Skip to TL;DR using CTRL + F to get basic idea of how these players should be looked at. Read entire thing if you want detailed information.
First off, let me get this out of the way. This team is 20th place. There's no real argument for otherwise. At best, if they were in the same region, they might be contesting with the Titans.
With that out of the way, let's get down to the players.
Some of the players on this roster are quite talented, and have been around in China for some time. If you've been around in Chengdu roster speculation threads back in 2018 offseason or 2019 offseason, you'll see names like Krystal, Molanran, and so on come up.
I'll be looking at this in four tiers.
- Players who have the potential to perform well enough that they receive an OWL contract for 2022 on another team.
- Players who can play decent Overwatch, but will be unlikely to perform to a level where they'd be given another contract in 2022.
- Players who outright shouldn't be in OWL, or players who had strong OWL potential, but due to a questionable role swap will likely be outclassed in OWL.
With that out of the way, let's begin.
Players who have the potential to perform well enough that they receive an OWL contract for 2022 on another team.
MoLanran (DPS, formerly T1w) – MoLanran has consistently been one of the strongest flex DPS in China. His best heroes are Pharah, Sombra, and Genji. Consistently, his Pharah has been the best in China, and back in 2018 while he and Jinmu were both in Contenders, he would consistently be the better of the two. In recent seasons he had an unsuccessful role swap to off-tank, and would swap back to DPS the following season. The difference was immediately felt as he was one of the strongest Genji's in the region during the Genji meta in 2020, and consistently was a leading factor as to why T1w would often be Team CC's opponent in the weekly Grand Finals. In addition, he has had impressive performances on Tracer, Hanzo, and the like.
MoLanran is individually very talented, and it is very easy to imagine him having a stand-out performance similar to that of S1 SHD's Ado, and bagging himself another shot in 2022 on Chengdu or Guangzhou.
Wya (FS, formerly Guangzhou)- Wya never really got a fair shot in OWL. Last year he was on the Charge, and not only was he plagued with visa issues that led to him never making it to Korea with the rest of the team, he was also behind Shu, one of the best flex supports OWL has to offer. Wya has proven in China that he is mechanically talented, and there were stray rumors going around of him performing near Shu's level in 2020 Charge scrims. As one of the few proven players on this roster, Wya definitely has the potential to properly make a name for himself this year, and bag himself a spot on a new team in 2022.
- Krystal (DPS, formerly Guangzhou) – By all accounts, Krystal should be in the tier above. Except for the massive baggage and PR suicide that comes with any normal Chinese team signing him. Contrary to what some on reddit might believe, Krystal's reputation in China is no better than in the West, and if Chengdu/Charge/Spark/Dragons were to ever sign him, the fans would be up in arms. We even saw some of that last year when Guangzhou added him to the roster.
Aside from the PR disaster, on an individual level, Krystal should be the best player on this roster. He will likely be the primary hitscan player as MoLanran is primarily projectile, and will be playing heroes like Widow, McCree, Ashe, and Tracer. He is quite strong on all these heroes (though a bit unproven on Ashe as he has not had much competitive playtime on it). If Krystal can keep his head down and behave for the entirety of 2021 without wanting to bail on a guaranteed-to-be garbage team, maybe that'll do some good to his reputation and convince one of the other teams to take a chance on this. Otherwise, I can't see him making OWL again without an incredibly extraordinary situation like this Valiant team was.
Players who can play decent Overwatch, but will be unlikely to perform to a level where they'd be given another contract in 2022.
ShowCheng (OT, formerly Flag Gaming) – Showcheng is a very special player. He started out his career on main tank on LGD Gaming, before transitioning to the back-up flex DPS player behind Eileen, and once Eileen went to OWL, became LGD's full-time DPS player. Eventually he joined Flag Gaming to middling results. In the most recent season however, he swapped to off-tank, picking up Sigma as fast as possible and being one of the largest factors in Flag Gaming's upset win over Team CC in the Grand Finals to become the champions of China. ShowCheng's Sigma is proven as far as Chinese Contenders goes, given that he won a season on it, but the fact remains that he has not extensively played any of the other off-tanks at a competitive level, outside of during GOATS meta in which he was the primary Zarya player for LGD.
If somehow ShowCheng ends up playing flex DPS for this team again, he is incredibly talented mechanically, being capable on Genji, Tracer, and especially Doomfist (having been the pioneer of Doomfist play in China back in 2017, and still one of the best ones China has to offer) and might have a chance at earning himself an OWL spot in 2022. On off-tank though, given the extreme depth of OWL players at this position, I can't really see him lasting past 2021.
Silver3 (MT, formerly T1w) – Silver3 is a middling main tank with some solid performances while he was on T1w.. In a previous discussion on him, I described him as "dollar-store Rio." He won't win you games, but he hardly plays in a way that should lose you games either. I suppose his advantages would come in the fact that there is hardly any drop-off in performance across his main tanks, being around the same level on Reinhardt, Winston, Orisa, and Ball. However, whether or not that "level" can keep him afloat among other OWL main tanks will have to be seen. I wouldn't expect him to be much better than the bottom 4 of OWL main tanks.
Players who outright shouldn't be in OWL, or players who had strong OWL potential, but due to a questionable role swap will likely be outclassed in OWL.
Highbee (MS, formerly T1w) – It really pains me to put Highbee this low, but unfortunately he has made (or been forced) to make one of the worst possible choices possible for a player in his situation—role swapping. Highbee is an off-tank. One of the best off-tanks in China, at that. If he was on off-tank, I would easily have him in the tier with MoLanran and Wya. However, he is on main support, a role he has never played competitively. He could very easily end up looking like the worst main support OWL has ever seen for the simple reason that he does not play this role. I can't tell you his proficiencies on main support, but if by some freak twist of fate he ends up on off-tank, expect solid performances on D.Va and Sigma. Otherwise, expect one of the worst main supports in OWL.
NvM (MT, last played in 2018 for LGE) – Honestly, if I could put a few more tier breaks between this player and Highbee, I would, but it's probably not practical. To be completely frank, NvM is not good. In the slightest. When he last played in 2018, he was actively donating ult charge to the enemy team and often was the first to die in fights. I would list his proficiencies but to be frank, in OWL he has none. I am fully confident in saying that if he gets any playtime over Silver3, he will comfortably be the worst performing main tank in OWL ever, even past Roshan. Ignoring his performances, the fact that he's hasn't played competitively in 3 years is also a massive red flag, and is probably a sign of things to come for this Valiant team.
Might make OWL in 2022: MoLanran, Wya
Can make OWL in 2022, but too much baggage surrounding them: Krystal
Can perform decently, but likely won't make OWL in 2022: ShowCheng, Silver3
Will likely perform poorly and should not make OWL in 2022: Highbee, NvM
- Roster Overview and Discussion: Los Angeles Valiant
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More about OverwatchPost: "An informed rundown on the LA Valiant’s roster, and what to expect as far as individual performances go" specifically for the game Overwatch. Other useful information about this game:
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