2016 is almost over, and we here at The Meta are celebrating by paying tribute to the teams, players and vague concepts that made it worthwhile. Our MVP awards will be ongoing throughout the holiday season, so check in now and then to see who and what we decided to shower with praise.
Do you remember the first time you saw Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangohod play? For me, it was at the Overwatch World Cup, in Thailand’s match against Singapore during group stages. So often, the intense focus and dedication needed to turn an ordinary human into a professional player of any stripe has a visible cost. Personalities tend to be muted; attention is turned inward. That’s why it was such an unexpected delight to watch Mickie, who brings so much charisma with him that it seems to rub off on his teammates.
While Mickie and his team were a delight to watch, they didn’t make it past groups during the Overwatch World Cup. He clearly made an impression with his tank play, though; after Ronnie “Talespin” Dupree left EnVyUs, the European team picked up Mickie to fill in their roster.
He did more than fill in, of course. Mickie’s D.Va play throughout OGN Overwatch Apex was nothing short of incredible. On top of excellent decision-making and target selection, Mickie demonstrated command of a very specific skill: he knew, seemingly down to the inch, the distance a D.Va mech set to self-destruct would fly, and the arc with which it would fall. Watching Mickie drop nukes into the middle of the enemy team over and over from max range recalled, to me, the ridiculous three-pointers Steph Curry threw all season. The first time it seems like a fluke; the tenth, it’s a supernatural ability.
From making a splash at the Overwatch World Cup to winning a premier tournament with a team he had just joined, Mickie’s epic journey this year cements him as our Overwatch MVP.