As the Washington Justice change, their championship dreams remain
Washington Justice's live homestand in 2020
provided by Activision Blizzard.

As the Washington Justice change, their championship dreams remain

Roster changes haven't affected their confidence

No one can predict what will happen when the Washington Justice play this year, despite the fact that the 2021 season of the Overwatch League is almost finished. That lines up with their performance every season since joining the league in 2019, making them hard to pin down. However, the franchise’s roster has been in flux since its inception, and they have only started finding stability recently. With that goal achieved, the team said they believe they can win it all and put the past behind them.

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The team first ran rosters with players from many different countries of origin, and each iteration had moments of brilliance between those of mediocrity or abject failure. One of the best examples of this was their 2020 season. They finished second last in the entire league yet made a deep run in the final playoffs, finishing third in North America.

Then, in 2021, the Justice switched to an all-Korean lineup. While they fell short of reaching Hawaii for tournaments like the May Melee and Summer Showdown, they did finally qualify for the June Joust (only to bow out early and start the Countdown Cup with an 0-2 record). But, despite the inconsistency, Washington Justice manager Aaron “PRE” Heckman insisted they are striving for nothing less than a championship.

“We were hoping we’d be a bit better at this point, but the peaks of our team have been where we wanted them to be,” PRE said. He attributed the improvement to the players’ increased ability to connect with each other. In the past, their mixed-background roster couldn’t build the synergy they needed to win, PRE said. Now they all spend much more time together outside of practice in order to build a deeper sense of trust.

“For example, on The Fourth of July, we all went out to a local mall and watched fireworks,” PRE said. “Other times, we went out for Korean barbecue or got haircuts. The players have the apartments above the facility so everyone is close together.”

The Justice team playing together on Oasis
The Justice team playing together on Oasis. | Photo by Robert Paul, provided by Activision Blizzard.
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Author
Michael Czar
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.