It’s getting close to the time of year again. With the 2019 season of Overwatch League set to start on February 14th, teams have been revealing their branding and rosters for the new season. There are also changes to the Overwatch League as a whole to discuss, and I’ll break them all down for you.
There are a fair amount of changes coming to the format of the Overwatch League for the new season. The biggest change is the addition of eight new Overwatch League teams: The Atlanta Reign, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Spark, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, Vancouver Titans, and Washington Justice.
In terms of schedule, this season there will be three stages instead of last season’s four, and during the regular season, teams will play 28 matches, which is significantly less than the 40 of last season. Stage finals will have eight teams in them, with the division winners, along with the next best six teams. Postseason also sees massive changes to the format. The finals will be comprised of eight teams. The division leaders, as well as the next best four teams will automatically qualify, and the seventh and eighth teams will be decided through a play-in tournament between the seventh through eighth best teams.
Finally, the new season has changes for the teams and players. All teams must have at least eight players, up from six. Also, this season brings a new type of contract for players, two-way contracts. They count as a member of the Overwatch League team, and receive the same benefits, but they can also play on an affiliated Contenders team. These two way players can only play in two matches each stage, and they cannot play both an Overwatch League match and a Contenders match during the same week.
With all these changes, I’m sure you want to know how the rosters of your favorite team have changed. Every team has seen some changes and some have gotten massive overhauls between seasons. Read about your favorite returning teams below!
The Boston Uprising saw the departures of Avast and Mistakes, who are now free agents, Snow and Kalios, who are on the Contenders team Skyfoxes, Striker to the San Francisco Shock, and Neko to the new Toronto Defiant. Remaining on the team from last season are AimGod, NotE, Kellex, and Gamsu, and joining them are blase, Axxiom, ColourHex, and alemao. Also joining is Fusions on a two-way contract with the Uprising Academy.
Leaving from the Dallas Fuel is chipshajen, now a free agent, Seagull, now a full-time streamer, and cocco, now an assistant coach for the Dallas Fuel. Most of the team is remaining for the new season, specifically HarryHook, uNKOE, Taimou, Mickie, aKm, OGE, and EFFECT, and the players joining them on the roster are rCk and ZachaREEE from Contenders and Closer from the London Spitfire.
There are a few changes for the Houston Outlaws, but a lot of the roster is staying the same. FCTFCTN has left to join Mayhem Academy, Clockwork has moved to a staff role within the Houston Outlaws, and Mendokusaii is now a content creator for the team. Danteh is coming to the team from the San Francisco Shock and is joining Muma, Boink, SPREE, Rawkus, Bani, LiNkzr, ArHaN, Jake, and coolmatt for the 2019 season.
As previously mentioned, Closer has transferred to the Dallas Fuel. Also, the inactive players on the roster: HaGoPeun, TiZi, WooHyal, and Hooreg were all released. Gesture, Bdosin, Profit, BIRDRING, NUS, and Fury are all remaining on the team, and newcomers to Overwatch League Guard and Krillin are joining the roster.q
Los Angeles Valiant
Staying on the team from last season are IZaYaKI, Custa, Bunny, Agilities, KariV, Fate, KSF, and SPACE, now joined by KuKi, who was previously on the Seoul Dynasty. Those departing the Los Angeles Valiant are SoOn and Finnsi, who are both going to Paris Eternal, numlocked, who moved to the London Spitfire’s Contenders team British Hurricane, and Verbo, now a part of the Skyfoxes.
Los Angeles Gladiators
Surefour, Bischu, BigGOOse, Void, Shaz, and Hydration are staying on the team for the 2019 season of Overwatch League, joined by former Contenders players Ripa, rOar, and Decay, as well as Panker on a two-way contract with the Gladiators Legion. Fissure has gone to the Seoul Dynasty, iRemiix to the Skyfoxes, Asher to the new Toronto Defiant, and silkthread has retired from professional Overwatch.
The Florida Mayhem saw large changes, maintaining only TviQ and sayaplayer for the new season. Joining them are xepheR formerly of the Seoul Dynasty, HaGoPeun, who was on the London Spitfire, Apply, a two-way member also from the Mayhem Academy, and bqb, SNT, SWoN, and Kris, who are joining the Overwatch League for the first time. Leaving the Florida Mayhem are zappis and Zuppeh, now to Team Gigantti, Manneten to Mayhem Academy, Logix to XL2 Academy, Zebbosai, now a free agent, and CWoosH, who has retired from playing Overwatch to coach.
New York Excelsior
Main tank janus has left the team to join the new Washington Justice. With his departure, Fl0w3R and Nenne have been promoted from XL2 Academy to full members of the New York Excelsior, to join Mano, MekO, Pine, Libero, Saebyeolbe, Anamo, and JJONAK.
There is one newcomer to the Philadelphia Fusion, and that’s Elk, who’s on a two-way contract with Fusion University. He’s joining Boombox, carpe, Sado, eqo, neptuNo, Poko, and fragi, as well as snillo, who is now also on a two-way contract. Departing the Philadelphia Fusion are HOTBA, who is now a member of the Guangzhou Charge, ShaDowBurn, now on the Paris Eternal, and Joemeister and Dayfly, who are free agents.
San Francisco Shock
The San Francisco Shock is the only team with a roster of twelve players. We will see the return of super, sinatraa, Architect, moth, Choihyobin, babybay, sleepy, and Nevix. Leaving the team are dhaK and iddqd, who are free agents, nomy who’s now on First Generation, and Danteh, traded to the Houston Outlaws. Joining the San Francisco Shock for the new season are newcomers Viol2t and smurf, as well as Rascal, who was promoted from NRG Esports, and Striker, formerly on the Boston Uprising.
The Seoul Dynasty had a fair amount of new faces, as well as old ones leaving. Fissure, from the Los Angeles Gladiators, joined, as well as fresh faces of Michelle, Marve1, Jecse, and FITS. Gambler retired to stream, Miro is currently focusing on streaming, WeKeed is a free agent, gido has gone to the Washington Justice, xepheR is now on the Florida Mayhem, and KuKi has transferred to the Los Angeles Valiant. Staying on the team from last season are ZUNBA, tobi, Munchkin, ryujehong, and Fleta.
The Shanghai Dragons have the largest amount of changes, with eight players departing from the team. They are Daemin, Sky, Freefeel, Altering, Roshan, and Xushu, now all free agents, and Fiveking, now a member of Team CC. Joining the team are former KongDoo Panthera players CoMa, Luffy, YOUNGJIN, and DDing, as well as diem and GuardiaN, who also played in Contenders. They will be joining FEARLESS, Diya, and Geguri on the new roster.
Of course, with the eight new teams, there are many new players to sign and learn about. On these teams you’ll find some Overwatch League veterans as well as many newcomers to the Overwatch League scene.
The Atlanta Reign signed Erster, NLaaeR, Daco, Pokpo, Kodak, and Masaa, all newcomers to the Overwatch League, as well as Gator as a two-way contract with ATL Academy, and popular streamer dafran.
The Chengdu Hunters is a team of newcomers, with these players having proven themselves in Contenders and now joining the Overwatch League. The roster is made up of Kyo, GARRY, Yveltal, Elsa, ameng, lateyoung, YangXiaoLong, JinMu, and Baconjack.
HOTBA, who used to play for the Philadelphia Fusion, joined the Guangzhou Charge, along with the newcomers Eileen, Happy, Kyb, nero, Rio, Chara, Onlywish, and shu. Rise, who was known as WonJaeLee while participating in Contenders, will also join the Charge.
All of the players in Hangzhou Spark are new to the Overwatch League scene, bringing in fresh talent for all of us to enjoy. The team meqmbers are Guxue, NoSmite, Adora, Ria, Bazzi, GodsB, iDK, Revenge, Krystal, and BEBE.
Paris Eternal is a team comprised entirely of European players, including SoOn and Finnsi from the Los Angeles Valiant, ShaDowBurn from the Philadelphia Fusion, and Contenders players Benbest, Greyy, LhCloudy, Kruise, NiCOgdh, HyP, and danye.
The Toronto Defiant is a mix of Overwatch League players and those moving up from Contenders. Neko from the Boston Uprising, Asher from the Los Angeles Gladiators, and Envy from the Los Angeles Valiant are on the roster, joined by ivy, Stellar, RoKy, YakPung, and Aid.
The Vancouver Titans picked up the full team of Runaway, fan favorites of Korean Contenders, as well as the player Rapel. The rest of the team is made up of Haksal, Hooreg, Seominsoo, Stitch, JJANU, Bumper, SLIME, and Twilight.
Ado from the Shanghai Dragons has now made his home in Washington, D.C., as well as janus, who was a member of the New York Excelsior and gido, who was on the Seoul Dynasty. Joining them are the former Contenders players Sansam, Stratus, Fahzix, Corey, and Hyeonu.
So now you know all about the new changes for the 2019 season, as well as all the rosters for the twenty teams. Now all we can do is wait in anticipation to see these teams in action. The matches start on February 14th, at 4:00 p.m. PST. See you there!