Overwatch League 2019 Team Preview: Washington Justice

By Blizzard Entertainment

Washington Justice

Joined Overwatch League: September 2018

Division: Atlantic

Meet the Justice

We asked general manager Kate Mitchell to tell us more about the team:

What makes your team stand out from other sports/esports teams in your market? 

Justice is a universal value, and we hope to unite and inspire fans not only from the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas, but from around the globe as well. The special thing about esports is its global nature, and we represent a city that has welcomed fans from around the world to embrace its teams as their “home team.”

Success comes from building the kind of team environment where we’re greater than the sum of our parts. We’re proud to have a team and coaching staff with a diverse set of backgrounds, including players and staff from five countries, and trailblazing role models like Molly “AVALLA” Kim, the first female coach in the League. The outpouring of support from grassroots fans is what inspires us to succeed together.

What will your team do that’s special or original in order to connect with and reach fans in your home market?

Throughout 2019, we’ll host a series of watch parties, fan events, and other events across DC, Maryland, and Virginia to build a strong local fan base that will support our team as it plays at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, as well as build excitement and anticipation for when our fans will be able to attend matches at home. We’ve been thrilled by our incredible fan support so far and can’t wait to spend more time with them throughout the year!

What was the philosophy in constructing the team’s roster?

We trialed over 150 players from across the world when building the Washington Justice. We picked players whose performance showed the most potential, not only with their skill level but ability and potential to play as a unit and complement each other—our coaching staff works one-on-one with each player to bring out the best of their flexibility, chemistry, and coachability. Overwatch is fundamentally a team game, and talent only shines if it works well together. Personality was a focus—the eight players we selected are all great teammates with positive attitudes and a focus on learning and improving.

What are the specific expectations and goals for the team in the 2019 season?

The Overwatch League is the highest test of skill in the sport. We’re ready for the challenge and will look to compete and deliver exciting team play and demonstrate a strong performance for our fans as well as build excitement for our future home schedule.

Roster Analysis

Find out what our team thinks about the Justice’s lineup.

More: 2019 Roster

Keys to Success

Overwatch League analyst Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson offers his thoughts on what Washington needs to focus on this season:

  • The Washington Justice first picked up Hyeong-Seok “WizardHyeong” Kim and Jun-Hwa “Janus” Song from the New York Excelsior. With the self-professed genius who led the NYXL to utter domination during the 2018 regular season and a main tank on board, the Justice were set to build a powerful roster, only to pick up lower-rated players from South Korea and the US. The Justice’s primary key to success now is trusting that WizardHyeong can polish players from the Path to Pro. He has certainly talked the talk over the past year, and the NYXL’s results were excellent, but he now has a completely different challenge. He is backed by assistant coaches that are new to the Overwatch League (although fairly experienced in Contenders), and they will have to do work to shape up the roster.
  • Communication has to be the first issue to iron out for the Justice. They have signed a mixed Korean and American roster, and historically this has always meant that communication is handled in English. Split rosters like this have generally struggled with team chemistry early on, so the Justice must solve this issue if they are to move forward with more complex development.
  • Washington’s most experienced players are Gi-Do “Gido” Moon and Janus, talented players who have been on championship-caliber teams in the past—Lunatic-Hai and the NYXL, respectively. On these teams, Gido and Janus were role players surrounded by superstars. Now, as the best players on the Justice, they must become the stars, overcome their reputation as the supportive players on championship teams, and prove their worth as top-tier carries.
  • Two other players who must step up are DPS partners Gi-Hyeon “Ado” Cheon and Corey “Corey” Nigra. Both have been identified within their tier as players with potential, especially Ado in his games for Shanghai during the 2018 season. If Washington are to succeed this year, they need Ado and Corey to shine in a way we haven’t seen from them before.
  • Their final key to success in 2019 is playing the schedule effectively. Washington have an outrageously difficult schedule in Stage 1; they shouldn’t reasonably expect to win any matches until Week 5, when they face Paris and Florida. This is, counterintuitively, a positive for the Justice—it gives them four extra weeks of practice before facing competition they should be aiming to defeat; that’s when we’ll see whether they can be considered contenders.

Catch the Washington Justice in action in their season opener against the New York Excelsior on Saturday, February 16, at 1:30 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.