Vancouver Titans’ Kim ‘Haksal’ Hyo-jong has claimed the 2019 Overwatch League Rookie of the Year award after a remarkable first season.
While Haksal is by no means a rookie to Overwatch, having played competitively since 2016, he had to wait until this season to join the world’s best in the OWL. The Vancouver Titans took full advantage of this, bringing him and the whole RunAway roster from Korea, and they’ve dominated.
Known for his Genji and Pharah before the GOATS meta, Haksal also revitalized himself as a top Brigitte player to earn the honor of being the Rookie of the Year in 2019.
Announced before the start of the Overwatch League playoffs, the Overwatch League tweeted "Introducing your #OWL2019 Rookie of the Year - @RunawayHaksal2!"
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) September 6, 2019
His stats for the 2019 season tell a story of how Vancouver were able to top the rest of the competition in all metas. His hero damage and healing on Brigitte was the top of the league throughout the season, helping keep his team alive and on top of the fight.
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Once role lock was enforced though, he dusted off picks like the Genji and again topped the league on final blows and fight win rate. It also made for many highlight worthy plays, like this Dragon Blade shared on the Overwatch League twitter, with the caption “Haksal doing what Haksal does best.”
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 26, 2019
Haksal also topped the player impact rating across all stages, with 123.42. The next highest in the Overwatch League was his team mate Seo “SeoMinSoo” Min-soo at 120.37, while the most impactful player from another team was the San Francisco Shock’s Jay “Sinatraa” Won with 117.94.
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The player impact rating tries to quantify how good someone is based off their stats as well as hero strength during any given patch. Given the average is having an impact of 100, Haksal had 23% more impact that the average player in the League.
The road isn’t over for Haksal though. Winning Rookie of the Year is a great personal accolade, but the Titans won’t be satisfied with anything less than a trophy in Philadelphia.
After finishing the regular season off with a 25-3 record, they enter the playoffs as favorites. However, they haven’t won a stage playoffs since stage one, even though they’ve been a top-two seed in all three stages.
Vancouver are currently playing Seoul Dynasty in the Overwatch League season two playoffs. The winner moving on to the semi finals, while the loser will have to climb through the lower bracket.
Keep up with all the action via our Overwatch League playoffs hub.