Top 5 Greatest UK Overwatch Players

Top 5 UK Overwatch players


In this special series of in-depth articles, Esports News UK, in collaboration with the betting partner GGBET UK, delves into the stories, moments, and personalities that have left a lasting impression on the past, present, and future of the UK esports scene.
In the eight years since Overwatch’s release, many players from the United Kingdom have left their mark in esports history. In this article, Joshua ‘Jace’ Sharp shares their personal list of the five greatest players from our little island.

5. Jamie ‘Backbone’ O’Neill

Backbone is here at a well deserved fifth, being one of the best DPS in the UK for the last two years. Starting in 2019, his first standout result was winning the ‘Breakable Barriers’ tournament in the same year.

Following the nerfs to both Sigma and Orisa’s shield HP, Backbone and Indignation surprised the whole of Europe winning the flashops event. Known for his signature Mei, Backbone played a virtually irreplaceable role in London’s success on their patented rush comp. I’m sure Hadi doesn’t get anywhere near the recognition if Backbone isn’t there also.

Playing for the London Spitfire during season 5 and 6, Backbone also showcased an alter ego dubbed “BoneBack” when he made the shift to flex support for a few maps. The highlight of this was a performance against the Atlanta Reign where he found so many picks with the orb volley right click. It looked like JJonak reincarnated.

Backbone’s hero pool is wider than most give him credit for, able to play Mei, Echo, Zenyatta, Ana, Genji and Tracer all at a high level.

If a rush meta should return to EMEA soon, Backbone will be back breaking bones and crushing people with the best Mei play in the whole region.  

4. Harrison ‘Kruise’ Pond

Backbone wasn’t the first British player to showcase flexibility across multiple roles. Kruise acted as a DPS player with EUnited, the same team as Boombox, during season 0 of Contenders 2017. A year later, however, he announced a change back to support, citing shotcalling as a main strength of his. Following this return role swap he played for Orgless and Hungry for one split in 2018, before joining Toronto Esports, the academy team of the Boston Uprising, for the rest of the year.

In the second season of the Overwatch League, the number of teams increased and one of those was located in Paris, pitching themselves as an all European roster straight from the start. Naturally, Kruise was a perfect choice being announced as part of the inaugural roster alongside many great European players. With an expertise on Lucio, Kruise’s comms were known to be loud and direct; he was perfect to help lead a team during the infamous GOATS meta.

Whilst not having much success during the Overwatch League, Kruise was THE main support for team UK and one of the best in Europe for a good few years.

The impact of main supports can be often ,for the public eye, really hard to gauge, but I don’t think anyone could ever refute how much better team’s played when Kruise was their main support.

7Lions 2023 Team UK Overwatch
All of the players in our list have played for the 7Lions Team UK in past Overwatch World Cup tournaments

3. Isaac ‘Boombox’ Charles

Boombox wasn’t only the best flex support in the UK for a very long time, he was one of the best across Europe and North America.

Boombox got his start on Cyclone playing in Go4 Overwatch Cups, primarily in 2017, before joining EUnited in the final few months before the dawn of the Overwatch League. To say he was impressive was an understatement. Boombox’s Zenyatta was so good it earned him a spot on the Philadelphia Fusion for Season 1 of the Overwatch league. The omnic monk was more or less required in every team comp for the first few years of competitive Overwatch, and Boombox’s ability to find consistent kills with the right click burst damage on top of his mechanics really made him standout.

He was THE mainstay flex support for all three of his years with the Fusion, and part of that World Cup team that helped beat the USA in the world cup. The infamous GOATS composition relied heavily on its Zenyatta as a main damage threat – and Boombox was exactly that.

From the start to the end of his career, Boombox achieved so many top two finishes with a variety of rosters in a range of metas.

2. Kai ‘Kai’ Collins

Kai is not only one of the best DPS players from the UK, he’s been one of the best in his role since joining the Overwatch League. Known for his hitscan prowess, he can play Sojourn, Widowmaker, Ashe previously and even Soldier76 when the odd meta appears. Kai is so mechanically good. 

Playing in Europe’s tier 2 since 2017, the player (formerly KSP) played for Samsung Morning Stars and then NYXL’s academy team XL2 before the LA Valiant signed him for the 2020 season. Kai was a bright spot on an otherwise average Overwatch League roster.

Consistently great performances led to the Atlanta Reign securing Kai’s services for the following season, where he formed a disgustingly strong partnership with Pelican, who won rookie of the year that season. That 2021 grand finals loss was the highest the Reign and Kai achieved during his time in the league. Finally, after Atlanta decided to snap up the many Korean talents in limbo, due to the uncertainty of the APAC region that year, Kai joined the LA Gladiators to again be paired with the incredibly talented Kevster as the main DPS line.

Now playing for finnish org Ence in the European Region of the OWCS, Kai is still just as good as he was in the OWL if not better. Still alongside Kevster and reuniting with former teammate on the Reign Masaa, Ence at worst are consistently a top three team in Europe. As runners up in both EMEA stages so far, Ence and Kai are still looking for their first title win. 

overwatch 2 1
Overwatch has produced a range of top players in Europe, the UK and beyond over the years

1. Daniel ‘FunnyAstro’ Hathaway

Overwatch has been an active game now for over eight years, and since day one, a singular character has been arguably always meta: Lucio. The Brazilian DJ is fundamental to so many comps due to the incredible defensive utility the character possesses. This translated to early pro play, with Lucio players being an effective in-game coach and a leader, both macro-wise and fundamentally. It’s important to point out that FunnyAstro is still just as much of a shot caller as his previous Lucio predecessors.

What sets Astro apart is that he’s also killing the enemy Sojourn when the fight starts.

Astro’s biggest achievement is the near perfection of this aggressive playmaking style that revolutionised the way main support was viewed. Known for his ability on Lucio, it is absolutely FunnyAstro’s signature pick.

Before joining the Overwatch League, Astro played for the British Hurricane roster that had an impressive 2018, then in 2019 he joined Atlanta Reign’s Academy playing in North America Contenders and winning even more.

Finally in 2020, Astro was signed to the Philadelphia Fusion to be paired alongside Alarm with other notable talents, Fury Carpe and Heesu also on the roster. The Fusion ended fourth, losing to Seoul in the Lower Bracket Semi Finals.

Astro finally found success in 2022 after joining the LA Gladiators, winning the Mid Season Madness and Kickoff Clash tournaments.

Currently, FunnyAstro is playing with the old London Spitfire roster under SSG, effectively replacing Admiral as their Main Support. He continues to be one of the best Main Supports in the West still on his iconic Lucio.     

Closing Thoughts & Honourable Mention

This was a hard five to select. The higher spots are so contested and it feels unjust to leave some great names out of this list. An honourable mention to Fusions for their incredible Reinhardt and Main Tank play for the British Hurricane and Boston Uprising.

Once again thanks to ENUK and GGBET UK for allowing me to do this. If you want to read a full extensive document on the history of UK Overwatch, it’s right here on our website.

Stay tuned for more articles powered by GGBET UK soon, and see even more UK esports history content here:

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