One roster has only six players going into the first phase of the Overwatch League–the Florida Mayhem. Whether this is good or bad is up for debate and only the match results will give us a clear answer, but I would like to take a moment and carry out a thought experiment: if they had a 7th player, who should they have picked?
You probably wonder why consider only a 7th player and not two or three more additions. The reasoning is pretty simple. Given the fact that they don’t want to lock many spots before the end of the first season (the contracts are very restricting) and possibly pick up talent along the way, one more player will be enough to give their team a bit more composition diversity, keep some aces up their sleeves and maybe help cover some holes they currently have. The question now is transformed to: Which holes do they currently have they could fix without sacrificing efficiency?
One weakness, in my opinion, is located in their tank department. Manetten has been an off-tank specialist since his Luminosity Gaming days and he has been constantly getting better at his role. On the other hand, Cwoosh has been playing a decent Winston for sure, but he has not been tested against great teams on Reinhardt. Depending on the direction the meta will take, Orisa is another hero that Main Tank players could be required to play and is also a question mark. Before he joined Misfits, he was playing mostly Genji, DPS heroes and during the Tank Meta, he was specializing in Roadhog. On Misfits he was on Winston for 97% of his time, as the meta required. Interestingly enough, both of them are listed as Flex players and not Tank players. The team has no hardcore Tank players!
Countering Tanks has been a ground concept of the engagements for almost a year. Whether it is called Shield Wars, Draining the Matrix or Baiting Winstons, teams and analysts have always been focusing their attention on the players behind them and their tendencies. The latest grand example of that is GC Busan’s coach, Hoccury, reading Miro, main Tank of Lunatic-Hai’s and best Winston in the world for months, like an open book and exploiting his weaknesses to dismantle his whole team. Without the utility that Tank heroes offer and the way they manipulate space in their teams’ favor, defenses fall apart easily.
I still remember fondly Meta Athena’s run in APEX S2 that faced this very same problem with Changsik and Alpha. The first was top 3 Reinhardt at that time, but was quite terrible on Winston at that time, while Alpha was the direct opposite. That season was hit by 2 patches: one very early that got rid of the D.Va buffs, and essentially ended the Tank era, while the second was before semifinals, buffing slightly Winston and bringing D.Va back. They started with Alpha but he was fast replaced by Changsik, because the team required his Reinhardt abilities. In the semifinals though, Alpha was needed again and his team performed a lot better with him on Winston, despite losing the match eventually.
However, Cwoosh’s case is a bit different because he wasn’t originally a tank player, as you saw in his hero pickrate graph, and this is the crucial part. With the team having another Main Tank player available, he could be utilized as a Flex player combined with either Tviq or Logix, enriching the team’s DPS synergy. I know that most will bring forward Tviq’s versatility as an argument, but I don’t think that in the Overwatch League versatility will be the key to victory. Especially when facing teams like Seoul Dynasty and London Spitfire.
Supports right now can pretty much handle all the heroes in their category, given some time to adapt to their play style and the mindset transfers pretty well. Even the newly introduced Moira is a hero most Flex Supports can master. Concurrently, most DPS duos can cover all the heroes needed and will probably be added in the future. Only Doomfist, being a melee hero, requires a different approach but it will take some time before the developers get rid of his bugs and he finds his way back in the meta. I wouldn’t worry much about him.
Overall, it is my conviction that a player specializing in Main Tanks (Winston, Reinhardt, Orisa) would have benefited greatly Mayhem and this is the player I would look to add first on the team.