Zarya jail. Brigitte jail. Sombra jail. These are just a few of the horrors that have plagued damage-dealers in the Overwatch League this season.
As the triple support, triple tank team composition (or GOATS) reigned supreme, DPS specialists were left with few options. Either they learned an alternate hero, like Zarya or Brigitte, or they picked out a comfortable spot on the bench.
Role lock, which demands that teams play two damage dealers, two supports, and two tanks for every match in the Overwatch League, goes live with stage four on July 25. Role lock brings a lot of potential chaos to the league, but it also gives damage dealers a chance to come back into the fray. Here are a few players we’ll likely see come back into the spotlight.
Terence “SoOn” Tarlier (Paris Eternal)
Instead of getting the goat, the GOATS got him. During stage three, SoOn reportedly chose to stay on the bench and practice damage heroes instead of bending to the will of triple-triple. As one of the lowest-ranked Zarya players in the league this season, it wasn’t a bad decision.
In season one, SoOn was one of the deadliest Widowmakers and Tracers in the league, incessantly flanking and terrorizing enemy backlines. The overwhelming necessity of triple-triple’s aggression forced him out of his signature “sneak and attack” skills. With role lock coming into play, he’ll likely be put back on the Paris Eternal’s starting roster, playing any of the hitscan heroes the league had nightmares about last season.
Park “Profit” Joon-yeong (London Spitfire)
During the inaugural stage of the Overwatch League, Profit was the boogeyman to all enemy support players. He’d dart in and out of backlines on his signature Tracer or snipe healers on Hanzo. His five-player kill streak during the Overwatch League Grand Finals is one of the most legendary plays of all time. This season, he’s been relegated to Zarya, and many of his skills have been wasted. While he delved into Sombra during stage three, role lock should allow him to come back on the hitscan heroes he became famous for.
Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok (Philadelphia Fusion)
Carpe was the other half of last year’s Grand Finals DPS battle and one of the scariest Widowmaker players in the league. Last season, Carpe managed to salvage an entire map of Lijiang Tower by himself, taking headshots and ruining the dreams of the Boston Uprising.
Stages one and two of this season were the opposite for Carpe. Put on Zarya duty by the Fusion, he did his best, but the pattern of DPS players making mediocre Zarya players continued with him. By the end of stage three, we saw some of his signature heroes, like McCree and Widowmaker, but role lock should bring those options back in full force.
Kim “Haksal” Hyo-jong (Vancouver Titans)
The Vancouver Titans were widely recognized as the best team in the league at running the triple-triple composition. Beyond that, Haksal was arguably one of the best Brigittes in the league. No matter how good his “mace to the face” is, fans of his former team RunAway missed Haksal’s signature Genji play.
He’s been recognized as one of the top Genji players for years, since the APEX Overwatch tournaments in South Korea. We got a taste of Haksal Genji a few times this season, but role lock should bring him to the forefront. All the hitscan players mentioned above might want to watch for those deflects.
Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun (Seoul Dynasty)
“Fleta is the Meta” was a popular phrase among Seoul Dynasty fans during the first season of the Overwatch League. Fleta gained a reputation for being a player that could play any damage dealer at an insanely high level. This season, he’s mostly tried to replicate this success with Zarya and Brigitte. In addition, as the Seoul Dynasty has played musical chairs with its roster, Fleta was often left on the bench.
Now that role lock will give him full choice of damage dealers, other teams in the league should be seriously concerned. Not only can Fleta use Widowmaker to snipe down a Pharah, he can then swap to Pharah and demolish a team.
Kim “Pine” Do-hyun (New York Excelsior)
Fan favorite Pine made an appearance at this season’s All-Star Games despite not playing for the NYXL all season. He dazzled the crowd in the Widowmaker showdown and showed off his DPS chops in arcade modes. Most importantly, the crowd cheered his name constantly every time he appeared. Skill means a lot; so does star power. While other damage dealers on the NYXL will likely get one of the two coveted DPS spots promised in role lock at first, Pine has a real chance at making it off the bench before the season is over.