It’s been a busy couple of days for NRG, the Bay Area-based franchise for the upcoming Overwatch League. Over the past few months, the organization has worked to finalize a massive $15 million financing round while also securing a new roster for the upcoming season. Yesterday, the preparation paid off in a high-profile reveal that immediately got the community talking. Everyone, meet the new NRG:
The first thing to note is how many famous faces have become part of NRG in the recent past. Marshawn Lynch, J. Lo, and Michael Strahan join Shaq in the roster reveal, but according to ESPN, the list of investors has now grown to include former Cleveland Indian Marlon Byrd, Twitter CEO Anthony Noto, and Sacramento Republic owner Kevin Nagle among others. They may not be the richest team in the Overwatch League—Cloud9 is nearing a $25 million investment—but NRG is certainly not lacking in star power on that side of the organization.
The roster itself, however, has come under a bit of scrutiny for the community. The final crew consists of dhaK, Danteh, babybay, sleepy, nomy, super, iddqd, and sinatraa—a competitive squad, but with the resources NRG has available, many believe that they settled for a sub-optimal lineup. While iddqd and sinatraa will be familiar to many due to their consistent YouTube and Twitch present, players like sleepy—who had to introduce himself in a TwitLonger yesterday—are largely untested products. For a team that recently employed both Seagull and Harbleu, it’s a noticeable step down.
The community seems to agree with this viewpoint. Canadian star (and former Danteh teammate) xQc railed on NRG for “downgrading” their roster. Former NRG coach Seamus Anderson criticized the team’s composition, calling out a lack of projectile-based skill between the players. Most discussions among fans go something like this, with the general consensus being that there are pretty good damage dealers and supports, but a lack of a strong team identity and truly top-tier tank play.
Since the announcement of the season opener and final franchises last week, the Overwatch League offseason has kicked into high gear. NRG suddenly has a lot to prove, and on December 6, the preseason will arrive to answer all of our burning questions.