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After riding the struggle bus for most of their first season in the Overwatch League, the Washington Justice is hoping for a better run in 2020. In 2019, the team struggled to gain the coordination or hero specialties necessary to play the triple support, triple tank composition. When the team’s DPS players were finally allowed to play their specialties thanks to role lock, they had an instant upswing in success.
Currently, the Washington Justice has one of the smallest rosters, fielding the league minimum of eight players. With a brand new coaching staff and multiple new additions, however, the Justice has a chance to bring back the success they saw at the tail end of last season.
Washington is likely feeling very lucky to have opted for two main tank players right about now. Early in the offseason, the team acquired Gye “R0ar” Chang-hoon from the Los Angeles Gladiators. R0ar put out steady, consistent numbers for the Gladiators and was a smart pickup for the Justice.
Before the end of last season, Washington added main tank Lukas “LullSiSH” Wiklund and off-tank Elliot “Ellivote” Vaneryd from Team Envy out of Overwatch Contenders. Due to visa issues, the Swedish pair couldn’t play during the 2019 season. Visas have struck again this year, and LullSiSH will miss the beginning of the 2020 season. It’ll be up to R0ar and Ellivote to hold down the tank line until their substitute arrives.
Main support Hong “ArK” Yeon-joon returns to the Washington Justice this year after spending some time as a free agent during the offseason. He’ll be joined by new flex support Kwon “AimGod” Min-seok, who previously played for the Boston Uprising. As a veteran player in the scene, ArK brings a level of expertise that the team sorely needs in the support role. AimGod is a talented player, but spent a long period of time absent from the Uprising’s roster due to unknown circumstances. This support line could absolutely use a substitute or two.
Of all the Washington Justice’s moving parts, the DPS line is likely the most reliable. DPS duo Corey “Corey” Nigra and Ethan “Stratus” Yankel had an undeniably fantastic stage four in 2019. Corey was able to play a variety of heroes, especially Widowmaker and Hanzo, to a staggeringly high level considering the team’s relative lack of success earlier in the season. He showed off these skills again as Team United States won the 2019 Overwatch World Cup.
Stratus remains a consistent damage dealer, but may share stage time with the Justice’s new pickup, Lee “TTuba” Ho-sung. TTuba most recently played with Bubble Burster Gaming and O2 Blast in Overwatch Contenders Korea. His addition to the team may fill in some of the gaps that Corey and Stratus have in their respective hero pools.
On the staff side, the Washington Justice has improved considerably, with the addition of head coach Seetoh “JohnGalt” Jian Qing as head coach and former player Chris “Bani” Banell as individual coach. The challenge facing the Justice’s management is how to best make use of their bare-bones team. With LullSiSH in visa limbo, they’re rolling into every match with only seven total players. Of any team in the Overwatch League, Washington needs to consider adding midseason pickups the most.
As far as the roster is concerned, the more the team can lean into Corey and Stratus’ dominance on DPS, the better. If Corey alone is given space, he can contend with some of the best damage dealers in the league. ArK may need to step up and provide leadership for the newer members of the team. If some form of cohesion is reached, the Washington Justice will be able to rack up a few wins in the relatively easy Atlantic South division.
The Justice’s season kicks off as they play the Philadelphia Fusion on Feb. 15 at 5pm CT.