A lot of the Overwatch League highlight goes to veteran gamers, lengthy admired for his or her constant gameplay and epic pop-off moments. Yearly, nevertheless, a handful of rookie gamers—some from sudden origins—take over the narrative with clutch performs and a shocking quantity of finesse.
As many veteran gamers opted for a quiet retirement or a brand new problem elsewhere, new faces lit up the kill feed all through 2021. Listed here are six gamers who proved the following era has what it takes to demand respect from the outdated guard in addition to the Overwatch League’s most hardcore followers.
Oh “Pelican” Se-hyun
Profitable the 2021 Rookie of the Yr award clearly means he belongs on the prime of this listing, however Pelican was one of many yr’s most distinctive gamers no matter his expertise stage. Hailing from O2 Blast out of Overwatch Contenders Korea, he was one of the crucial hype signings that lived as much as—and past—that status.
Not solely did Pelican handle to be a standout participant on the Atlanta Reign’s roster for the whole season, however he additionally fought by means of a critical sickness to assist his staff out throughout their playoff run. After affected by a collapsed lung, Pelican dedicated to a cross-country street journey to make it to the West Coast, enabling him to play at an honest ping along with his teammates positioned in Hawaii.
With Pelican’s assist, the Atlanta Reign made it to the 2021 Grand Finals however ultimately fell to the Shanghai Dragons. Subsequent season, Pelican will likely be taking his expertise to Houston.
Emir “Kaan” Okumus
This European Contenders mainstay wasn’t precisely a family title to many Overwatch League viewers when the season kicked off, however quite a few clutch performs for the Paris Everlasting elevated him to the forefront of followers’ minds. Paris’ mostly-rookie staff had a spike in efficiency as soon as Kaan obtained his bearings and began Zenyatta orb-sniping DPS out of skinny air and hitting sleep darts that defied physics. He’ll be repeating these shenanigans on Paris in 2022.
Luka “Aspire” Rolovic
When a number of members of the Toronto Defiant have been sidelined with COVID-19, the staff signed Aspire on an emergency 30-day contract to proceed its season. Few individuals anticipated the Defiant’s last-minute alternative to do greater than fill a spot on the roster, however from the primary minute Aspire obtained on the server he made a mark on his opponents with astounding hitscan performs.
Although Toronto ultimately signed him to a full-time contract, he was dropped on the finish of 2021 because the staff pursued a revamped roster. There’s little or no doubt he’ll discover an Overwatch League staff to play for subsequent season, nevertheless.
Kim “skewed” Min-seok
Coming from little-known OZ Gaming from Contenders Korea, skewed was a signing that confused most Los Angeles Gladiators followers firstly of the season. With flex help famous person Kim “Shu” Jin-seo on the roster, many followers and analysts assumed he’d by no means see play time. When skewed picked up a imply Brigitte, nevertheless, he unseated two-time champion important help Grant “moth” Espe on the staff’s beginning roster. Skewed was one of many few holdovers the Gladiators will likely be taking into 2022 as they pursue glory as soon as once more.
Zheng “shy” Yangjie
Shy has been thought-about one of many wunderkinds of Chinese language Overwatch for years, exhibiting off his DPS expertise within the Overwatch World Cup and on groups like LGD and Bilibili Gaming. His younger age stored him out of the league for the primary three seasons, however as soon as he turned 18 the Hangzhou Spark didn’t hesitate to advertise him to its important roster. He was one of the crucial epic sharpshooters within the East Area all through all of 2021 and can possible repeat the efficiency subsequent yr.
Shin “PIGGY” Min-jun
To overtake its often-unlucky staff, the Houston Outlaws invested within the Talon Esports tank duo of PIGGY and Cho “JJANGGU” Myung-heum earlier than the 2021 season started. Whereas JJANGGU was additionally a standout rookie final season, PIGGY turned heads along with his constant and lethal Sigma play. His cheerful persona additionally made him a favourite amongst Outlaws followers, who have been overjoyed to see the staff could be constructing round PIGGY and DPS Dante “Danteh” Cruz in 2022.