Despite a relatively underwhelming 2020 season, the Washington Justice has remained at the forefront of many Overwatch League fans’ minds. The team pulled off one of the most astonishing playoff runs in the history of the league last year, bolstered by a favorable meta and players who laid it all on the line.
Washington obviously built upon that taste of success going into the 2021 season. Most of the team’s players were cut and replaced with more impressive talent culled from other league rosters. While there’s no guarantee the Justice will see the same victories it experienced at the end of 2020, stability is more important.
Justice management worked hard over the offseason to massively upgrade its tank line and revolutionize the team’s ability to make space. Leading the charge is main tank Kim “Mag” Tae-sung, a phenom out of RunAway in Overwatch Contenders Korea. Mag is already one of the most-hyped rookies coming into the 2021 season, so he’ll have to live up to his reputation.
The team’s off-tank line is equally as impressive. Washington recruited former Philadelphia Fusion tank Kim “Fury” Jun-ho, long considered one of the best off-tanks in the world, to provide support for Mag in the frontline. Former Hangzhou Spark off-tank Park “Ria” Sung-wook is on standby if additional flexibility is needed.
Where the Justice’s tank line is stacked, the support line has been criticized for being too understaffed. Jung “Closer” Won-sik, yet another victim of previous underuse on the Dallas Fuel, is the team’s only main support. Though he’s a talented player, he was often pushed aside on other teams and lacked the space to show his skills.
Another Hangzhou Spark alumnus, Yoon “BeBe” Huichang, is filling the flex support role for the Justice this year. He was relatively impressive as a part of the East region last year and will bring that attitude to Washington. If the meta shifts to a dual flex support setup, however, one of his DPS players will have to jump to support to help him out.
Jang “Decay” Gui-un was the Washington Justice’s savior last year, rolling through enemies on Zarya and partially carrying the team to a miracle playoff run. This year, he’s back on flex DPS duty but still looking to make huge gains for his team.
With former RunAway flex Kim “Assassin” Sung-won added to the team alongside Lee “TTuba” Ho-sung, Washington is working with more DPS hero options than ever before. Hitscan duty will be primarily performed by Min “Jerry” Tae-hee, who was critically underused on the Boston Uprising last year.
The Justice’s 2020 success relied on luck, individual skill, and Decay hard carrying his team. This year, Washington is looking for a more stable route to victory. Admittedly, the team suffered in 2020 due to continual losses of players and a shifting roster. With a solid set of players locked in for good, the organization may finally see predictable results.
Washington’s tank line is by far the scariest part of its roster. Even if Mag is overhyped, his skill combined with Fury’s veteran presence should be terrifying for the rest of the league. The Justice’s support line is critically lacking, but if the focus is only on keeping the tank line alive, that might be enough to demolish the lower half of the league. If the team can work on cohesion instead of individual hero plays, the Washington Justice might be a real contender this year.
The Washington Justice’s next match is against the Boston Uprising at 3:30pm CT on Thursday, April 29.