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The New York Excelsior have finally replaced their big departure this off-season. All-star Tae-hong “MekO” Kim was released last month, and the Excelsior have signed off-tank player Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi, formerly of the Guangzhou Charge, as the replacement.

Experience holds true

Hotba has been in the Overwatch League since it began. He started as the flex tank player for the Philadelphia Fusion, swapping places with Gael “Poko” Gouzerch on the roster. They ultimately lost the inaugural season finals to the London Spitfire. Hotba was then picked up for Chinese expansion team Guangzhou Charge, where he played the second season.

On that roster, he showed his flexibility, playing both DPS and tank when needed and proving his skill at the Overwatch League level. Even though the Charge didn’t do amazingly in their first season, Hotba was one of the brightest spots on a mid-table team. His play with Zarya and Tracer was always exciting as well as skillful. However, his future with the Charge was left up in the air with the massive off-season we’ve had so far. Now he joins one of the best teams in the league.

Will Hotba fit on the Excelsior?

In terms of pure position, Hotba seems like a small downgrade from Meko. However, his new teammates are arguably better and more consistent than his previous teammates. But on the other side, the pressure of filling the shoes of Meko might weigh hard on his shoulders.

Plus, from a talking standpoint, Hotba has been on two mixed roster teams and is finally joining a full Korean one with teammates he’s never played with before. Depending on how well the staff and other players integrate with him, this could go either way. Hotba could be a great replacement for Meko and keep the New York Excelsior fighting to win a championship. Or Hotba could be an almost unnecessary downgrade to a team looking to be contenders. We’ll just have to wait and see what Hotba brings to the New York roster in 2020.

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