During the Overwatch League offseason, the Dallas Fuel opted to connect pieces of the past to build a new future.
Management nabbed head coach Yun “Rush” Hee-won from the Paris Eternal and orchestrated a “reunion” of players from storied Overwatch Contenders Korea team Element Mystic. Rush slowly gathered a roster of talented players that had worked with the organization in the past, focusing on trust and synergy.
Fortunately for Rush and fans of the Fuel, all of those players are well known and made their marks in the Overwatch League in 2020. After completely overhauling the team, and likely spending as much money as possible, the Dallas Fuel has objectively never looked better.
While the roster is impressive on paper, Overwatch League matches are the only way for us to judge how Element Mystic 2: Electric Boogaloo will fare in 2021.
Main tank Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok was a critical part of the Shanghai Dragons’ success in 2020, making space for his talented DPS players. His role on the Dallas Fuel will likely be the same this year. While Fearless is known for his Winston play, he has a great grasp on multiple tanks and should be a boon for the Fuel.
Former Paris Eternal off-tank Choi “Hanbin” Han-been also had an outstanding 2020, showcasing his stellar Sigma play as the hero came into popularity. Considering he’s another tank with a deep hero pool, the duo of Hanbin and Fearless may be one of the best in the league.
The Dallas Fuel acquired Element Mystic alumni from anywhere it had to, including the Houston Outlaws. Both of the team’s former healers, main support Lee “Jecse” Seung-soo and flex support Kim “Rapel” Jun-keun, switched sides to the Fuel this year. The duo was underwhelming on the Outlaws, but under Dallas’ coaching staff, they may fare much better.
Flex support Kwon “Fielder” Joon, formerly the “200 ping king” of the Paris Eternal, has been invited to the Element Mystic reunion despite never playing for the organization before. Fans have only ever seen Fielder compete from South Korean servers, delivering picture-perfect Ana sleep darts even on enormous lag. We can’t wait to see what he can do with a stable connection.
Only one member of the 2020 Fuel roster “survived” the team’s complete reconstruction: flex DPS Kim “Doha” Dong-ha. Known for his Sombra and Pharah dominance, he’ll get a chance this year to show his true talents under familiar coaching. He’ll be joined by former Paris Eternal prodigy Kim “SP9RK1E” Yeong-han, who destroyed enemy teams last year on Doomfist and Genji.
For now, Doha and SP9RK1E will have to hold down the DPS line. Hitscan ace Jung “Xzi” Ki-hyo temporarily retired from professional play due to health issues, leaving the Fuel without a McCree or Ashe player. Dallas will likely replace him, but at the start of the season, his loss is a big one.
Fans of the team have always said the real competition in every match is “Dallas vs. Fuel.” In previous years, the Dallas Fuel has toppled down the leaderboard thanks to its own poor choices: questionable coaching decisions, internal strife, or simple bad luck.
If anything can salvage the Fuel’s reputation, it’s this all-star roster that has built-in trust thanks to a successful past with Element Mystic. Every single player has the potential to clutch fights or hard carry matches if necessary, but that may be part of the problem. With so many individually competitive players, they may fall prey to egos and not work in a cohesive manner.
The loss of hitscan Xzi is a huge problem for the Fuel heading into the season, where many compositions require a dedicated McCree or Ashe. While this is Dallas’ chance to elevate an Overwatch Contenders player to hero status upon signing, the team will have to overcome the Fuel’s historic bad luck until that day comes.
Dallas will kick off the 2021 Overwatch League season with a Battle for Texas showdown. The new roster will face the Houston Outlaws at 2pm CT on April 16.