For Overwatch League fans who haven’t been paying attention during the offseason, the Paris Eternal may seem unrecognizable. Going into the 2020 season, the team decided to completely overhaul their full-Western team design and transition to a mixed-roster model. Drastic change was necessary. The Paris Eternal, once the most promising example of European talent, came in 14th during the 2019 Overwatch League season.
The 2020 roster melds the best of Paris Eternal’s 2019 talent with new pickups, mainly from wildly successful Overwatch Contenders Korea team Element Mystic. In addition, the team has added Element Mystic head coach Yun “Rush” Hee-won and three other new coaches to lead the recruits into battle. It won’t be an easy season for the Eternal, but new talent may inject new life into the team.
Main tank Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait is the only tank line holdover from the 2019 Paris Eternal roster. The Eternal picked up main tank Jeong “NoSmite” Da-Un from the Hangzhou Spark as another tank option. NoSmite will likely duo with Choi “hanbin” Han-bin, a former off-tank for Element Mystic. European talent is apparently still being cultivated on the Eternal since they’ve added off-tank Eoghan “Smex” O’Neill to the lineup. He comes from the Montreal Rebellion, the Toronto Defiant’s Overwatch Contenders academy team.
Of all the roles on the Paris Eternal, support remained the most untouched. Flex support Luis “Greyy” Perestrelo returns alongside main support and shotcaller Harrison “Kruise” Pond. Substitute flex support Damien “HyP” Souville will also return for 2020. The only new support addition is Brice “FDGoD” Monscavoir, a player for Young and Beautiful in Overwatch Contenders Europe and a player for Team France in the 2019 Overwatch World Cup. The level of communication between support duos is critical, which is likely why the Eternal decided to keep an entirely English-speaking support roster.
Paris’ DPS lineup is a strange mix of established talent and players with unimaginable levels of hype. Reliable hitscan Terence “SoOn” Tarlier returns after an impressive showing at the 2019 Overwatch World Cup as a part of Team France. Flex DPS Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret joins him for another year on the Eternal. Jung “Xzi” Ki-hyo of Element Mystic has been added as another devastatingly accurate DPS option.
No roster addition has brought more hype than Kim “SP9RK1E” Young-han, who was added to the Eternal after a monumental showing as a part of Element Mystic. His Doomfist and other projectile heroes have made him one of the most highly-rated Contenders players in the world. The catch? SP9RK1E doesn’t turn 18 until May 31, making him ineligible for play until nearly halfway through the 2020 season. Paris’ fate will depend on its other three DPS players until the spring.
Many analysts have placed the Paris Eternal’s success solely on the back of SP9RK1E, who may face the same “overhyped” downfall Jay “Sinatraa” Won experienced during his first year of play. The Eternal’s success actually depends on how well this new roster can meld and work together. Paris’ coaching staff must work together to build the most competent roster that can succeed regardless of language barriers, since a mixed DPS and tank line is highly likely.
If the Eternal learned anything in 2019, it was to capitalize on their strengths. The team flourished in stage four when role queue allowed them to place renewed faith in their DPS line. This season must be more of the same. With a rebuilt tank line and relatively stable support roster, the Eternal will once again depend on their damage-dealers to stand up to the superstars in the rest of the league.
The third season of the Overwatch League begins on Feb. 8 with games in New York and Dallas. The Paris Eternal face off against the Toronto Defiant at 12pm CT on Feb. 8.