‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
The Esports Awards recognized Bwipo as Rookie of the year. That’s a fine choice in and of itself as Bwipo has been incredible for Fnatic in League of Legends throughout 2018. However, I personally think that JJoNak was more deserving of the award. There are two reasons. The first is based on definition.
What does it actually mean to be a rookie? Is it the first year in which you play a LAN event at a decent level or is it your first year of professional play? If it’s in the latter, then Bwipo played in the LCL in 2017 with RoX so it doesn’t make much sense to me that he’d be considered a rookie in 2018, though I suppose if you want to stretch it to 2018, it’s not completely unreasonable given that the definitions of these things are all sort of ambiguous and ambivalent.
Whatever the case, that’s mostly a technicality. The real reason why I think JJoNak is the rookie of the year is because he is better at what he did for his team relative to what Bwipo did for his. Bwipo is the top laner for Fnatic and the team has a rotation between him and sOAZ as to who plays that role. On top of that, while Bwipo is a star player for his team, he isn’t the primary star of his squad as I think Caps is.
As for JJoNak, 2018 was literally his first year playing in a professional game. He went from ladder hero to the primary superstar of the New York Excelsior. The entire team system was built around trying to enable JJoNak because he was the best player on the team. On top of that he broke open a completely new playstyle for a team as well as his own particular hero Zenyatta. Unlike Bwipo, there was no substitute option for him because there are no others even comparable to him in Overwatch League. JJoNak has to play in every game, whereas Bwipo can be subbed in and out.
Finally, while Bwipo is a great player, as far as I’m aware, he isn’t in contention for the best player in the world. He isn’t in the same conversation of players like Uzi or Rookie. In the case of JJoNak, I think he is literally the best player in Overwatch League for the entirety of it’s duration.
For those reasons, I think JJoNak is the rookie of the year in 2018.