Sp9rk1e, formerly of Element Mystic, a Contenders Korea team
Shanghai Dragons trade for Damage Player Fleta from Seoul Dynasty
Toronto Defiant sign Support Player KariV and Damage Player Agilities, formerly of Los Angeles Valiant, Damage Player Surefour, formerly of Los Angeles Gladiators, Tank Player Nevix, formerly of San Francisco Shock, and Support Player Kellex, formerly of Boston Uprising.
Vancouver Titans sign Support Player Ryujehong, formerly of Seoul Dynasty
Washington Justice re-sign Damage Player Corey
Free Agency Losers
Paris Eternal release ShaDowBurn
Yes, Paris did sign Sp9rk1e in the offseason but he is not eligible to play until May when he turns 18, rendering him pointless for about half the season. ShaDowBurn was on Philadelphia during the inaugural season of the Overwatch League and played closer to his home of Russia with the Paris Eternal in season 2. He showed out on multiple DPS heroes, such as Pharah, but is also known for being one of the best Genji’s in the entire world. I feel what would have been best for Paris is keeping ShaDowBurn for at least half the season until Sp9rk1e is eligible for play; that way they have someone to pair along with SoOn, who is one of the best Widowmakers in the entire league. ShaDowBurn may have a somewhat limited hero pool but he would have been a better option to start the season than NiCOgdh or Xzi, who spent last year on Element Mystic with Sp9rk1e.
Shanghai Dragons release CoMa and YOUNGJIN retires
Both of these two came to Shanghai in the 2018 offseason from a Contenders Korea team named KongDoo Panthera. Many of you may see the name YOUNGJIN and immediately think of his classic C-9 on Dorado while playing Brigitte but everyone should know him for his scary Doomfist play. The two returning DPS for Shanghai include DDing and diem, two players who do not have as elite a Doomfist in their hero pool as YOUNGJIN. DDing is known for his Pharah and Sombra while diem is one of the best hit scan players in the entire world on Widowmaker and McCree.
YOUNGJIN can also show out on the Reaper and that is something the current DPS of the Dragons do not have in their hero pool. Fleta, whom they acquired via trade with the Seoul Dynasty, is a Genji, Pharah, and Widowmaker player while LIP, a former member of BlossoM, is a Sombra and Widowmaker player. This team might be in major trouble if they need some DPS to flex to roles they aren’t comfortable on.
CoMa, on the other hand, is a strong Mercy player who also dabbles in a little bit of Ana and Lucio. He is not as big a loss as YOUNGJIN but he truly is a great Mercy and with multiple Pharah players on the team, that makes his release a huge loss for the team. Their Support line consists of Luffy and Izayaki, two Overwatch League veterans, and an OWL rookie in LeeJaeGon.
Luffy and Izayaki are both Flex Support players who specialize in Ana and Zenyatta, two of the most skilled support heroes to master, while LeeJaeGon is a Main Support whose hero pool includes Lucio and Mercy. Releasing CoMa for LeeJaeGon makes sense because I do believe LeeJaeGon can make the leap from Contenders to OWL but how will he gel with the rest of the team?
Boston Uprising release Kellex and AimGod
While the Boston Uprising were everything besides a powerhouse team last season, losing your entire Support line is not good. Yes, they lost Persia and alemao as well but neither of them deserve to be in the league in my opinion. Kellex was a mainstay for the Uprising, appearing in almost every game for them as a Main Support during his two seasons there. He played the majority of his time on Lucio in 2019 but showed up on Mercy and Baptiste when the situation called for it. Kellex is not a player people think of when talking about the top tier Support Players in the league, but he is someone who is very reliable and his comms help keep his team focused and together.
AimGod was Kellex brethren on the Support line for Boston but for some strange reason, the coaching staff were reluctant to play him later in the season, which is why his release should come as no shock. How good is he? Just look directly at his gamer tag. He truly is an aim god, especially on Zenyatta, and that’s why he was only a free agent for less than three weeks. To replace Kellex and AimGod, Boston brought in Swimmer and Myunbong, two players who were in Contenders last season. Swimmer will be the Main Support with Myunbong being the Flex.
Other notable losses:
Guangzhou Charge release Tank Player Fragi
Los Angeles Valiant release Damage Player Agilities, Tank Player FCTFCTN, Support Player KariV, and Tank Player SPACE
Washington Justice release Tank Player Janus