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The last expansion team to cover is the only new European addition. Not only that, but they’ve decided to make a full European roster with it. Of course, I’m talking about Paris Eternal, sporting the iconic French Gallic rooster for their emblem. But how will this Overwatch team fare in their first season together?
Up until Feb. 14, I’m going to go over each team and what’s changed since the inaugural season. Each team will have its own article, going over which players and coaches left, and who has replaced them. After going over the changes and my opinions on them, I’m going to rate them much like I did in my weekly series last season. This rating will be a little more in-depth, considering I have more time than a week to look over the teams, especially the new ones.
But last time we had an only European roster in the league; they got second-last place and most of them got released. Will the Eternal fare better?
Damage players (DPS)
The DPS players for the Paris Eternal are Terence “SoOn” Tarlier, George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha, Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret, and Karol “Danye” Szcześniak.
First, let’s start with the two massive veteran pickups: Soon and Shadowburn. Most people know Soon as the star DPS player from the Los Angeles Valiant. Soon is a great Tracer player who developed a great Widowmaker and McCree throughout the first Overwatch League season. He is French, which will be the majority nationality in this roster, adding to future synergies. Plus, much like Shadowburn, he has experience on stage and under immense pressure. But as good as he is, he does have competition from others in this role.
Shadowburn used to play for the Philadelphia Fusion, being benched most of the season due to teammates outplaying him. He did impress when he played, but ex-teammate EQO worked better with Carpe, and he ended up being released after their season ended. People started to question Shadowburn’s skill. But his performances for Russia in the 2018 Overwatch World Cup seemed better than ever. Shadowburn mainly plays Genji, Pharah, and Zarya when needed, projectile-focused.
Next up is another French player, NicoGDH. He rose to popularity playing for Eagle Gaming, an all-French team in European Contenders that won it in their second season. Known mainly as a Genji player, he also played as D.Va on the French national team. Including Soon and BenBest, they all played together on their national team, with the same coach overseeing them. NicoGDH does have a good track record, but I can’t see him starting over Shadowburn unless there are synergy issues.
Last for DPS is the first ever Polish Overwatch League player: Danye. Before joining the Eternal, he played for the Copenhagen Flames in European Contenders. That team was mediocre at best, but Danye’s flexibility and good play for Poland at the World Cup impressed. Being able to play Genji, Widowmaker, Pharah and McCree, he seems like the perfect substitute.
The tank players for the Paris Eternal are Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait, Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen, and Finnbjörn “Finnsi” Jónasson.
The most popular of these three is BenBest, the main tank for team France in the 2018 World Cup and now for this team. He used to play for Young and Beautiful, a European Contenders team that finished middle of the pack in their two seasons with BenBest. As a main tank, he plays Reinhardt, Orisa, and Winston at a high level. He did play very well for team France in the World Cup too, even though they lost to team Canada in the quarterfinals. However, he isn’t the only main tank on this roster.
LhCloudy is a Finnish player who most recently played for Team Gigantti in European Contenders. He was the main tank that helped them reach top four finishes in both seasons, but he left the team before they won their first championship in Contenders. Also being a main tank, he plays mainly Reinhardt and Winston. The only question with him is if he will be played over BenBest or just used as a substitute like Janus from New York last year. Seems like the latter, but we don’t know who will be the substitute for sure.
The off-tank player is Finnsi, an ex-Overwatch League player who never played on stage. He originally played with Soon on the Los Angeles Valiant, but the other off-tank on the team kept the spot all season long. This season we will see him grace the stage, after practicing to be on it all last season. Finnsi is very flexible, being able to play Zarya and D.Va but can also DPS if needed. Even though we haven’t seen Finnsi play for a long time, this is a great chance for him to prove himself.
The support players for the Paris Eternal are Damien “HyP” Souville, Harrison “Kruise” Pond, and Luís “Greyy” Perestrelo.
The last French player in this roster is the only one who didn’t play for his country in the most recent World Cup: HyP. Before being signed, he most recently played for Eagle Gaming alongside NicoGDH. He helped NicoGDH and the rest of his Eagle Gaming team win season two of European Contenders before being signed to Paris. He is a main support player, maining Zenyatta and Ana. This is a great signing, but hopefully he can get used to the stage quickly with his European teammates.
Kruise is another interesting pickup, the only British player on this team. He is very experienced, playing competitive Overwatch since late 2016. Most recently playing for his country at the 2018 World Cup, he impressed on Lucio and Mercy, helping them reach an unexpected fourth place. Before that, he was on the roster of Toronto Esports in North American Contenders, helping them to a second place finish in season one. Kruise is a great pickup for the team, as long as he can communicate with his new team well.
Lastly is Greyy, the final person added to this roster. Very experienced as well, he has had two seasons in North American Contenders, playing for Houston Outlaws‘ academy teams. He mainly plays Ana and Zenyatta like HyP. But for a substitute, he has flexibility and experience as well as time in North America.
Starting team and prediction
The starting team for the Paris Eternal should be Soon and Shadowburn on DPS, BenBest and Finnsi on tank, and HyP and Kruise on support.
Before moving onto the rankings, the coaching on this team is very important. The head coach is the same from the French national team and from the LA Valiant: Julien “daemoN” Ducros. Along with him are Félix “Féfé” Münch from Eagle Gaming, Joni “Seita” Paavola from Gigantti, and Kyle “KyKy” Souder from the Dallas Fuel and Houston Outlaws. This coaching staff seems a bit mixed, but as long as they work together, they can surprise people.
Continuing with my rating system, I’m using the classic “out of 10” like I used to in my weekly reviews. Here’s a link if you want to read it, but it’s a bit different now that I’m grading teams based on how their team was built without any (or very little) game experience.
I’m giving this team a 6.5/10. The veteran additions of Soon and Shadowburn are amazing, but Finnsi is risky. The risk of making a diverse roster is communication, and the diverse coaches make it riskier (specifically KyKy and his past). BenBest and Kruise are very good pickups, and I can see them sitting comfortably. Playoffs will take a lot, but it is very possible.
Agree with my opinion? Think I’m completely wrong? Leave a comment with your ideas.
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.