Top 5 Free Agents Of The 2023 Overwatch League Offseason
Break out the chequebook, the five biggest free agents of the 2023 Overwatch League offseason have entered the chat.
If ever there was a buyers market in esports, the Overwatch League is going through it during their 2023 offseason. With widespread restructuring and developments causing uncertainty for Activision Blizzard's global Overwatch league, many franchises have haemorrhaged world-class players to the free agency market.
So who are the biggest names on the table?
In the hopes of being succinct, we're only going to be evaluating players who are coming off contracts for the 2022 Overwatch League season. We also will be limiting this list to players that have announced publicly their unrestricted free agency status as of November 21st.
With Overwatch 2's move to a single tank, it is more important than ever to secure a player that can do it all. Someone who is capable of piloting the entirety of the tank roster, both flex and traditional main tanks.
Corey "Reiner" Scoda fits the bill.
He has proven, during his rookie season no less, that he can be the centrepiece for many teams looking to rebuild their identity.
With over an hour of stage time across the likes of Winston, Reinhardt and Doomfist compiled with his past experience on Wrecking Ball, Reiner is subtly flexible. It is that versatility in this specific role that is going to be paramount as teams progress into Overwatch 2's future.
However, the tank role isn't the only position that has seen drastic changes with the move to Overwatch 2.
Jang "Decay" Gui-un is a polarising DPS ace that should not be ignored.
Overwatch 2 expectedly is much more focused on having strong damage dealers while also still requiring vast amounts of flexibility. Where Overwatch 1 was much more centred around strong tanks and supports, DPS have more room than ever to impose their will.
For his entire career, Decay has been able to play the entire cast of DPS heroes ranging from Genji to Tracer to Widowmaker.
While the 2022 Washington Justice did not have the most impressive season, Decay's statistical performance stands out.
When parsing through the Overwatch League Stats Lab, Decay ranks quite well for the 2022 Overwatch League season. Not only does he die infrequently, but his stats outrank many other DPS whose teams had drastically better seasons.
Even more impressive, Decay led the league in first elimination rate on Tracer. This is a proven success metric and is often directly tied to team fight win rate.
But there is still another role that deserves some love.
While the Overwatch world whinges at support, Kim "Shu" Jin-seo makes it look easy.
As a member of the 2021-2022 support role star class, Shu's statistical throughput is surprising every time you look at it. And when you remember he's been doing this since 2018, it's a hard deal to pass up.
With Overwatch 2's increase in lethality, supports are under high amounts of scrutiny. Shu not only is ironclad as a player but can provide consistent play-making opportunities from the support position.
While flex supports traditionally have been active in teamfights, it's become much harder to consistently have that same impact. However, Shu has not missed a beat in his transition into Overwatch 2.
Frankly speaking, Shu's level of talent is not easy to replace. You can expect most of the league to be very interested in potentially bringing him aboard.
Choi "Hanbin" Han-been is honestly a monster.
His Junker Queen performance was astounding this year. His Zarya statistics are otherworldly. Doomfist? Forget about it.
Hanbin has gone from silent all-star to MVP bound and it has not been overnight. Since his rookie debut, Hanbin has been one of the best tanks in the Overwatch League.
And he hasn't slowed down.
Landing a playmaker and someone incredibly flexible is already hard enough, but at tank? That's not only a rarity but someone whose worth their weight in gold.
While Hanbin did have to share stage time with his Fuel counterpart, he should be viewed as a safe bet. With Overwatch 2's early access open to the public, this gives professionals more opportunity to feasibly increase their hero pools.
Yet, Hanbin isn't the biggest free agent this offseason.
With two world titles and over five years of experience, Yoo "smurf" Myeong-hwan is the biggest free agent this Overwatch offseason.
Looking for a tank capable of playing the entire roster? Smurf does that.
Interested in building a mixed roster and aiming for a title? He's done that.
Imagine a roster built of primarily rookies with smurf as the veteran presence. Imagine smurf reuniting with the San Francisco Shock.
If any team has aspirations of landing an Overwatch League title and is in need of a solo tank, smurf is the answer.
We've seen smurf bare the weight of the tank position for the Seoul Dynasty's 2022 bid and that should not be overstated. Teams will be searching for someone identical to that.
This is your leading candidate to build your future around and Overwatch League should take notice.