On Tuesday, the Houston Outlaws traded tank Myeong-Hwan ”Smurf” Yoo to the San Francisco Shock in exchange for DPS Dante “Danteh” Cruz. Below, our experts explain what the trade means for both teams moving forward.
The Danteh for Smurf deal is the first major trade of the Overwatch League offseason.
Danteh leaving the Shock doesn’t hurt them that much, and it has nothing to do with his talent. When he played he was one of the better DPS players in the league statistically, but he wasn't seeing much playing time for the Shock towards the end of the season as they settled on Jay “Sinatraa” Won and Minho “Architect” Park as their DPS duo.
This trade for the Shock gives them needed flexibility at the main tank position. After releasing David “Nomy” Ramirez, Matthew “Super” DeLisi was the only main tank left on the roster, so getting a player of Smurf’s caliber—he’s one of the better main tanks in Contenders—is a huge plus for the Shock.
For Houston, Danteh is the exact player this team needed. He is a tremendous Sombra and Tracer player, and can play many other heroes like Junkrat and Genji. His addition should give Houston the ability to put together the compositions they couldn’t assemble last year.
Regarding lineups, this most likely doesn’t affect Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin much, but I expect to see Jake “Jake” Lyon and Danteh split time in that second DPS slot, and that’s a better outcome for both of them. Houston was strong last season, and with this trade they have addressed their one main weakness as a team. The 2019 season should be a good one for the Outlaws.
Smurf came to prominence during Contenders North America Seasons One and Two, where he was one of the most celebrated players on OpTic Academy/GGEA and a key component of their success.
Smurf brings a great blend of mechanical skill and game sense to the main tank role when playing dive-focused tanks like Winston. He excelled at making already-great DPS players like Hugo “SharP” Sahlberg shine with well-coordinated initiations. Smurf’s ability to consistently survive engagements and maximize both damage and space creation in fights was nearly unparalleled.
Smurf was one of the very best at playing Winston, managing to get significant value off every Primal Rage—dazzling with near-impossible eliminations and smartly stalling for time in crucial end-of-map situations.
Simply put, Smurf was easily one of the top two main tanks in Contenders NA this year, and was one of the most sought-after players heading into the 2019 Overwatch League season.
Smurf’s addition to the Shock gives them a new, powerful weapon—he’s an excellent option for more aggressive, dive-oriented strategies. The Shock will have the ability to let Super specialize more on anchor tank play—Reinhardt and Orisa—while using Smurf on dive-tank situations—Winston and Wrecking Ball.
Smurf’s experience in enabling aggressive DPS players like SharP will transition well to the Overwatch League, allowing the Shock to run lineups that will maximize the talents of Sinatraa and Architect in dive-heavy situations.
Given previous precedent where the addition of a strong main tank can radically transform a team—see: the LA Gladiators and Chan-Hyung “Fissure” Baek last season—there’s good reason to believe that Smurf’s addition to Shock could be just the improvement they need to reach the next level in 2019.
Keep up with all the Overwatch League trades and transactions in our offseason player tracker.