Roots Of Overwatch: LIP's Unseen Cloudburst

Roots Of Overwatch: LIP's Unseen Cloudburst
Images via Blizzard Entertainment

Written by 

Joseph "Volamel" Franco

Published 

20th Dec 2022 16:00

Our roots are what ground us. Our roots are our start and the road to our end. Ahead of the 2023 Overwatch League season we're diving into the roots of Overwatch, examining some of its narratives, and how they're manifesting now. 

Overwatch is rarely surprised, especially with its talent. Someone stands out as a rookie and advances up the rungs until they hit the main stage. However, 2020 had one name that left an entire esports scene gobsmacked. Picturesque skies one minute and the next a torrential downpour. Then back to normal like nothing ever happened. That is the life of a cloudburst. And while the weather might be small talk, the meteoric rise of Lee "LIP" Jae-won is anything but small.

LIP shocked the world on his debut.

LIP is one of the most talented players currently playing Overwatch 2.

But was this always the case?

Before LIP was a name associated with success and DPS dominance, he was a quiet storm that approached the shores during his 2020 Overwatch League debut. But how did the consensus radar miss such a typhoon? Surely, we would have heard of such a formidable DPS threat?

 

 

Even for those who even remember BlossoM, they were simply a home. A place where talents like LIP, Lee "ANS" Seon-chang, and Park "ILLICIT" Je-min held court. What was once a promising Overwatch Contenders Trials team quickly advanced through the rungs ending up in Overwatch Contenders Korea Season 3. Paired off in Group A with the likes of RunAway, MVP Space and WGS Armament, BlossoM fell limp with a 1-4 record.

2018 was not a good year for damage dealers. Late in the year, the infamous "GOATS" metagame took hold. This popularised the triple tank and triple support style that became the norm for roughly the next year. This had explosive talents like ANS and LIP trading off Zarya duty for BlossoM.

While they seemed to thrive in Overwatch Contenders Trials thanks to the freedom to allow LIP to play some of his signature DPS picks like Cassidy, Widowmaker and Sombra, Contenders proper was much more limiting.

They were suited for dive metagames and an ecosystem that allowed their DPS aces to shine. And that's not to say they never tried to play to their strengths, but as the eye of the storm closed in around their strengths, BlossoM wilted.

 

The following year wasn't too much better for LIP and his flowery team. After such a low placing, BlossoM were relegated back into Overwatch Contender's open circuit where they climbed back into Overwatch Contenders Trials.

However, LIP and BlossoM would fall just short. With dreams of once again stepping back into the light of Overwatch League's second tier, they would finish right outside the cutoff of promotion.

LIP's last amateur game would be a 2-3 nail bitting loss to Meta Athena.

He'd go out on his shield, attempting to will map wins with his Sombra, but his effort would be in vain.

With little success in Contenders, BlossoM were a dice roll. They were a team that maybe housed some talent, but were Overwatch League franchises willing to take a gamble?

We all know how history would play out, but by far was this some stellar evolution from GOATS dropout to DPS powerhouse. This was likely always the case, LIP was hiding in plain sight, the game state didn't allow for LIP to shine just yet. However, that wasn't the only thing to shroud LIP's inevitable cloudburst.

2020's "Worst Generation" hid him from an early nomination for Rookie of the Year.

Names like the late Kim "Alarm" Kyeong-bo, Choi "Hanbin" Han-been, and even LIP's former teammate in ANS dominated the spotlight. The graduating rookie class of 2020 was one of if not the best the league has ever seen. 

While the wider Overwatch League world would fixate on marquee names, LIP had the freedom of an underdog. He was David fighting his titanic peers. 

We never saw him coming.

 

His history stands in stark juxtaposition to where LIP is now. Like a beggar turned billionaire or the bullied boxing their way to world championship, LIP isn't hidden anymore. 

He is a former world champion and three-time Role Star.

LIP is Goliath.

And all eyes are on him and the 2023 Atlanta Reign.

That's not to say he'll be hurting for talented teammates. Standing alongside tenured Reign staple Xander "Hawk" Domecq and former Seoul Dynasty prodigy Jeong "Stalk3r" Hak-Yong, LIP is in good company. The facts are, the Atlanta Reign look to be one of the most talent-stacked rosters this season.

And yet we're left wondering; what is left for LIP to reach for?

 

Storms, hurricanes, even tornadoes, each of them tend to lose steam as they march. LIP's devastation is on par, but with tangible hurdles in his path, can his performance in 2023 live up to the bar he's set for himself?

He's conquered the east alongside the Shanghai Dragons and was a pillar of their 2021 Overwatch League title run. The following year he was their only consistent threat and he still managed to assist them in earning their sixth-stage pennant and a playoff berth.

When you reach the highs the LIP has in his past, is it fair to hold him to that same standard when he's travelling to a new continent and playing in a brand-new system? No one doubts his potential, we've all seen his talent first-hand, but we cannot ignore the reality of the situation.

Things are different now.

The game is different.

What's expected of him is different.

From the first couple of tournaments until now, LIP has traversed every rung of the Overwatch ladder and 2023 presents perhaps his greatest test.

Does a crescendo have to end? That's what LIP aims to debate.

Is LIP the Dorothy of the Overwatch League? Because we're not in BlossoM anymore. 

By far are we forecasting some kind of drought or slump, but if there was anything we've learned from 2022 it's that expectations are important.

From Trials to the Overwatch League, LIP was one of the biggest success stories from 2020. And after three years of battling for the crown of the APAC region, he ventures west. 

Will this new look further fuel his hurricane or has LIP's cloudburst run its course?

Only time can tell. 

We certainly hope sunshine isn't on the forecast.

 

Joseph "Volamel" Franco
About the author
Joseph "Volamel" Franco
Joseph “Volamel” Franco is a Freelance Journalist at GGRecon. Starting with the Major League Gaming events 2006, he started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee, before transitioning from viewer to journalist. Volamel has covered Overwatch for four years and has ventured into VALORANT as the game continues to grow. His work can also be found on sites like Esports Heaven, HTC Esports, and VP Esports.
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