In the most spontaneous offseason yet in the Overwatch League, Dong-gyu "Mano" Kim joins the Philadelphia Fusion. Mano was a staple for the New York Excelsior as the tank player since the inaugural season of OWL.
In the inaugural season, Mano and the NYXL won Stages 2 and 3 and was the #1 seed going into the postseason playoffs. They were the heavily-favored team to win the Overwatch League championship. However, they faced the Philadelphia Fusion where their run ended.
Fast forward to the 2019 season, and NYXL regressed a bit. A number of factors led the team to not win any championships that season -- the inclusion and dominance of the Vancouver Titans, the San Francisco Shock's rise to the top, and NYXL unable to improve and adapt upon the previous season. 2019 was a disappointing year for NYXL and its fans considering results from the 2018 season. During the 2019-2020 offseason, changes needed to be made to be back on top.
At the start of the 2020 season, NYXL performed like a fresh, new team in front of their fans at the New York Homestand. They looked like the NYXL of the 2018 season and they were ready to be on top of OWL again. Once the pandemic hit and the league switched to an online format, NYXL had to adapt once again, this time playing mainly against the likes of the Seoul Dynasty, Shanghai Dragons, and other elite teams in the APAC region. NYXL was close to qualifying for the Grand Finals, but Seoul Dynasty defeated NYXL and nixed their plans once again.
Mano joins the Philadelphia Fusion with a solid tank roster of Gael "Poko" Gouzerch, Su-min "SADO" Kim, and Jun-ho "Fury" Kim. Mano's signing with the Fusion established that the team is going to compete for a championship next year and beyond. Mano could possibly be the player to help the Fusion beat foes like the San Francisco Shock in the 2021 season.
As for the NYXL, they have a huge hole to fill in their roster. Their priority should be picking up elite tank players. They have a number of choices since the free agency pool is deep this offseason. Players like Tae-hong "MekO" Kim, Ji-hun "Jihun" Kim, Gun-hee "Clestyn" Cho, and Se-yeon "Geguri" Kim are up for grabs. They can possibly sign up-and-coming players from Contenders as well. Heading into the 2021 season and beyond, the rivalry between NYXL and the Fusion could be brewing.
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Writer @InvenGlobal | Freelanced at @overwatchscore @vpesports @GinxTV @Upcomer | Former CLICKON Media and Echo Fox.