The roster for Team France hardly needs an introduction, even for casual fans of top-level western Overwatch. That is because Team France is player for player and role for role the same roster as Rogue, the team that could potentially be the best in the west.
Even for those who believe the best World Cup teams are made of the best players from their country as opposed to the best team, it's hard to argue for any different roster from France. The country is full to the brim with top level players, but none leagues above any player from Rogue. Maybe Overwatch Open hero Hidan? He plays the same role as Rogue's amazing support, uNKOE. Maybe prepare for the eventual death of dive and use Kryw at flex rather than NiCO? That would be preparing for something that may or may not happen, and would create a conflict of playstyles within the team. Maybe move winz back to his old flex role, put KnOxXx back to Lucio, and add in SuperPlouk at tank? This might work, but once again is preparing for a change that may not happen.
This France team is undoubtedly an upgrade to last year's quarterfinalists, a roster that only featured one player from this year's team, on a different role. In fact, this roster is probably neck-and-neck with Korea's roster as the favorites to take the title back to their home country, and here's where the storylines start to kick in.
Team France is one of five countries that is shipping off a full club team to the World Cup, the others being Vietnam, Brazil, Australia, and Taiwan. The only match Rogue has had with any of them was one with a massive ping advantage over Brazil Gaming House in a monthly melee. In fact, the only pair of any of these teams that have faced each other on LAN is Blank Esports and Flash Wolves. Rogue can prove themselves better than all of these teams in competition at the World Cup, rather than competition in a regular tournament.
Furthermore, France and the four other nations using club teams will be showing off whether or not their method is the best for national teams. If Rogue gets shutdown by Lunatic-Hai and Kongdoo Panthera at APEX, but defeats a Korean World Cup team made up of the best from these teams and others, what does that say about having a pre-built team that can scrim for both club tournaments and the World Cup at the same time as opposed to having a superteam for your country? If any nations from this group of teams wins, that will certainly be the storyline. However, if Team France loses to a team made up of players from teams that they regularly trounce in tournaments, what does that say about the advantage of superteams as opposed to club teams? What if France beats Korea in the final? Will that all but guarantee Korea brings the most recent winner of APEX next year? If that APEX team beat Rogue on their way to the title, will France be forced to change their roster or will they be content settling for second? This World Cup will certainly have a massive impact on all Overwatch World Cups in the future.
Much like what uNdeAD said about bringing a full roster in his interview about the China roster, we know what to expect from Team France. They will dive. NiCO will play Genji and sometimes D.Va, KnOxXx will play Winston, uNKOE will play Zenyatta whenever he can, SoOn will play Tracer (and maybe Reaper too after his buff!), aKm will player Soldier and Pharah, and winz will Tweet from the payload. They will be predictable, but they have no reason to not be predictable. What they have been doing has worked flawlessly, outside of Korea, and there is no reason to expect it not to work against 30 other World Cup teams. Many fans expect a final between France and Korea, and Team Rogu-France will be planning not to disappoint.
The Team France roster for 2017 is:
- Terence "SoOn" Tarlier (DPS)
- Dylan "aKm" Bignet (DPS)
- Nicolas "NiCO" Moret (Flex)
- Jean-Louis "KnOxXx" Boyer (Tank)
- Benjamin "uNKOE" Chevasson (Support)
- Michaël "winz" Bignet (Support)