With Overwatch League teams dropping the majority of their rosters left and right, the 2020 offseason is proving to be the most significant in league history. Not even the Shanghai Dragons were able to bypass the trend, as the Chinese organization announced that it would be parting ways with five of its players.
The end of an era
None of the releases struck a nerve as much as that of Geguri. Geguri is a famous tank player, best known for being the first female pro in the Overwatch League.
She first gained international recognition while playing on the Korean regional scene, best noted for her skill with Zarya in the early days of Overwatch. She was so good at the game that several opponents accused her of cheating, prompting her to create a video to clear her of any wrongdoing.
Geguri joined the struggling Shanghai Dragons during the teams’ infamous inaugural season. Despite coming close on a couple of occasions, the lineup failed to win a single series in its first season of the OWL, finishing with a 0-40 record.
Despite being such a prominent face on the Dragons, Geguri hasn’t seen much stage time, with Jun-woo “Void” Kang starting as the preferred Off-Tank throughout most of the year.
Another fan-favorite whose release was met with disappointment is Diya. The DPS player was another member of the Dragon’s inaugural roster and remained as the only Chinese player on the team later on. During last season, he played on a two-way contract for Shanghai Dragons and for their academy team Team CC, spending the vast majority of the season with the latter.
Diem, Luffy, and DDing all joined the Dragons heading into the 2019 season. The additions steered Shanghai in the right direction, culminating in a Stage 3 playoff victory over the San Francisco Shock.
What does the future hold?
All of the players released by the Dragons have stated their intentions to continue with their professional Overwatch careers. Although the meta has shifted away from Geguri’s style of play, her massive fanbase, and inspirational story could be a huge addition to any OWL team.
Despite most of the released players have had limited playing time, their talent is undeniable. Diem in particular is considered to be one of the best Widowmakers in the history of Overwatch, winning the All Stars Widowmaker 1v1 event not once, but twice.
The Shanghai Dragons themselves are coming off of an incredible season. The team won two regional titles in 2020 and ended the season with an incredible 27-2 record in the APAC region. Ultimately, they finished the season in 3rd place at the OWL Grand Finals, falling to the Seoul Dynasty in the lower bracket finals.
Shanghai is now sitting at only seven players on its roster, but with arguably the strongest core in the league. Although nothing is certain in the current OWL ecosystem, the team has plenty of time to fill out its roster for the upcoming 2021 season.