With the Overwatch League stage playoffs coming soon, the teams who didn’t make the cut are starting to make changes. One of these teams who didn’t get in is the disappointing Washington Justice. They did manage to end their stage with a win against the Florida Mayhem, but that was their only win so far. It seems like the coaching staff has agreed to upgrade their current squad.
Yeonjoon “ArK” Hong has been traded from the New York Excelsior to the Washington Justice.
Who was he on the Excelsior?
Ark was their main support player for most of the inaugural season, switching towards the end with new teammate Taesung “Anamo” Jung. He was known for his great Mercy and Lúcio play, and was renowned for staying alive in crucial moments.
Even though he played well last season, he was switched off of the Korean World Cup squad for Anamo as well. To start this second season, he has gotten basically no playtime; only playing one map so far in stage one. For someone people know as a talent, it was disappointing to see Ark being benched, but that New York roster was so stacked. It seemed Anamo was considered more crucial to the team as a great shot caller and ultimate tracker. With his lack of playtime, it’s easy to see why Ark got traded.
Why would he join the Justice?
It is an interesting question to ask. Currently, the Excelsior are the second Overwatch League team in the rankings and finally achieved their first perfect stage. Without a loss, they are cruising to the first stage playoffs and are considered to be the eventual winners. The Justice, on the other hand, are third-last and clearly have issues. Their supports are inconsistent, and their team seems split with Western players and Korean players.
But this is where Ark fits in. Like new Justice teammate Junhwa “Janus” Song, he is bilingual. Plus, he does have previous synergy with both coach Hyeong-seok “WizardHyeong” Kim and Janus from last year on the Excelsior. Ark should be able to fit into the squad with ease.
How good is the trade?
For New York’s side, the worst part of trading Ark is the fans. They all loved his shy and smart speeches. He’s clearly an intelligent player and loved being on that team. But with WizardHyeong leaving, his friend Janus going with him, and being benched by Anamo, he must’ve been frustrated. New York Excelsior is losing a good piece, but they aren’t getting worse because of it. They just lose depth that they might need.
On the Washington side, this is a great trade. Their support line of Gi-do “Gido” Moon and Riley “Fahzix” Taylor can be good, but it hasn’t worked well so far. With Ark coming in, most likely replacing Fahzix, their back-line is instantly improved. Ark has crucial experience, is very smart, and is considered a better Lúcio player than a Mercy player. That Korean synergy with not only his coach and fellow teammate Janus but also Gido and Sansam is promising.
We’ll have to wait and see how Ark works on the Justice.