The Florida Mayhem have moved Korean projectile damage dealer Baek “Checkmate” Seung-hun to main tank after their poor performances this season.
After losing their first two games of the Summer Showdown, the Mayhem admitted to playing below expectations. They lost a close 3-2 match to the Toronto Defiant before getting swept by a surprising Boston Uprising squad. Surprisingly, the Mayhem tweeted out that due to these poor results, Checkmate will replace Son “OGE” Min-seok on main tank.
A mid-season competitive update from Mayhem HQ. Please join us in wishing Checkmate good luck in his new role this weekend! pic.twitter.com/kthc2JlhY3
— Florida Mayhem (@FLMayhem) June 30, 2021
“Dear Mayhem fans, there is way too much talent on our roster to accept poor results. We have been floundering after a great run in the May Meelee and needed to switch something up,” Mayhem GM Albert Yen said in the tweeted statement. “After assessing all the options available to us, we made the decision to move Checkmate to main tank.”
“Checkmate has been grinding tanks on the ladder since the start of the season and we have a lot of confidence in him to learn quickly. We believe this move is the direction we need to take the roster to get back on track.”
What led to this change
To put it simply, the Mayhem were a team fans expected to be a challenger for tournament wins this season. They were during their trip to Hawaii in the May Melee, but ultimately didn’t do particularly well in that tournament. After that, the June Joust proved to be a bad meta for the team, going 1-3 in the qualifiers. But, now in the Summer Showdown with no hero bans, fans expected the Mayhem to return to form. Then, two back-to-back losses against winnable opponents took that away. If they win the next two games convincingly, they still have a shot at the tournament, but their opposition is tough.
Yeh tweeted to clarify why this move was made: “Just want to be clear, OGE is not the sole reason for our underperformance as a team. He is still practicing with the team and we will be looking at ways to reincorporate him into lineups. We had one piece we could move around and did not see solutions in the player market.”
Ultimately, we didn't think taking a chance on a player with high ping would be more beneficial than having Checkmate step in.
— Albert Yeh (@yeHHH) June 30, 2021
The future of the Mayhem
Looking at the League’s history, moves like this haven’t ever panned out. From Kim “KuKi” Dae-kuk playing main support to Ryu “ryujehong” Jehong or João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles moving to main tank, previous player swaps just haven’t worked out for Overwatch League rosters. However, with the situation the Mayhem are in, this is their easiest option. As the Mayhem tweeted, Checkmate already has experience working with the team and has been practicing on tank.
The biggest issue revolves around the opposition they face. Checkmate’s first game on main tank will be against the Dallas Fuel, the best Western team. This is true trial-by-fire, and Checkmate will have to play up to, potentially, the league MVP in Lee “Fearless” Eui-Seok. This looks to be a band-aid on the gaping wound that the Mayhem have. We’ll have to wait and see how Checkmate fits into this Mayhem team on a brand new role. If Checkmate can lead them to better performances on main tank, the Florida Mayhem might not have a lost season.