The New York Excelsior unveil their 2022 roster.
New York Excelsior have released what is likely to be the final 2022 roster reveal. The five player minimum roster is so far composed of four veterans and one rookie. That one rookie of course is Min-jae “Kellan” Kim. Kellan is coming from Korean Contenders where he has twice now placed runner-up for the Korean Contenders championship with Talon Esports. The other three players joining NYXL one year veteran Young-woo “Flora” Kim are all fellow league veterans.
Young-woo “Flora” Kim is the 2021 rookie hitscan that set the Eastern Division on watch last season. He was often the player to make game changing plays, only to fall short due to New York’s attempt to focus on macro (team) play much more than micro (individual). New York keeping him for another season shows they recognize his importance for the team; and the players joining him are likely a support system to enable his play.
Jun-ki “Yaki” Kim is a Projectile DPS player who many forget has experience with the NYXL organization. For half of 2019, Yaki played in North America West Contenders on the XL2 roster — XL2 being the Contenders academy team for the New York Excelsior. In the 2020 and 2021 seasons Yaki played on the Florida Mayhem alongside Florida fan favorite Sang-bum “BQB” Lee. Playing alongside Flora means New York is set with a possible All-Star level DPS line.
Min-jae “Kellan” Kim is a well known Main Tank player in Contenders Korea. He's known for his high level of play on the two most played Main Tanks in competitive Overwatch; Reinhardt and Winston. NYXL have tended to start flexible Main Tanks on those two heroes at the least. Dong-gyu “Mano Kim and Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo are both former NYXL Main Tank players who are able to play all four of the typical Main Tank heroes.
It’s no surprise they want a Tank player that can play the two most common Main Tanks. But Kellan is not known to play much Orisa, Wrecking Ball, or any Off Tank heroes. In the new solo Tank meta, will a strictly Reinhardt/Winston player cut it? There's always the possibility that Excelsior are looking at picking up another Tank player, or training Kellan on Orisa and Wrecking Ball, but so far that's unknown.
Joining Yaki in New York from Florida is former Mayhem Flex Support Nam-jin “Gangnamjin” Kang. Gangnamjin is a tough player to assess. His individual skill is passable, and sometimes impressive, but in comparison to other players in his role, he provided less than exemplary preformances within his team last season. Not only does he have the expectation of helping return New York to their former glory, but he must also fill the shoes of 2021 team captain and four year Excelsior veteran Seonghyun “JJoNak” Bang.
JJoNak is known for many things; including being the first ever Overwatch League Champion, the most talented Flex Support of all time, and to some the greatest player in Overwatch League history. So how can Gangnamjin be expected to fill the shoes of such an amazing player? By giving the other shoe to another player.
Sang-min “Myunb0ng” Seo is a two year veteran who played two seasons with the Boston Uprising. The opposite of Gangnamjin; Myunb0ng was a player who stood out on a team of typically low performance. The slightly strange thing about picking him up alongside Gangnamjin is the two play the same role and heroes.
While it is odd for there to be no Main Support player on the roster, they aren’t the only team to build a roster this way. Having two Flex Supports gives both of these players the ability to share tips and information with each other that can fill in the gaps that will make them both higher ranked players.
Your New York Excelsior
We can likely expect Overwatch 2 to start a hyper offensive meta, using DPS and Supports to deal out most of the damage; seeing that Flex Supports are the Support type to bet on this upcoming season. It will be exciting to see which Support player picks up which Main Support heroes when new metas evolve in Overwatch 2.
Aside from that, we'll see if Flora is being kept on the team for his individual talent — or to simply fill a place as a talented damage dealer in a hyper offense meta. Lastly, the most unknown variable is Kellan. He may not be the most well rounded, and he may not have Overwatch League experience, but luckily for him, he’s beginning on an even playing field. A new game with a single Tank in the lineup means it’s up to him to determine his place as a team leader.
This year’s NYXL is no more certain than last year’s, meaning this team could be in for a very exciting, high energy roller coaster ride. Championship team or not, this is a team everybody will enjoy watching as they evolve.