Though they hail from the Great North, the Toronto Defiant have often struggled to do great things. Despite having competitive rosters in previous years of the Overwatch League, the Defiant have often struggled to rise above the lower half of the leaderboard.
During the offseason, Toronto became one of many teams to gut its entire roster and begin anew. The acquisition of former Philadelphia Fusion head coach Kim “KDG” Dong-gun led to a swift rebuild for the Defiant that includes proven veterans and hungry rookies.
Toronto newcomer Kim “SADO” Su-min arguably had the most impressive main tank glow-up last year as a part of the Philadelphia Fusion roster. Forced to pull back his aggressive style and work with a team, he became a critical piece of Philadelphia’s success. As such, he’s one of head coach KDG’s favorite people and followed him to the Defiant. Adam “Beast” Denton, one of the only holdovers from the 2020 Defiant roster, will likely play substitute main tank.
Underused on his former team, the Seoul Dynasty, Choi “Michelle” Min-hyuk is ready to have a permanent starting spot on the Toronto Defiant roster. His level of flexibility isn’t entirely known, but he’ll have to work harder than ever to measure up to the rest of North America.
The Defiant initially focused on two talented supports from Overwatch Contenders Korea, flex support Park “Aztac” Jeong-su from WGS Phoenix and main support An “ANSOONJAE” Soon-jae from Element Mystic. Both garnered praise for their overall success on those teams.
An all-rookie support lineup is a serious risk, but the Defiant took advantage of another team’s mistakes to solve that issue. Enter main support Mun “Lastro” Jung-won, quickly nabbed by Toronto after the Los Angeles Valiant dropped its entire roster. His consistent playstyle and leadership abilities should be a boon to his rookie teammates.
Another coach KDG favorite will likely be the Defiant’s star player this year. Jeong “Heesu” Hee-su, who stunned fans with his Sombra play in last year’s Grand Finals, also followed KDG from Philadelphia in 2021. His flexible, adaptable DPS style will be a huge asset to the team.
Veteran Tracer legend Andreas “Logix” Berghmans was initially the only holdover from the 2020 Toronto Defiant roster until Beast was reacquired. This was for good reason: No matter how the meta changes, Logix is still ready to hard carry games if necessary.
The flex DPS role will be filled by Lee “Na1st” Ho-sung, a former member of Fusion University and T1 in Overwatch Contenders. In the early part of the season, he’ll likely be taking on an aerial role as Echo or Pharah.
Some of the individual parts of the Toronto Defiant roster may seem questionable, but the entire team and its fans are hoping that coaching makes a real difference. In previous years, Toronto has had stacked rosters and never did anything remarkable with them. This time, KDG has assembled a few of his former players with some rookie talent and it may pay off.
The Defiant will likely initially struggle in adapting to the meta, especially the team’s rookie supports. Veterans like Lastro and Logix, however, are known playmakers who could become saviors for the team. Clutch players like Heesu and SADO are also no strangers to making things happen.
Toronto can easily coast to the middle of the leaderboard on mechanical talent alone, but they’ll have to develop more cohesion to rise above mediocrity.
The Toronto Defiant’s next game is against the Washington Justice on April 30 at 5pm CT.