Around the OWL: Paris’ expansion team hold player trials, Washington signs first female OWL coach
Of all the recent expansion teams announced for the league, Paris have been unusually quiet for a region that is bustling at the brim with excitement for Overwatch League action in the region. After plenty of time staying dormant, sources have confirmed that Paris are trialing a mix of players from Eagle Gaming, Team Gigantii and have signed French Main Tank Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait as their first official player.
Washington D.C. continue to make waves in the industry as they have recently announced signings of Mikael “mkL” Skjønhaug and Molly “AVALLA” Kim, the former coach of Meta Bellum. AVALLA’s signing makes history as the first female coach within the league and her vast amount of knowledge and experience under the tutelage of Hyeong-seok “WizardHyeong” Kim will be pivotal towards the success of the team.
Paris pick up the pieces
While other OWL expansion rosters have hit the ground running with player and staff signings these past few weeks, Paris OWL have taken their time with player trials due to the Overwatch League Qualifiers and Overwatch Contenders: Europe Finals being held on the same weekend.
Now that most of the big time European players are not in competition, Paris have started developing their roster in prep for next season.
With their first confirmed signing of BenBest, Paris are making it clear which direction they want to take their team as they start to develop an identity. Since some players of Eagle Gaming have been getting trials for Paris, it’s clear that they want to stay true to their regional ties, but they aren’t strictly beholden to French nationality as a means of joining the team.
With that being said, players like Tuomo “Davin” Leppänen and Stefan “ONIGOD” Fiskerstrand have to be considered for a spot given their stature in the European Overwatch scene. If Paris continue to look for French options on the side of Eagle Gaming, Nicolas “NiCO” Moret, Damien “HyP” Souville and Lucas “Leaf” Loison are all viable options to look for given their performances in Overwatch Contenders this past season.
In the past few days, both Leaf and HyP have discreetly left Eagle Gaming suddenly for no specific reason. These departures give a good indication that they may be nearing a deal with another team and Paris might just be the team that could receive players of this caliber. While the timing of this news is a bit tempered given the length of time they’ve spent quiet, Paris could very well make up for that lost time if they continue building off the positive momentum of newer signings.
Washington OWL blazes a new trail
Weeks after their announcement of signing Head Coach WizardHyeong to the roster, Washington D.C. are packing on the knowledge in numbers as both AVALLA and mkL join the coaching ranks.
AVALLA has paved her way through the scene working under numerous organizations in South Korea and abroad. As an Assistant Coach, she has helped two different teams to third place finishes in their region, taking Meta Bellum and GG Esports Academy to respectful finishes during her tenure.
mkL is also a sound veteran of the Overwatch coaching scene as he has worked for eight different organizations in his three years as an analyst and Assistant Coach. mkL’s addition to this roster will be crucial to the team as he helps the western players of Washington OWL adapt to the coaching structure that WizardHyeong has set out for them.
With this three pronged approach to coaching on this team, the stability for Washington D.C. will be high right out of the gate, and every safeguard will be necessary as the race for playoff spots begins early during the Overwatch League.