Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
With the first stage of Overwatch League ending, I wanted to pick out the players I thought performed the best across stage 1 in the round robin and the playoffs. What made it difficult was that no team had a similar strength of schedule and the GOATs meta emphasized teamwork and coordination far more than individual skill. As that’s the case, it was hard to pick out players who stood head and shoulders above the others.
The criteria I picked was consistency, impact, and role within their team.
1 – Bumper: For my money, Bumper was the best player in the league. He was the polarizing player of the Vancouver Titans and the only thing bigger than his skill was his confidence. He was a player who consistently pushed the line when of aggression and put intense amounts of pressure on enemy teams. There were times where he pushed so far over the line that he became a feeder, but it was far outweighed by the amount of success he had.
2 – JJANU: JJANU was the best D.Va player in the league. His consistency, impact, and positioning seemed to be in a world of its own. There were times where he was battling Bumper for the title of best player in the Overwatch League. In the end, what separated JJANU from Bumper was how much further they separated themselves from their peers. Bumper proved to be in a class of his own as a main tank, while D.Va players like ChoiHyoBin, Ria, Fury, and Meko were all either close to or potentially better than JJANU as a D.Va player.
3 – Sinatra: Among all of the Zarya players, Sinatra has been one of the most impactful. His high ground position set the tone for how Zarya’s should position and his ability to charge gravs was probably the best in the league. His consistency, level of aggression, and damage output put him in the same class as other top Zarya players like Nenne or Carpe. What made me edge Sinatra over them was his stage 1 playoff performance.
4 – JJoNak: JJoNak is still in contention for best player in the league. Like Bumper, he was transcendentally great on his role as a Zenyatta player. While some players are close (notably twilight), none of them act as the polarizing star player of their respective teams. While he was exemplary during the round robin, his stage 1 playoffs was up and down. He went full god mode on Volskaya, but then made a number of critical mistakes on Rialto that costs NYXL the series.
5 – ChoiHyoBin: Among all of the players in the stage 1 finals, ChoiHyoBin had arguably the biggest impact. In the early parts of that series, San Francisco Shock barely survived and each time they were on the brink of death, ChoiHyoBin (with assistance from super) pulled out an insane clutch move to keep them alive. Overall he is my pick as the second best D.Va in the Overwatch League after JJANU and in the finals showed that he was arguably even better than his counterpart.
6 – Nenne: Nenne has been a godsend for the NYXL. A rookie to the Overwatch League, he’s already established himself as one of OWL’s best players. In NYXL he was either the second or third most important player (depending on how you rate Meko) on the squad. He was consistent throughout the entire round robin and if we were only judging based off of that, I’d have put him above Sinatra. What made him lose points was the loss against Seoul Dynasty. He pulled out a brilliant move to keep the NYXL alive in the third game, but in the fourth had the whiffed grav.