Carbon Series has been one of the most entertaining events in esports this year, and while there have been plenty of surprises, none were bigger than ’s acquisition of Hammers Esports’ roster early on in the tournament. Luminosity’s existing squad is now named “LG Loyal”, while the newcomers are going by “LG Evil”, complete with a green color scheme. It gets even better. Not only is Luminosity one of the first North American teams to have two active Overwatch squads, but LG Evil is leading the tournament with a record of 9-1. That’s no small feat with teams like Immortals and Renegades standing in their way, and it doesn’t look like they have any intention of slowing down. Here are a couple of reasons for why they’ve been successful, courtesy of their match against Renegades last week.
DPS: The gift that keeps on giving
Consistent and effective DPS is what pushes the best Overwatch teams to the next level. For LG Evil, that would come in the form of their team captain, . There’s never a round where Jake’s flexibility and precision aren’t called upon to get the job done. Whether he’s on McCree, Soldier:76, Pharah or Genji, he’s making plays and giving his team an advantage at every turn. If you’re prone to maining someone, it might be worth a few minutes of your time to see how Jake is so effective with so many characters, and how group composition affects character utility. Take this “Electric Cowboy” play, for instance:
LG goes into point B of Anubis with a triple tank variant featuring D.Va and McCree; two heroes with excellent zoning ultimates. With the enemy Reinhardt just a bit overextended, Jake throws a flashbang over his shield and melts him with the help of a Nano Boost. He follows that heads-up play with a zoning Deadeye that ends up getting him another tank kill. LG’s own tank positioning is so good throughout this push. Look at how stays by the bridge while and fan out to the spawn entrances. That’s how you attack a point!
If dive comps are more your thing, all you need to do is pull up some pro Nepal replays from the last couple of months. You’ll find plenty of triple DPS builds, Mercy play, Winston play and everything in between. LG Evil went for a 2-2-2 build in the following clip, with heavy emphasis on Orb of Discord and Jake’s Pharah:
Both sides had no tanks when it came to taking the point, which made having good DPS even more critical. Jake went after the right targets at the right times, and Train was there to clean up. Did you notice the Orb of Harmony at the start of the play? If you find Mercy dull, Zenyatta pairs just as well with Pharah. You don’t need to babysit her, which gives you more time to land some headshots.
As always, if you control space and dictate the pace of the fight, your team will do well in Overwatch. This goes double for certain maps such as Sanctum on Nepal, where the fighting space is compartmentalized and rather tight. LG Evil has already made quite a name for themselves with how they’ve been able to hold down crucial chokes and capture points with authority, like in the following clip:
After flipping the point, LG applies some pressure and moves the fight to the entrance with a good combination of ultimates in the bank. When Renegades opts to flank right, Train goes Whole Hog with a boost to clear the area, sending a couple of targets plummeting off the map. Even if there’s very little communication happening on your team, always keep your eyes open for opportunities like this as Roadhog. Environmental and proximity kills are some of the most effective in the game. They remove threats much faster while giving your support some breathing room.
One of the biggest factors to take into consideration when you need to free up some space is Nano Boost, as you saw above. A clutch boost can be the difference between putting a team down and letting them find their footing again. It’s also instrumental when you need to get in the heads of your opponents. Think about Reinhardt and what he could do during a payload fight. He’s strong already, but now he’s packing even more of a punch and swinging with reckless abandon. Watch how LG uses a boosted Rein to clear a payload for a 2-point hold on King’s Row:
While “only boost Rein” might be the mantra of certain ladder warriors, it’s not a bad idea on payload and control maps. At the very least, he’ll serve as a huge distraction and could force some mistakes. Just remember to take a second to see where your team is, who has ultimates ready, and how the other team is attacking. Never save your boost for too long as you can generate another in another few minutes.
Orisa makes her esports debut
One cool thing about Carbon Series is that they don’t play on tournament realms. That means if something goes live for you, it goes live for them. Renegades brought out Orisa for on Tuesday for shock factor, but they put her back in the closet pretty quick. Last night, LG Evil had Jake hop on the new tank for a little while and he had better results:
Anti-air from a tank? Yes, please. You can immediately see the added value she’ll bring to esports and ladder compositions. Immortals also had a decent push with Orisa when they managed to force Complexity off a point on Nepal:
What does the future hold?
Luminosity has been in the middle of the North American pack for some time. In 2016, they performed well in some monthly tournaments and qualifiers, but only had a couple flashes in the pan at majors. Their Loyal squad has the talent, there’s no question about that. is one of the best Zaryas you’ll find, and is a solid DPS player. However, they haven’t had the same luck at creating and pressing advantages that the Evil squad has. In fact, they’re an abysmal 1-9 in the Carbon Series right now.
Given that LG Evil has wrecked the tournament thus far, it’s going to be interesting to see if there will be any roster swaps or trades after Carbon Series. One factor could be Orisa, and whispers of Sombra being one of her perceived hard counters make us ever so happy. Fan theories aside, LG Evil is one of a handful of major teams making huge strides right now. This is just the start to an explosive 2017 that promises to keep Overwatch esports fans enthralled.