As Overwatch introduced role queue in 2019 and the Overwatch League followed suit, legions of fans across the world cheered, exclaiming that “GOATS was dead.” The triple-support, triple-tank team composition had ruled over competitive Overwatch for nearly a year, forcing DPS players out of positions and driving focus away from big, flashy plays. For most players, this change of pace was welcomed.
As polarizing as GOATS was when it was popular, some players miss the level of team cohesion and strategy that was necessary to make the composition work. For all its downsides, players still had fun running directly into an enemy team and beating them up with an overpowered Brigitte and speed-boosted Reinhardt.
The Toronto Defiant has decided to capitalize on that GOATS nostalgia by hosting a Throwback Tournament on Sept. 27, beginning at 10am CT. Each member of the Defiant roster has built their own six-player team to participate in the GOATS-only tournament. The teams look like a version of the All-Stars tournaments going on within the Overwatch League, with tons of former and current pros coming back to give the meta one last ride.
Ten teams will participate in group stages that will feed into a four-team single elimination tournament. There’s a $5,000 prize pool for the tournament and the winning team gets the lion’s share. All teams must play the GOATS meta, with three supports and three tanks, but there is likely room for interpretation as far as specific hero choices are concerned.
Defiant flex support Park “KariV” Young-seo assembled an all-star team of Overwatch League pros, many hailing from his former team, the Los Angeles Valiant. Former pro and current analyst Scott “Custa” Kennedy joins KariV on support alongside their 2019 Valiant squad, including DPS Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa and off-tank Indy “Space” Halpern. Current Valiant main tank Song “Dreamer” Sang-lok and Houston Outlaws hitscan Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin round out the team.
Not to be outdone by KariV, fellow support Park “RoKy” Joo-seong called up some of his former teammates from Korean Contenders team X6 Gaming. Fortunately for RoKy, his friends all seem to be top Overwatch League players. Atlanta Reign’s Kim “Lr1s” Seung-Hyun assists on support, joined by Reign main tank Blake “Gator” Scott. Park “Ria” Seong-wook of the Hangzhou Spark and Choi “Hanbin” Han-bin of the Paris Eternal fight over off-tank rights alongside London Spitfire’s Lim “Glister” Gil-seong.
It’s a Team United Kingdom reunion for main support Harrison “Kruise” Pond. He’s recruited a host of “lads” to bring the heat to the GOATS tourney, including Boston Uprising main tank Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth and Paris Eternal off-tank Eoghan “Smex” O’Neill. Philadelphia Fusion flex support Isaac “Boombox” Charles and former Guangzhou Charge DPS Finley “KYB” Adisi round out the team. As a token of respect, Kruise has also invited former Paris Eternal support and local Portugese representative Luís “Greyy” Perestrelo to join the Brit squad.
As a veteran of the competitive Overwatch scene, DPS Lane “Surefour” Roberts has a lot of friends he can call to arms. He’s built a team of fellow long-time players, including streamers Carter Smith and Anthony “Harbleu” Bello as well as Overwatch League standouts like Charlie “Nero” Zwarg of the Guangzhou Charge. Surefour’s former Los Angeles Gladiators teammate João “Hydration” Pedro Goes Telles and Los Angeles Valiant tank Rick “GiG” Salazar complete the team.
Defiant DPS Brady “Agilities” Girardi has managed to assemble a throwback Overwatch League squad with a few surprises mixed in. He summoned 2018 Los Angeles Valiant members Ted “Silkthread” Wang and Christopher “GrimReality” Schaefer back to the Overwatch scene for this tournament. They’re joined by support Anthony “Goliath” Pietro and former Washington Justice general manager Analynn “Bawlynn” Dang.
Toronto main tank Adam “Beast” Denton is calling in some favors from former teammates on legendary Contenders North America team Fusion University. London Spitfire tank Shin “Bernar” Se-won and Vancouver Titans support Carson “CarCar” First are back with their main tank for this tournament. Houston Outlaws DPS duo Jeffrey “Blasé” Tsang and Dante “Danteh” Cruz have also been invited to the Fusion University reunion.
Kruise may have assembled the Brits, but DPS Thomas “zYKK” Hosono took on the responsibility of organizing the Frenchmen. He recruited Paris Eternal support Brice “FDGoD” Monscavoir and Vancouver Titans DPS Samir “Tsuna” Ikram to back him up in battle. Former Team France off-tank Théo “Tak36” Guillebaud, Boston Uprising assistant coach Valentin “Ascoft” Wulfman, and Thomas “Kayzzer” Zunino complete the all-French team.
Perpetual hitscan carry Andreas “Logix” Berghmans put together a squad of former teammates and European superstars for his GOATS team. Los Angeles Valiant tank Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey and Los Angeles Gladiators tank Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen will join forces for the good of Logix’s roster. Team Netherlands DPS Jeffrey “Vizility” de Vries and Finland support Joni “Jofi” Ilves will hop back into North American servers for this tournament.
Off-tank Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson understands the idea of working smarter, not harder. Instead of building a team from scratch, he’s decided to call up most of the roster from North American Contenders team Noble to hash it out in the Throwback Tournament arena. Nevix will be joined by former Los Angeles Valiant support Stefano “Verbo” Disalvo in addition to the Noble players.
Toronto main tank Seb “Numlocked’ Barton openly admits that he didn’t get the memo about recruiting an all-pro team to throw down in the GOATS tournament. “I’ve made a team with some friends, what have I done,” he said on Twitter. Who knows? This team of pals could be the dark horse of the tournament.
The Toronto Defiant Throwback Tournament begins at 10am CT on Sept. 27. All matches will be aired on the Defiant’s official YouTube channel.