123, newcomers to the European elite, have removed offtank player kodaK from the team. 123 are making changes in an effort to continue their phenomenal rise upwards through the ranks of Overwatch and are currently trialling former Fnatic player Hafficool as their primary potential replacement.
123 bubbled upwards from the mysterious depths of the European free agent pool during Contenders, forming only a few weeks before the major tournament. Their qualification run saw 123 knock out NiP before falling to Movistar Riders, besting both in the groups and playoffs of Contenders Season Zero to finish second overall behind clear top team eUnited.
After multiple draws on the first day of groups, they eventually took first place over Movistar Riders and Cyclowns, two elite teams within Europe at the time. “We improved so much during the whole tournament,” team captain and star Tracer Mistakes said on their run, “every week we were stronger and stronger.”
“I also feel like if we will be more flexible with our comps, we can be way stronger,” he said, highlighting compositional versatility as a potential area of improvement for 123.
The individual skill on 123 proved to be excellent, particularly across their DPS duo of snillo and Mistakes. But due to the meta and the mixture of heroes played by the duo and kodaK, 123 was relatively predictable, playing a huge amount of Soldier: 76 and Tracer poke dive.
While the strategy was predictable, its success was undeniable; 123 was one of the few teams in Europe to truly become comfortable with the poke dive style - an incredibly powerful tool in the current patch. Nevertheless, 123 feels that part of their further development is broadening the playbook.
kodaK was the main offtank for the team, originally picked up as the sixth man when 123 were focusing on Reinhardt-centric compositions. After the wholesale change to dive, kodaK was limited in his impact by the meta and took on the mantle of full-time D.Va player.
That’s not to say D.Va is a low-impact hero right now - she definitely isn’t - but most top D.Va players are able to flex to meta DPS heroes for their team. 123 are specifically looking for a Genji player who can also handle D.Va. Though snillo and Mistakes have both played small amounts of Genji in 123, neither are truly comfortable playing it at the top.
“It takes a lot of time to learn Genji, because this hero is about experience and time,” Mistakes explained: “There’s not many players who can play D.Va and Genji at the same level so we were still looking for a good D.Va player but who can also flex to projectile dps if needed.”
LFT previously played for 123. RTs appreciated— KodakOW (@KodakOw) 16 July 2017
Hafficool is the current potential replacement for kodaK and has been scrimming with 123 in recent times. He is known for his time in Fnatic, playing D.Va throughout the triple tank meta of late 2016 as Fnatic went to the finals of DreamHack Winter and the semifinals of MLG Vegas. Prior to that, he was a projectile DPS player for NWA, specialising in Genji and Pharah, and returned to the rebuild in Contenders as NWA bowed out in groups.
This would be the first time Hafficool has joined a team as the set flex player. His hero skillset fits 123 but he still has to prove an ability to play DPS at this high level.
“123 is great,” Hafficool said on his new trial team, “the team has a lot of potential with really good mechanical players in every role and a good structure.”
Hafficool is the primary trial for the team but is not confirmed on the roster according to Mistakes. Top teams in Europe are now taking breaks due to the World Cup, making it slightly harder to test the strength of 123 against the top teams. The team feels good about their chances moving forwards, hoping to replicate or expand on their performance for Contenders Season One.
The new 123 roster is:
- Stanislav ”Mistakes” Danilov (DPS)
- Simon ”snillo” Elkström (DPS)
- Denis ”Tonic” Rulev (Tank)
- Jakob ”bock1” Kleveland (Support)
- Dennis ”Dennia” Forsblom (Support)
- Hafþór "Hafficool" Hákonarson (Trial Flex)