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Lots of news is happening around the Overwatch League scene. Expansion teams have announced their full rosters while some big trades are happening. But none of them are as big as the one announced today via the San Francisco Shock’s Twitter account. That’s right, the San Francisco Shock have signed famous Tracer player Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon from the Boston Uprising.
One ingredient was missing… Until now pic.twitter.com/dhO5Rq6tGx
— San Francisco Shock (@SFShock) December 3, 2018
While the video itself might be a bit weird, the signing itself is undeniably huge for the Shock. They lost another great Tracer player to the Houston Outlaws (Dante “Danteh” Cruz) due to thinking that their star player Jay “sinatraa” Won was enough. But, it looks like Striker wasn’t a pickup they were going to say no towards. But who exactly is Striker?
Striker was the best player on the Boston Uprising last season without a doubt, helping them almost beat the Philadelphia Fusion in the playoffs. Mostly known for his amazing Tracer play, his Widowmaker grew into something fierce, even rivaling the best in the league. There was a reason he was heavily mentioned in my Boston Uprising piece. He was part of (and very important in) the infamous perfect stage and winning streak. The record of 14 wins in a row is still unbeaten to this day, and will be hard to beat now that the second season has less games. Within the Overwatch League community, he was in consideration for the league MVP along with eventual winner Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang and main tank Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek.
While Boston Uprising’s last stage was terrible in comparison to their second last one, Striker was consistently great. But, there were rumours of internal issues between club president Chris “HuK” Loranger and the coaching staff. Along with the rumoured troubles, Striker apparently demanded a trade away from Boston. While none of this was confirmed, this trade seems to confirm at least some sort of problems within the Boston team.
What does this mean for both teams?
This for sure makes the Boston team worse and the Shock team better, but the only issue I can see is playtime for Striker. With the current meta being three tanks and three supports, it might be hard to give Striker a lot of playtime. Similarly to Danteh, he will have to fight for the starting spot with Sinatraa. But, in my opinion, Sinatraa will flex onto the tank role while Striker will be their ace attacker.
Striker should be able to fit into the Shock roster skill wise, and clearly coach Da-hee “Crusty” Park sees Striker as a key ingredient in the next season. While the Shock team has a mix of American and Korean talent, his new Korean teammates have gotten a great addition to their team. He shouldn’t take too long to fit in, considering there wasn’t too many Korean players on the Boston team either.
But this does leave a massive hole in the Boston Uprising. Striker was the guaranteed best player on the Uprising, but now that he’s gone, does that mean that new signings are coming in? Or are Boston thinking that their current roster without Striker is good enough? Only time will tell.
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.