Leave Wins 2021 Overwatch League MVP, Pelican Proclaimed as Rookie of the Year
The 2021 season of the Overwatch League is almost over, which means it’s time to highlight a few individuals who have exceeded everyone’s expectations — the MVP, Rookie, and Coach of the Year! To say that this season was an exciting ride filled with unexpected twists and turns would truly be an understatement. There were many issues sprinkled throughout, but the most important thing is that the gameplay itself didn’t suffer and that we — the fans, spectators, and media — got to see the best Overwatch teams in the world duke it out for a chance at making history.
And this particular season of the Overwatch League was packed to the brim with some of the best and most mind-blowing clashes we’ve seen yet! It’s good that things unraveled in such a positive way, seeing how most of Blizzard’s plans fell through because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, most of the teams competing stepped up big time — an important silver lining, no doubt.
2021 Overwatch League MVP | One Player Stood Out the Most
Many exemplary individuals have showcased their immense talents weekly, but one player arguably stood out the most: Xin “Leave” Huang, DPS extraordinaire and Chengdu Hunters’ biggest catalyst. To say that Leave blew our minds would truly be an understatement. This 19-year-old prodigy ran circles around his opposition and had made one thing clear: there are some new kids on the block and they want a piece of the spotlight.
And it wasn’t just a flash in the pan, either — Leave was able to push his team over the finish line consistently and had taken very little time to cement himself as one of the biggest frontrunners for the highly coveted 2021 Overwatch League MVP award.
It’s Not Just About the MVP
Atlanta Reign’s Se-Hyun “Pelican” Oh and Dallas Fuel head coach Hee-Won “Rush” Yun has also been recognized for their excellence and, well, no one’s all too surprised. The first time Pelican truly made the world take notice was back when Atlanta outclassed the two-time champions, San Francisco, to qualify for the June Joust, and he’s been growing at a steady pace ever since. There were many exceptional rookies this year, but the fact that Pelican got the majority of the votes tells you all you need to know when it comes to his potential and ability to hardcarry.
On the other hand, Rush has accomplished what a lot of folks deemed impossible: he made Dallas Fuel into a bona fide championship contender — and he made it look easy, too! We didn’t expect much (and neither did Rush, by his admission), yet this has been the Fuel’s best and most successful season.
They’re scheduled to face the Shanghai Dragons in a matter of hours, so make sure to clear out your schedule as that match-up has all the hallmarks of a historic barnburner!
Last but certainly not least, Dallas Fuel’s Yeong-Han “Sp9rk1e” Kim has been awarded the Dennis Hawelka award for his wholesome energy and willingness to go the extra mile in an attempt to entertain the fans and create a more inclusive environment.
“Since his Overwatch League debut in June 2020, Sp9rk1e has been just that—a vibrant personality, a paragon of good vibes. Those qualities have earned him the 2021 Dennis Hawelka Award for his positive impact on the community. While the past two Hawelka winners were recognized for their charitable contributions, Sp9rk1e has more in common with the inaugural recipient, Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod, whose extraordinary smile and charm lit up any room,” as per the official announcement. And, well, we couldn’t have said it any better!