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It wasn’t enough for Canada to add just one Overwatch League team this offseason. Canada is so expansive that the Great White North needed two teams, so the Vancouver Titans joined the league alongside the Toronto Defiant and will look to flex their muscles here. Like many other teams, Vancouver tapped into the local culture by making their colors green, blue, and white, like the NHL’s Canucks and the MLS’ Whitecaps. They will look to make a bigger impact though by winning a title for the success-starved city.

Vancouver Titans Owners

The owners of the Vancouver Canucks also own the Titans. Aquilini Group decided to get involved in Esports by bringing an Overwatch League team to Vancouver, and since this is their first experience with Esports, they decided to partner with an established brand to show them the ropes. The owners struck a deal with Luminosity Gaming to manage the Titans, and their experience will give them more of a foundation than they would have otherwise. Luminosity fields teams in CS:GO, Call of Duty, Hearthstone, and other games in addition to Overwatch.

Vancouver Titans Roster

Rather than piece together a team bit by bit, Vancouver took a page out of other franchises’ strategies in their inaugural year. The Titans signed the entire roster of Korean powerhouse RunAway, and that makes them more of a contender in 2019 than other expansion teams.

RunAway has been one of the most successful Overwatch teams in Korea. They finished in second place in APEX Season 2 and APEX Season 4, losing a tense seven-game final to Lunatic-Hai in the former and GC Busan in the latter. Following the Korean exodus to America with the foundation of the Overwatch League, they finally broke through and won Overwatch Contenders Season 2 and the NetEase Esports X Summer Tournament. Now, they are looking to make their mark in the Overwatch League.

There should not be any real growing pains with this team when it comes to the games. This roster has been playing together since 2016, and they have fantastic chemistry with one another. However, it has been hard for some Korean players to adapt to life in the United States, so that could be an issue.

There is one person familiar to Overwatch fans on Vancouver. Hooreg spent much of last season on the London Spitfire before moving back to Korea to join RunAway in June. He is a very good DPS player, and is a solid Tracer, but he fell out of favor after a few months and needed a change. Hooreg will have something to prove upon his return to the league.

The other DPS players that will be joining him are Haksal, SeoMinSoo, and Stitch. Haksal specializes on Genji and Pharah, SeoMinSoo plays a number of tankier DPS options like Doomfist, Zarya, and Brigitte, while Stitch plays Tracer and is a hitscan DPS. Their ability to role swap could really come in handy in the middle of a map.

If there is a possible concern on this team, it’s the tank play. Bumper is going to be the main tank, but he is still relatively new to the role as he used to play off-tank and was occasionally a support. Jjanu is a D.Va main, and we are likely to see him on that champion 85 to 90 percent of the time.

The supports for the Titans will be Rapel, Slime, and Twilight. Rapel is a Zenyatta main, but he only plays sporadically. Slime and Twilight will be Vancouver’s two main supports, with Slime playing primary supports like Mercy, Lucio, and Ana, while Twilight mostly plays Zenyatta with the occasional Ana game thrown in.

Vancouver Titans 2019 Preview

If you’re looking for the expansion team that will make the biggest splash, Vancouver is probably it. The Titans are a sneaky pick to win the Pacific Division due to their chemistry, and many believe that it’s easier to win on this side of the league than the Atlantic. There are no language barriers or fit issues to overcome, and the Titans will be competitive from the jump. Vancouver should be a real contender in Stage 1 and I’d be stunned if they didn’t make the playoffs at season’s end.

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