With the start of the Apex league, Overwatch fans around the globe are privileged to be exposed to the legendary productions of OGN. But, as with the birth of any new esport, we are being rapidly exposed to new talent, and sometimes it may be difficult to judge them.
In the Apex league, we have 12 Korean teams and four western teams. As Overwatch fans are already familiar with the western team lineups and players, they will not be covered in this series. Instead, as the 12 Korean teams debut, I will be discussing the standout players to keep your eye on as the season develops.
Who Says Supports Can’t Duel?: Sylph
Supports receive little love in Overwatch. Constantly focused by the enemy divers, almost never put on camera, and the fruits of their labor are often attributed to the DPS or tank players. A major factor is how important supports are at setting up their teammates. When a support has an incredible game, you often don’t notice their impact as much, because their allies will be doing so well that it overshadows them.
As such, it isn’t very often that a support obviously carries their team, even rarer is a support who carries their team by winning 1v1 duels against some of the best DPS players in the world. Luckily for MVP Space, their Ana player Sylph does exactly that. Note, I didn’t say duel, I said duels.
Sylph was repeatedly winning 1v1 duels against Bunny’s Tracer, hitting his shots on an incredibly nimble target and following them up with a quick Bio-Grenade to burst his foe. He was so consistent on Nepal, winning three duels and losing only one, that he forced his foes to focus him. He required a Tracer, Winston, and Genji diving him to reliably take him down.
What’s even more incredible is that despite the focus he received, he kept pace with his opposite number, charging Nano Boost at a nearly identical rate. His play was more similar to that of a Widowmaker, less like a Mercy. Instead of staying in the backlines, he found odd angles, sometimes even flanking the enemy team, to take shots from dealing extra damage to charge his ultimate.
Of course, being away from his team only encouraged his foes to focus him. But his ability to win duels, or even better simply survive, served him well. On Hanamura, MVP Space was unable to find any traction to attack the first point with. But once Bunny decided to chase after Sylph, it was the opening MVP needed.
Sylph led Bunny on a wild chase while they dueled for nearly 30 seconds, a duel that Sylph won and forced the Tracer to flee. BK Stars was then missing one of their primary damage sources, and created the opening his team needed.
His ability to absorb enemy damage much higher than what he put out means that he trades positively for his team, and creates openings. He handles the focus well and maintains the same amount of utility for his team, while requiring less protection due to his ability to duel. These factors combined mean that Sylph is definitely a support we need to watch.
Who Says Tanks Can’t DPS?: Evermore
Kongdoo’s main team Panthera came into the Apex league with an immense amount of hype. They have an average of 4300 skill rating across all six players, with the top three highest ranked players in the world being on their squad. At the top of that list is Evermore, perhaps one of the best Roadhogs in the world.
Evermore is officially listed as a tank player on the Panthera roster, but he plays a role many of us would consider to be the flex player. Roadhog and Zarya are his specialties, and he shines on both. On Roadhog, he hits hooks, on Zarya, his shields are well timed. His Whole Hogs deal massive damage, and Graviton Surges hit key players.
But having played over 190 games of Roadhog this season alone, he maintains a 57 percent hook accuracy and an absolutely disgusting 87.6 percent win rate, he shows his preference for the hog. Most Roadhog players can hit hooks, perhaps not as reliably as Evermore, but it isn’t anything special. What sets him apart is his playstyle on Roadhog.
As we see from his competitive play statistics, he spends less time physically on the objective than 91 percent of players. It’s certainly not because he doesn’t know how to win, but instead he abuses how strong Roadhog is as an individual hero, holding an area of the map.
Roadhog is an ideal hero to hold areas alone with his ability to pick off targets with CC and burst. He also operates solo well because of his ability to self heal. So instead of grouping with his team as most tank players do, he runs off to hold common flanking paths. And if any poor soul is unfortunate enough to cross his path, they are sure to be met with a hook and a quick shot to the head.
This play style shuts down enemy flankers and provides extra protection for his backline. But it also gives extra information to his team simply because they can see more of the map at any given time. His unique play, combined with how successful he is at it, means he is a huge carry force for his team and a player we need to watch.
Was there another player who caught your eye? Comment below or tweet your answer to us @GAMURScom.
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