Content of the article: "Roster Overview and Discussion: London Spitfire"
Previous thread: APAC Megathread
Done with APAC, time for NA. This time instead of just kinda going through the teams randomly, I’m going to kind of go through teams geographically, northeast to southwest, starting with the London Spitfire and ending with the Los Angeles Valiant. Let’s start with Spitfire:
London Spitfire Departures:
- Entire 2020 Roster (Glister, Babel, Schwi, Although, Clestyn, Jihun, JMAC, BERNAR, Highly, Krillin, SanGuiNar, Fuze)
Notable Coaching Changes:
- All 2020 Coaches are released (Agape, Pavane, Twinkl, Sqix)
- British Hurricane GM Noukky becomes the GM for the Spitfire
- Revival and Delta Phoenix Owner reprize joins the Spitfire as Head Coach
- British Hurricane Head Coach fischer joins the Spitfire as an Assistant Coach
- British Hurricane Assistant Coach CommanderX joins the Spitfire as an Assistant Coach
London Spitfire Roster:
- Hadi (Rookie out of British Hurricane)
- Molf1g (Rookie out of British Hurricane)
- Hybrid (Rookie out of Team Doge)
- SparkR (Rookie out of British Hurricane, underage until June 10th, 2021)
- Blasé (Formerly with Houston Outlaws)
- Ripa (Formerly with British Hurricane)
- Kellex (Formerly with British Hurricane)
I honestly really like what London has done this offseason. It is clear that they don’t want to spend a ton of money, and their 2020 roster wasn’t getting them anywhere. Already having access to the most dominant roster in the history of EU contenders, it just made sense to promote this roster and let go of the old one. They likely will have similar levels off success, and the new roster offers up more opportunities for interaction with their European fan base. That said, this roster isn’t exactly poised to be the most competitive in the league.
First of all, let’s talk about the rumored ping situation. Some OWL players have allegedly leaked that both the London Spitfire and the Paris Eternal will be playing their matches from Europe. To prevent these teams from being put on an absolutely crippling disadvantage, they will be using the new ping equalizer system; essentially the teams playing the Spitfire/Eternal will be given “fake ping” to even out the match. There’s also rumors of possibly setting up halfway-point servers in Greenland, but this is both unconfirmed and unlikely, since it would be necessary to actually build new servers there. Either way, both of these teams are going to be at a disadvantage.
Despite supposedly being able to play on equivalent ping to their opponents, I’m more concerned about the mental toll this is going to take on these players. Last year, OWL matches in NA started around 12:00 PM Pacific time, the equivalent to 8:00 PM in London and 9:00 PM in Paris. These players are going to end up playing late into the night on high ping. Additionally, playing an entire season on high ping is going to be a nightmare and will undoubtedly take a toll on these players’ mental. I do like that EU is finally getting some decent representation in OWL, but I do not envy the positions these players are being put in.
Ok, let’s actually talk players. One of the most exciting parts of this team is the tanks. Hadi and Molf1g have the potential to be some of the best western tanks in the league. I do fear that Hadi specifically won’t be able to show off his skill as much due to the ping issues, but we’ll see how that pans out. Main Tanks were one of the few positions that teams seemed unwilling to have players play on ping last year, the most notable example being the Justice not fielding Lullsish last year even when Roar was straight up feeding. Overall though, an extremely talented tankline.
The DPS for this team are interesting. I don’t expect this unit to start out too hot due to them only having Blasé and Hybrid available at the beginning of the season. Both of these players fit the mold of “serviceable but not special.” Blasé can carry on Doomfist but that’s about it, and I’m really shocked that Dannedd did not get promoted with the rest of this team considering his skill and the fact that he hasn’t been picked up by any other teams. Hybrid is a decent Hitscan from EU contenders, but nothing special. A lot of people have simply pointed to his pickup as London simply wanting to have an actual British player. Things start to get interesting once SparkR becomes available. SparkR is a very high caliber western Hitscan, and I think this DPS unit will start to look quite serviceable once he comes in June.
Finally, the supports. Despite being the only part of this team consisting of OWL veterans, this is probably the weakest part of the team. Ripa is an interesting prospect and I do think he could do well. While he was on the Gladiators for an entire year, he received very little playtime and never got a chance to prove himself. Kellex is different though. I know he’s looked improved during his time on Hurricane, but I just can’t look past how painfully mediocre he was during his time in the league. I would love to see him get his redemption but I just don’t have confidence.
The lower-mid to bottom tiers of NA are a bit of an enigma. Vastly more so than the middle of APAC, there’s like 5-6 teams that I could see placing anywhere from 12th to 7th or higher. London fits into this category. This is a team that will be boom or bust. They certainly aren’t Titans-tier, but they fall short of the quality of a lot of the other teams. My bold prediction which I am probably going to get shat on for is that I think the Eternal will finish ahead of the Spitfire. I am really curious to hear other people’s thoughts on the Spitfire though, so feel free to share. I mean, that’s kinda the point of a discussion thread.
(And if anyone did read that entire wall of text, thank you! I felt like I had to go into length on the ping situation so it wasn’t nearly as concise as I definitely wanted it to be.)
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