Olivia R. October 27, 2019
When an Overwatch League caster made a negative comment about mixed rosters, Philadelphia Fusion president Tucker Roberts decided to challenge his statement.
Caster Wolf Schroder took to Twitter to offer some harsh words regarding Paris Eternal's recent roster moves.
"Is Paris building a Korean roster? They have hired two Korean coaches now, and with Rush, probably Sp9ark1e to follow?" Schroder tweeted. "Would hate to see such incredible EM talent go to waste on a mixed roster where potential can't always be maximized."
He concluded that he was "cautiously pessimistic" about Paris Eternal's pre-2020 changes.
Roberts was quick to screenshot the comment and share his own take on the situation.
"LOL. Those mixed teams like San Francisco Shock never can seem to reach their potential..." he captioned the screenshot, a reference to Shock's continued dominance throughout the season, leading to winning the Season 2 championship title despite having a mixed roster.
Schroder didn't let Rush off that easily.
"I don't think Sp9rk1e's rumored signing and hypothetical potential with Paris and San Francisco's Shock's two years of development that led to an OWL title are related. I'd love to have a chat with you about it though if you're interested," he shot back.
Roberts responded that Paris seemed to be on a "similar path," referencing when Shock had first integrated Crusty, Architect, and Chihyobin with Sinatraa, Super, and Moth.
"I don't know what Paris has planned, but I doubt it's to 'waste' talented players and staff," Roberts said.
One fan stood up for Schroder mid-rant. They explained that Shock had put in time to allow their mixed roster to "organically grow." Meanwhile, Paris wouldn't have that same time leading up to 2020.
"Gotta start somewhere," Roberts responded.
Naturally, the argument continued onto Reddit.
One Overwatch League fan said that even some "really good players" falter when it comes to mixed roster environments. The ones that still shined, like Carpe's Fusion, had experience on a western roster before they were signed.
"I don't think Wolf's take is as absurd as others are making it out to be. Some teams really fucking blow at incorporating mixed rosters and one bad year can really hurt a players value and confidence," they concluded.
Another Redditor responded that Hyo-bin "ChoiHyoBin" Choi had "no prior experience on a mixed roster" before he was brought onto the San Francisco Shock. For this reason, he called Schroder's opinion "one of the worst takes in a very long time."
But an OWL viewer responded that Choi had all of Season 1 and the off-season to "get acquainted," noting that the Shock had under-performed during that time as they all got used to being on a mixed roster.
Overall, mixed rosters have had, well, mixed results in the Overwatch League.
While North America and South Korea have different playstyles and languages to work with, a lot of times the teams succeed with the right coaching and practice. Still, many OWL teams have opted into becoming all-Korean after poor performances in the league. It's unclear if Paris is deciding to do the same, or if they are planning to keep a mixed roster for the global 2020 season.