Few teams arguably had a worse 2021 in the Overwatch League than the London Spitfire. They tied for last place in the West Region with the Vancouver Titans—both teams racked up a dismal 1-15 overall season record—and they were mostly stuck across the Atlantic, battling it out on European ping.
It doesn’t take a scientist of Winston’s level to see that the Spitfire had to rework its approach for the 2022 season. While the team replaced its head coach and added some impressive veteran and rookie talent, the question arises if these offseason changes were radical enough.
Even after such a tragic 2021 season, the London Spitfire is keeping faith in its relatively impressive DPS lineup. Both SparkR and Shax had moments of brilliance last year and will likely be empowered by changes from Overwatch 2. Either player can likely wield a mean Sojourn and could provide the boost London is looking for.
Backbone, a European talent out of the Overwatch Contenders scene, will be providing his flex skills to fill in the rest of the team’s DPS needs.
London’s most high-profile signing—which may prove to be its most important—was the acquisition of Poko from free agency. The off-tank is known for his D.Va bombs but can also likely bring a veteran voice that the team will sorely need. His tank counterpart, Hadi, is looking for serious redemption after an unimpressive 2021.
Flex support Admiral is the team’s annual promotion from Contenders team British Hurricane. He’ll be joined by last-minute addition Landon McGee, a notable support from the North American side of Contenders. Both are relatively untested but likely hungry to prove themselves, which is a step in the right direction for the team.
As much as everyone wants to see a redemption arc for the London Spitfire after last year, some decisions over the offseason haven’t helped the team’s prospects. Keeping any players who were involved in a 1-15 season is a risk, but the Spitfire is keeping faith in three of them to have a better performance this year. Add in a notable scandal and the Spitfire is already off to a bad start.
That said, motivation to rise above may outweigh the potential issues in the roster. Shax and SparkR are genuinely talented DPS players who will likely do better with more active support players behind them. Poko, having spent a good amount of time in visa hell or on benches over the past few years, is looking to prove he can still play with the new kids.
The true change will come from the coaching level, though, with former Philadelphia Fusion assistant coach ChrisTFer taking the head coach reins this year. If London’s players can avoid the damning mental blocks last year’s roster suffered, they can dig themselves out of the last-place trenches.
London’s first game is against the San Francisco Shock on May 6 at 2pm CT.