Hero pools has redefined what it means to be the MVP
Hero pools has completely changed what it means to be the most valuable player in Overwatch esports. While in season 1 and season 2, both Sung-hyeon "JJoNak" Bang and Jay “sinatraa” Won gained the honour of season MVP through their performance on a single hero, this is no longer the tool we can measure the most valuable player by. Instead, we have to consider meta resilience, consistency, what kind of a piece of the puzzle a player is to their team and how much value they can consistently create on the server. Because of that, the choice of the MVP has become as complex as it has become safe to make a selection.
While there are a plethora of factors to consider now, this has also extended the number of reasonably arguable choices and the justification for those has pushed into the forefront even more so. One could name at least a dozen of players without receiving significant reasoned pushback for the opinion. Rigorously applying our individual weights, here are the choices for GGRecon’s Overwatch League season 3 MVP.
Han-been "Hanbin" Choi chosen by Sebastian "Seb" Romero
Each regular season of the Overwatch League has a meta that defined its duration, the heroes, and compositions that players had to master in order to be the best. What happens, however, when the regular season is no longer defined by a specific meta, when you have to master everything in order to be the best? Well, you’ll just have to pick the player that is the best on everything. Someone who, no matter the hero, stands above their competition. 2018 had its support MVP, 2019 had its damage MVP, and 2020 will have its tank MVP, Han-been "Hanbin" Choi.
Hanbin currently sits above every other off tank in the league in all of the measurable statistics. First in Final Blows/10 min on Sigma, D.Va, and Zarya. First in Eliminations/10 min on Sigma and Zarya. First in Hero Damage/10 min on Sigma. Hanbin is a monster, he is a mechanical freak on every off-tank hero, and no matter the hero bans or meta, he is well equipped to continue dominating. In an era where your team’s players have to constantly adapt to what’s required of them, it’s the off-tank players that have the most demanding role this year, and it’s Hanbin who leads above the rest. Make no mistake, the Paris Eternal are serious contenders for the trophy this year, and it’s Hanbin that can lead them to that win.
Choi "ChoiHyoBin" Hyo-bin chosen by Joseph "Volamel" Franco
As someone who has rarely missed a game throughout the 2020 Overwatch season, as someone who is the cornerstone of their team, as someone who has the potential to have standout performances on a regular basis while also fielding the versatility to play a more supportive role when needed, there is one player in North America that fits the bill. Choi "ChoiHyoBin" Hyo-bin should be your 2020 Regular Season MVP. Since his days on X6-Gaming, ChoiHyoBin has been a pillar in the correlation between flex tanks and strong teams, and, since then that concept has only gotten stronger. Not only is his D.Va still one of the best in the world, but his Sigma has also remained a strong pick the Shock has been asked to utilise across the season as a whole.
While the eye test most certainly checks out, statistically speaking he sits near the top in almost every category. The Shock doesn’t look nearly as strong without ChoiHyoBin. Through all of the changes, this season has thrown at him, with how topsy-turvy the metagames have been, ChoiHyoBin remains bulletproof. He was your 2019 Playoff MVP during the Shock’s title win and, for my money, ChoiHyoBin should be your 2020 Regular Season MVP.
Byung-sun "Fleta" Kim chosen by Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch
It is no longer the case that you can become the most valuable player in the league by playing one hero to an excellent level and no role was hit harder by the hero pool format than DPS. Throughout season 3, top calibre hitscan or projectile DPS players had to wait for their time of meta-dictated relevance. Emerging from this chaos, only a handful of DPS players have disregarded the confines of the sub-role and have performed outstandingly on a range of heroes, from Mei to Tracer, and from Ashe to Echo.
Atop of them all stands Byung-sun "Fleta" Kim, the fire and flame of the Dragons who have grown into possibly the best team in the world alongside his reignited excellence. Fleta has only missed about two hours of the approximately 21 hours the Dragons have played this season. This isn’t because the team decided to build strategies around him but because there seems to be almost no meta he can’t significantly contribute to. A Shanghai Dragons composition starts or ends with Fleta, always relevant, always delivering a top tier performance on whatever hero is needed, starting ahead of some of the finest specialists in the game on his off-picks. With the same core strength from his deadlifter days, the Dragons lean on Fleta, and he can finally lean back into them too.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment