Overwatch League 2019 Team Preview: Vancouver Titans
By Blizzard Entertainment
Joined Overwatch League: September 2018
Meet the Titans
We asked analyst Harsha Bandi and Chief Operating Officer Trent Carroll to tell us more about the team:
What makes your team stand out from other sports/esports teams in your market?
We are most excited about the chemistry and history that players on our team have developed having played, for the most part, together as RunAway. The family mentality this group has developed is something that will separate us from other teams in the Overwatch League. We want to not only be recognized for team performance this season, but equally so for our team values, commitment to our loyal fanbase, and for our never-quit mentality.
What will your team do that’s special or original in order to connect with, build, and reach fans in your home market?
While technically a Vancouver-based franchise, we want the Titans to also represent the Pacific Northwest. United not only by geography—but by cultural influences, values, and lifestyles—the Titans will be a team that people from the Pacific Northwest region of Canada and the US can back 100 percent. With this in mind, we plan on conducting fan events and activities not only in Vancouver, but also in other cities in the region during the upcoming season.
What was the philosophy in constructing the team’s roster?
We chose to pick up the best team (at that time) in Korea for obvious performance reasons, but also because of the family mentality and loyalty this group has built together. We supplemented the RunAway roster with another flex support in order to be prepared should the metagame change throughout the 2019 season.
What are the specific expectations and goals for the team in the 2019 season?
Due to our lack of experience in the Overwatch League and the incredible skill level of other teams, we want to manage our expectations for immediate success. However, we look forward to growing throughout the season, and our final goal is to find a way to win the championship. Outside of team performance, we are really looking forward to starting this journey with our fans, and our ultimate goal is to make them proud to be part of the #ForceOfNature that will be the Vancouver Titans.
Find out what our team thinks about the Titan’s lineup.
More: 2019 Roster
Keys to Success
Overwatch League analyst Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson offers his thoughts on what Vancouver needs to focus on this season:
- Vancouver signed the most popular Overwatch roster of all time—and arguably the most decorated. RunAway were already a highly successful roster in 2018, when their players declined multiple Overwatch League offers, and now they are entering the league with a Contenders Korea title under their belt. This roster was already at a playoff level during 2018; their primary key to success is maintaining that form.
- The Titans’ players are meta-resistant and talented, but their biggest strength—and advantage over the competition—is their team chemistry. This roster has played together in some form since 2016, and through multiple role swaps, player changes, and meta shifts, they have learned each other’s styles and tendencies. It seems unlikely that their players would be anywhere near as effective outside of this roster, but together they seem to be an unstoppable force. Vancouver must keep that team synergy alive, as it’s the element that made them into world-beaters.
- Over the last year, these players have been big fish in a small pond. Contenders Korea had its best talent spirited away to Los Angeles to play in the Overwatch League, allowing RunAway to flex their elite strength. This year, they are going to be surrounded by the best players and teams in the world. Adjusting to that huge change of pace could be rough—or it could allow the team to level up even faster. The way the Titans react to the increased competition is up to them, meaning there’s a huge weight on the mentality of these players.
- Another major component that will affect the Titans’ chance of success is their ability to adjust to North American life. Many of these players have spent their entire lives in South Korea, grinding for success and focusing completely on their goals. If moving to Los Angeles this year is a culture shock or a distraction for these players, we could see a totally different team. Coach Yang-Won “Yang1” Kwon has followed the players from RunAway to ensure their team atmosphere carries over, but there is only so much of the hyper-competitive Seoul environment he can preserve.
Catch the Vancouver Titans in action in their season opener against the Shanghai Dragons on Saturday, February 16, at 4:30 p.m. PST. All 2019 season matches will be available live and on demand on overwatchleague.com, the Overwatch League app, our Twitch channel, MLG.com, and the MLG app.