Five Players to Watch

In a composition as teamwork-oriented as triple-tank, triple-support, it can be a challenge to throw your opponent for a loop in the shape of a substitution while not sacrificing your own team’s level of play. Because of this, some of the Overwatch League’s greatest stars were benched in Stage 1 simply because they could not live up to their own high standards on a meta-relevant hero.

However, assuming there’s a bit of a meta shakeup leading into Stage 2 due to the new patch, there are a handful of names you’ll have to become familiar with if you want to stay up to speed. Here some of the players that weren’t consistent starters throughout Stage 1, but still deserve to be recognized.

Jiri “Linkzr” Masalin, Houston Outlaws

While the Outlaws were just a match away from qualifying for the Stage 1 Playoffs, their road was shaped by inconsistencies and indecisiveness. The team’s damage dealers—Dante “Danteh” Cruz, Linkzr, and Jake “Jake” Lyon—all saw at least some play throughout the stage, but towards the latter half of the stage, Linkzr seemed to be out of the picture.

Known for being a well-rounded DPS player who specializes in everything ranging from Widowmaker to Genji and Pharah, Linkzr should be the star player that Houston needs if they seek to qualify for the Stage 2 Playoffs. While he does not necessarily provide the same leadership or shotcalling qualities as Jake or play Sombra or Tracer as well as Danteh, his deep hero pool and ability to pop off in crucial moments should be enough to propel him back into a starting spot.

Chung-Hee “Stitch” Lee, Vancouver Titans

Everybody loves Stitch. He’s an old-school hitscan specialist who makes himself known to everyone nearby when he rocks up to battle with McCree, Tracer, or Widowmaker. Stitch is bound to get some more playtime coming into Stage 2. While Min-Soo “SeoMinSoo” Seo was one of the stars of the show for the Titans when they secured their Stage 1 title, Stitch has the advantage on a multitude of heroes that could be viable in a more DPS-heavy meta switch. In my opinion, it’s just a matter of time before we are presented with even more moments like this:

Hyeon “Effect” Hwang, Dallas Fuel

While Effect did see some playtime initially in Stage 1, it became apparent over time that his teammates Dylan “aKm” Bignet and Zach “Zachareee” Lombardo simply had a better understanding of how the tank-heavy compositions were to be played, and as a result Effect was left on the bench. In Stage 2, however, opportunities will arise for this DPS prodigy to re-assert himself in the roster due to his phenomenal individual skill on heroes such as Widowmaker, Tracer, and McCree (he also loves practicing Symmetra in ranked).

Effect made a name for himself in the Overwatch community for his hard-working attitude and impeccable discipline, being the first to arrive to practice and the last to leave, and if the meta were to favor him, you can bet that he’ll do everything in his power to facilitate his place in the Fuel’s starting roster once more.

Luís “Greyy” Perestrelo, Paris Eternal

After coming into the 2019 season as a 3-3 favorite, Stage 1 was disappointing to say the least for the Eternal. However, with the new two-week breaks between stages, Paris now has a chance to start fresh and get ready for matches that will be crucial for the organization’s end-of-season playoff hopes.

Greyy is one of the players who could introduce himself on the Overwatch League stage and give this team—currently tied for 16th place—a breath of fresh air. Known for being an Ana savant, at times aggressively favoring damage over healing, the Portugual native also rocks a Zenyatta good enough to compete with his teammate, Damien “Hyp” Souville, for the flex support starting spot.

Min-Seob “Axxiom” Park, Boston Uprising

Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth is the name on everyone’s lips as Boston saw themselves once again punch above their weight in Stage 1. The Brit was instrumental in the team’s success, leading the way with his shotcalling and experience in the 3-3 meta, but alas, DPS metas are a different game. My question here is not really “can Fusions play Winston and Orisa to a good level?” but rather, are his other main-tank picks as good as Axxiom’s? That’s a different story.

Axxiom has not really had the opportunity to win championships, nor is his repertoire filled with deep playoff runs, but this English-speaking Korean has proven multiple times to be the leader, shotcaller, and translator that some of these multilingual rosters need. While it would not surprise me if Fusions rides his momentum from Stage 1, Axxiom might over time come to the aid of the Uprising with his Winston and Orisa play if Fusions struggles to adapt to a more DPS-favored meta.

The Overwatch League returns to the big stage for the start of Stage 2 on Thursday, April 4, at 4 PST, when the Philadelphia Fusion (5-2) take on the New York Excelsior (7-0). Watch all 2019 season matches live and on demand on overwatchleague.com, the Overwatch League app, our Twitch channel, MLG.com, and the MLG app.