After the worst season in pro sports history, the Shanghai Dragons are dropping a majority of their Overwatch roster, as well as their head coach.
The Shanghai Dragons has released Altering，Freefeel，Fiveking，Roshan，Xushu，Ado，Sky and Daemin from their contracts with the team.
The entire SHD crew thank you for your dedications and contributions throughout the first season of the Overwatch League.
— Shanghai Dragons #TeamPacific (@ShanghaiDragons) September 2, 2018
This news is not surprising for most Overwatch fans, as the Shanghai Dragons had an abysmal inaugural year. They wouldn’t win a single match in the first year, going 0-40. It was embarrassing for not only the organization but for the Overwatch League itself. The league is supposed to represent the best players from all around the world. However, the Dragons would be anything but good.
There were a plethora of problems that would plague the Shanghai Dragons all year. First, we need to look at the roster. In the beginning stages of the league, they would field an all-Chinese roster, which wasn’t a problem. After all, they are representing the city of Shanghai. However, the collection of players they chose just did not work together. There wasn’t any synergy between the Dragon lineup, and it would show on stage. They would finally make a roster change with Junjian “Sky” He in February 2018. It wouldn’t make much of a difference. Their coaching would also seem lackluster, as even with roster changes, they would not find any success.
They would continue making changes to the roster, even signing four Korean players in Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon, Chon “Ado” Gi-hyeon, and Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok and Kim “Daemin” Dae-min. Unfortunately, it would a case of too little, too late for Shanghai, who would end up winless anyway. Now, what could they do to help their cause for the upcoming second season of the Overwatch League?
The only real way to solve many of these problems is to clear the slate and start new. The Shanghai Dragons management seems to have done just that, dropping almost all of their players except a select few. Lu “Diya” Weida, Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon, and Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok remain a part of the Shanghai team. It is smart to keep Geguri on the team, as she is a very talented flex tank player who only needs a chance to shine. She also has a large fanbase, that would probably leave if she would move on to a new team.
The rest of the players kept were also key to what little success they had over the last split. Therefore, building with some pieces would be easier for Shanghai rather than building right from scratch. The only surprising release would be that of Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon, who was one of the only bright spots on the team. He and Geguri would sometimes carry the rest of the Dragons, even though they would not win a game.
Additionally, coming in fresh with a new head coach will help establish a new environment for the team. This way, everyone is ready to overcome the shadow of season one and begin anew in season two. I would suggest looking at some more Korean talent for the roster. I would also deal with the communication issues within the team. Hopefully, the Shanghai Dragons can find more success in the coming year with this new lineup.
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Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.