In 2021, the Washington Justice were a mid-tier team. They finished in 10th place overall in the season, putting them smack in the middle of the 20-team lineup in the Overwatch League. It was the franchise’s best finish in its three-season existence so far, but this year could be the team’s breakout year.
The storyline for the Justice in 2021 was a heartbreaking one for most of the season, but they showed a lot of promise at the beginning of the year. They made it into the first tournament and came out of the May Melee qualifiers 4-0, only to miss out on the tournament’s playoffs completely.
More of the same happened in the regular season playoffs. They finished in last place in the West region for the Countdown Cup and then came into play-ins like a freight train, smashing through everyone’s expectations. They got their fans aboard the hype train going into the playoffs and then finished dead last.
The 2022 roster has a lot of promise and they come with a stacked roster and one of the best tanks in the league. There’s been a lot of changes for the Justice roster, which includes a new assistant coach in Jung “Tydolla” Seung-min, in addition to the existing assistant coach Park “Chhilhwa” Min-hyung and head coach Seungjun “Sup7eme” Han.
Although all-star Tank Junho “Fury” Kim went back to the Philadelphia Fusion for the 2022 season, the Justice still has Kim “Mag” Tae-sung, who is one of the best in the league and came in at No. 11 in OWL power rankings for the tank role in 2021. This year, Washington also has Shin “Kalios” Woo-yeol, who played for the Boston Uprising in 2018 and floated around on Contenders teams until he was picked up by the New York Excelsior in 2021.
The roster is also stacked with DPS talent, including Jang “Decay” Gui-un, Kim “Assassin” Sung-won, and Lee “Happy” Jung-woo, all household names when it comes to DPS players in the OWL.
The support line includes OWL veteran Jeong “Krillin” Young-hoon and newcomer An “OPENER” Gi-beom, who recently came from the Australia Contenders team Ground Zero Gaming after competing with Gen.G’s academy rosters in 2019 and 2020. Also lurking in the shadows for now is 17-year-old Jun “vigilante” Kim, who will be eligible for the OWL on his 18th birthday, which is July 1.
The Justice has a strong DPS lineup and a good tank on its roster going into the 2022 season. The franchise wasn’t afraid to make quite a few changes in the offseason to shake up its roster. And the talent it’s built around Mag, Decay, and Assassin is impressive on paper. Whether that will translate into their matches is the question.
Decay made the top 10 in the OWL power rankings last year, and with a plethora of veteran experience, he will likely have a lot of insight to offer his teammates. Happy and Assassin aren’t far behind him, ranked at No. 14 and 15, respectively. Happy also brings a ton of veteran talent since he’s been in the league since late 2018.
Mag has consistently been touted as one of the best tanks in the league, and with a stacked DPS lineup, the only question mark comes in at the support line. Krillin is a name many will remember from the London Spitfire in 2019 and 2020, but not much came from the Spitfire in those years. OPENER is new to the Overwatch League and doesn’t have a whole lot of experience in the Contenders circuit either.
Success for the Justice will depend on Krillin, OPENER, and Mag’s ability to communicate. The support role is difficult to play in Overwatch 2 because of the lack of shields and one less tank to peel for them. The Justice will need to keep a strong eye on their backline to find success this year, but it could turn out that the enemy team is too busy trying to shut down Decay to even bother with the Justice’s backline.
Either way, the Justice will be an interesting team to watch in the 2022 season with their strong DPS lineup, solid tank player, and an experienced roster to help their less-experienced teammates.