Rookie revolution: London Spitfire team preview

With a roster of inexperienced players, London becomes the true wildcard of the Atlantic North.

Photo by Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
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Multiple teams in the Overwatch League have overhauled their rosters in preparation for the 2020 season. For the London Spitfire, “overhaul” may be too gentle of a word. While the Toronto Defiant rebuilt its roster with veteran players, the Spitfire has gone for an entire lineup of rookie players, some from extremely obscure teams. 

After most of the 2019 Spitfire roster moved on to greener pastures, London was left with little choice but to rebuild. But for most hardcore London fans, all of their established star power is now scattered across various teams.

While it may be hard for fans to get back on the Spitfire bandwagon, the team has one thing going for them: They’ll be the most unpredictable team in the 2020 Overwatch League season.  

Tank 

London is betting on Choi “JMac” Dae-han to fill the main tank role. JMac was previously a part of LGE.Huya in Overwatch Contenders China. He was the main tank for two of the team’s Contenders season championships, meaning he has considerable experience to bring to the role. London’s backup main tank is Kim “Jihun” Ji-hun, a player from the now-defunct Bubble Burster Gaming in Overwatch Contenders Korea. 

Spitfire’s off-tank will be Shin “Bernar” Se-won, who’s been a part of Contenders team Fusion University for multiple years. A highlight of the Contenders scene, Bernar was a part of Fusion University’s multiple North American Contenders wins, their Atlantic Showdown dominance, and the team’s foray into Korean Contenders. He’ll likely bring a level of expertise to the role. Cho “Clestyn” Gun-hee is another off-tank option who most recently played for Team Griffin in Contenders Trials Korea. 

Support

The sole survivor of London Spitfire’s massive reconstruction is Jeong “Krillin” Young-hoon, who had a minimal amount of playing time in season two. He’ll be joined in the flex support role by Lee “Highly” Sung-hyeok, formerly of the Seoul Dynasty. Of the entire Spitfire roster, the flex support line has the most Overwatch League experience. 

Main support Kim “Fuze” Tae-hoon joins Fusion University teammate Bernar on the Spitfire. That built-in cohesion between support and tank may prove to be necessary for the team. Fuze also spent time on Gen.G Esports, Seoul Dynasty’s Contenders Korea academy team. London’s secondary main support, Lim “SanGuiNar” Kyu-min, has experience on Gen.B, an offshoot of Gen.G. SanGuiNar only played in minor tournaments before being signed to the Spitfire.   

DPS

Lim “Glister” Gil-seong joins a few of his former Gen.G teammates on the Spitfire and might be the team’s best hope for a superstar DPS player. While Gen.G hasn’t seen any Contenders championships in recent years, Glister has proven himself to be a valuable hitscan addition. His flex DPS counterpart, Lee “Schwi” Dong-jae, played for RunAway during one of their multiple championship runs. It’ll likely be up to these two players to bring the heat in every match. 

Park “Babel” Sang-jun and Jun “Although” Hyun-wook are the backup DPS waiting in the rafters, trying to gain more experience from their teammates. Babel most recently played for BM Hawk in a series of community tournaments and Open Division Korea. Although has participated in various community tournaments as a part of Gen.S, another Gen.G offshoot. 

2020 outlook

With a roster cobbled together from unknown variables, London has made itself the most unpredictable team of the 2020 season. The risk of placing so much pressure on rookie players is astronomical. While many of these players, like Bernar, Fuze, and JMac, have considerable Contenders experience, the Overwatch League stage is an entirely different setting. If this risk pays off, London’s management will be superstars. If it doesn’t, the team is looking at a worse finish than last year’s seventh-place ranking. 

If experience is put aside, the Spitfire has a relatively stable roster. Almost every role and sub role has multiple players available to cycle in and out of the starting lineup. London’s tank line is its strength with JMac and Bernar, but the DPS skills of Glister and Schwi could impress as well. 

The London Spitfire’s season begins on Feb. 8 when they face the New York Excelsior at 2pm CT.