The deadline is almost on us. All teams including expansion teams have to at least have eight players signed to compete. While teams like Vancouver’s are taking their time, the Toronto based team just finished their last announcement (for now). The Toronto Defiant have signed ex-Los Angeles Gladiators player Joon-seong “Asher” Choi as well as Korean Contenders player Joo-seong “RoKy” Park. They announced this just today (November 27, 2018) on their Twitter, along with confirming their full roster.
— Toronto Defiant 🖤 #RiseTogether (@TorontoDefiant) November 27, 2018
While they did misspell Asher’s name in the roster tweet, did they make a misstep by signing him or RoKY? Let’s take a look into their pasts and see where they can fit on Toronto’s roster.
Joon-seong “Asher” Choi
Asher is the third and last of this original eight roster who has experience playing in the first season of the Overwatch League. His time playing Tracer for the Gladiators wasn’t without it’s praise, winning player of the day along with his ex-teammate Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek back on April 6, 2018.
Even though his Tracer play is known to be top tier, the main issue why he didn’t see much play towards the end of the season was due to his flexibility. He was known for only his Tracer and McCree play. The dive meta fell through and fellow player João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles started to play well. He didn’t get any playing time and got released by the Gladiators at the end of the season. After a time where he was looking for a team, his play seemed to have interested the Defiant. His addition will add a lot of experience to a team with some players not used to local LAN on a stage. The only problem with him is the same one he got released for: flexibility. He is still a great Tracer and McCree player, but the upcoming meta require true flexibility.
But this is still a great singing for a team with some inexperience, as he is listed as a substitute. As long as he knows his role, plays well on the maps he plays and uses his free time to learn more heroes, this could be a great signing in disguise. There are a decent amount of highlights online of his great play in the inaugural season, and he has potential. With him also being Korean, it shouldn’t be too hard to cooperate with the team so far.
Joo-seong “RoKY” Park
RoKY is a very interesting player within the Korean Contenders scene. He is a flex support, with his main two heroes being Lucio and Mercy. With Lucio being prevalent in the current meta, he could be a powerful super-sub. Looking into his history in Korea, there are highs and lows. He rose to fame playing for Korean team X6-Gaming, helping them win the first season of Korean Contenders. He didn’t play as well in the second season, as X-6 got knocked out in the quarter-finals, but he helped them make the playoffs. RoKY then ended up switching teams for the third season, joining Korean team Seven. They didn’t make it through trials, so he got snagged up on my birthday, November 19th, by Korean team O2. Just eight days after, he gets signed to the Toronto Defiant’s roster as a substitute.
In terms of recent form, it seems that he tends to be falling a bit. This might be the reason why he’s a substitute over a starter, but his age (20) and his Lucio play might make him a prospect. He clearly has had experience on great teams (X6-Gaming) and is still young, so I can’t wait to see him play. Being Korean and having plenty of ex-teammates from 02 joining him into the Defiant, he should have synergy with the rest of the team.
The Final Roster
As mentioned in the tweet earlier, this leaves the roster with the minimum eight players needed. All these Korean players have something to prove. Fury and Asher wanting to prove that they deserve to be in this league, Neko proving that Boston was wrong to trade him. With all the rest, proving they deserve to make it to the Overwatch League from Korean Contenders.
Similarly to the Seoul Dynasty from last year, this team has a focus on one Korean team. With half of their team coming from 02, this team seems underrated. While 02 didn’t have a great recent time in Korean Contenders, the additions like Fury, Neko and Aid seem like major improvements. But unlike Seoul, they haven’t had full cohesion as a team yet. It might take a little bit of stage time for them to truly play their best together. Also unlike Seoul, their team hasn’t been great lately. They need to accept the role of underdog and play well as a team to have a chance to make it to playoffs this year.