We’ve seen a bunch of releases and free agents in the Overwatch League as of late. One of these agents has now been snapped up, though. Specifically, the Paris Eternal have signed Yeong-han “Sp9rk1e” Kim from the Element Mystic.
Paris Eternal is one of the many teams that has released players lately. Fortunately, due to the Contenders Gauntlet, a lot of relatively unknown talent has appeared. The Elemental Mystic is one such Contenders team from Korea that has bred talent in recent times, with Sp9rk1e being one of their best. His Doomfist play was strong, and his flexibility was top tier. No one knew where he would go this season, but most expected it would be the Korean powerhouse. Turns out, those expectations were wrong.
A sparkly curveball
Before even talking about how Sp9rk1e is as a player, this signing is massive for the Eternal. Nobody expected that the team that originally built their roster to be European-only would sign one of the best Korean Contenders players. Sp9rk1e joining the Eternal instantly makes the team better and more flexible. Plus, if Doomfist stays meta, this could be a signing that shapes the team.
However, this also runs the risk of making a coordinated team uncoordinated. With the players that are still on the Eternal, there is both a chance for Sp9rk1e to fit in well and for him not to. Another team that went full European and then decided to add Korean players were the Florida Mayhem, and that didn’t work well for them.
— Paris Eternal (@ParisEternal) October 24, 2019
Still, the Eternal are a fundamentally better team than the Mayhem, so this signing might work out.
Who is Sp9rk1e?
Since the start of this year, Sp9rk1e has gotten first or second in all competitions he’s played in. The only team he’s lost to in elimination format is the other Korean powerhouse, RunAway. His best character is Doomfist by far, and his play popularized the Sombra/Doomfist team composition. But he isn’t exclusive to Doomfist. Sp9rk1e is also known for being a very good Genji, Pharah, and Hanzo. Filing that flex DPS role is very important for a lot of teams, and he fit in the Element Mystic team perfectly.
But, now is the time to ask: will he work for the Paris Eternal? With all the new Korean coaching staff, it seems like they’re trying to fit the Koreans into their European core. However, Sp9rk1e thus far remains the only Korean player on the team. If they get more and truly make the team coordinate, it could be scary.
Much like the San Francisco Shock, it’s all about coordination. That team has a mixed roster of American and Korean players, yet they’re the best team in the world. If Paris can mold Sp9rk1e into a well-oiled machine, he could dominate the league for years to come. But if they don’t, this could lead to another exodus of European players on an Overwatch League team. Only time will tell.
About the Author
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.