In the weeks leading up to the start of Overwatch League’s second season, we’ll be introducing you to each team and updating you on their rosters, staff, and history.
The Shanghai Dragons have had it rough. A grand total of zero wins to forty losses in the inaugural season of Overwatch League solidified them as the worst team in the league. The off season was marked by a major restructure of the team: new coaches, new management, almost an entirely new roster from some of Contenders’ finest. And with nothing to lose, the Dragons are ready to take their crown.
Returning from the original roster are off-tank Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim, main tank Eui-seok “Fearless” Lee, and DPS Weida “Diya” Lu. All three were some of the best parts of the old Shanghai. Geguri is of course a fan favourite, known for her high sensitivity Zarya play. Though the recent patch might affect her signature hero’s playtime, Geguri might get the opportunity to play Zarya more often. Diya is the last remaining Chinese player, which might leave him a little at odds. The Dragons were reportedly hindered by the language barrier between Korean and Mandarin-speaking players so hopefully Diya has taken the off season to polish up his Korean. Fearless returning is no surprise: he was a good main tank, again hampered by the language gap between the tanks and support line.
All the new additions to the roster are Korean players fresh from Contenders. On the DPS side we have Min-song “diem” Bae, who will ring a bell with veteran followers of professional Overwatch. He played in APEX season 3, and is reportedly good friends with Philadelphia Fusion DPS Carpe (their names, together, mean “Seize the Day” in Latin). diem has clocked in many hours in Contenders China, leading Lucky Future Zenith to victories in two seasons straight before moving to Shanghai. Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang comes from Korean Contenders team Kongdoo Panthera, and before that played in wNv Teamwork, a Chinese organisation that goes as far back as 2016. Though on the DPS role, DDing can flex and is best known for his Pharah.
Also from Kongdoo Panthera are supports Seong-Hyeon “Luffy” Yang and Kyeong-woo “CoMa” Son. Kongdoo is best known for the stunning eight map series against Runaway in Contenders Korea season 2. Though they lost, Kongdoo gave an incredible match and Luffy and CoMa were critical in their near-victory. Flex tank Yong-jin “YoungJIN” Jin also joins from Kongdoo; the support and tanks will no doubt keep up their strong synergy with DDing. Last but not least is Joon-hwan “GuardiaN” Cho, appropriately playing off-tank. GuardiaN played for Toronto Esports, but was quietly benched during season 2 of Contenders when teammate crakinlakin took on the off-tank role. He’ll be competing with Geguri for playtime this season.
Apart from picking up most of Kongdoo Panthera’s players, the team’s new head coach is Seong-hwan “BlueHaS” Wi. BlueHaS coached Kongdoo to their successful run in Contenders and will join his team on the big stage. Chinese player Yan “creed” Xiao, of the now disbanded but highly successful team Miraculous Youngster, remains as assistant coach.
The simple fact is that any victory for the Dragons would be a good one. Their first match of the season will be against the Hangzhou Spark, a fresh-faced team looking to prove themselves – a victory here will be a good start to the season. It’ll all be uphill for Shanghai, working against their 0-40 record, and a whole host of new teams to beat. It will, at least, mean there’s nowhere lower on the ladder to go. With their mostly Korean roster, the communication issues should be solved. It’s also up to coaches BlueHaS and creed to ensure that the reports of burnout and overtraining from last season don’t repeat themselves.
Shanghai’s second game of the season puts them up against the Vancouver Titans, who are built almost entirely from Contenders Korea champions and rivals Runaway. It’ll be a game to watch closely, to say the least. Viewers should also keep an eye on matchups against the Washington Justice, where former Dragons DPS Ado moved after being dropped, and the Philadelphia Fusion, where Carpe and diem will see who can seize the victory.