Overwatch League 2019 Team Preview: Guangzhou Charge
By Blizzard Entertainment
Joined Overwatch League: August 2018
MEET THE CHARGE
We asked General Manager Ethan Liu and Chief Operating Officer Eddy Meng to tell us more about the team:
What makes your team stand out from other sports/esports teams in your market?
Despite being a Chinese team, we have an uncommon vision of building an international roster—and currently have Chinese, South Korean, American, and British players on our team. Our business and operations staff also have a very international background. Quite a few people have said that this is our weak link, that communication issues will be difficult to overcome, but we embrace the challenge and are eager to prove the haters wrong!
What will your team do that’s special or original in order to connect with fans in your home market?
As one of four Chinese teams, we want to establish a distinct identity in order to differentiate ourselves—to cut through the noise. Hopefully, our fans have seen from the content that we’ve produced that we’re taking a fresh approach. We also want to have a grassroots presence in Guangzhou even while we’re competing in Los Angeles, to feed the hunger for the Overwatch League in our home market. But we don’t necessarily see our fan base as Chinese only—playing in Los Angeles in 2019 is an opportunity to reach English-speaking fans as well.
What was the philosophy in constructing the team’s roster?
We built our roster with three key things in mind. First, we looked for a core group of players who have gone through battles together as teammates. Then, we wanted to round out our core with talented players—from anywhere in the world—who buy into our vision of an international team and that fit our culture. Lastly, we took a long-term approach; we have one of the youngest rosters in the league because we sought out players who have room to grow.
What are the specific expectations and goals for the team in the 2019 season?
Our number one goal is not about the number of wins. Rather, it’s to build the right organization for sustainable success. In addition, we want to set in place an international culture from the start, because this will be our core identity beyond 2019. In terms of competitive goals, we want to be always improving and fight for a playoff spot.
Find out what our team thinks about the Charge’s lineup.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Overwatch League analyst Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson offers his thoughts on what Guangzhou needs to focus on this season:
- Korean team Meta Bellum had consistently high results throughout 2018, never finishing lower than a tournament semifinal. With their core carrying over to the Overwatch League as the Guangzhou Charge, expect a thread of strong synergy to be maintained between their support, tank, and DPS lines.
- Another benefit of Meta Bellum’s legacy is their approach to communication. While playing on the team in Korea, their players reportedly had access to English tutoring, enabling them to speak a higher level of English than would be expected of other Korean players joining the league. In a mixed-nationality team that has three mother tongues, this will be vital. As seen in the recent showmatch between the Charge and the Seoul Dynasty, Guangzhou have already developed a strong level of synergy based on this accelerated communication approach.
- Though much of this roster can be considered developing talent, it does also contain potential star players. In order for the Charge to have success in the Overwatch League, Jeong-Woo “Happy” Lee and Jin-Seo “Shu” Kim must live up to high expectations. Happy is one of the best hitscan DPS players to enter the league this season, with a lethal Widowmaker as his best hero, and Shu is a strong flex support who could make waves on Zenyatta. As long as the rest of their team is solid, these two players could be enough for the Charge to make the playoffs.
- The final piece of the puzzle is young Chinese star Yiliang “Eileen” Ou. Known for his performance on Team China at the 2017 Overwatch World Cup and his role as the primary DPS on Contenders China team LGD Gaming, Eileen is a flexible, aggressive, and mechanically talented player. As long as his English skills develop over the season, Eileen’s integration into the Charge will be a great boon for the squad.
Catch the Guangzhou Charge in action in their season opener against the Chengdu Hunters on Friday, February 15, at 8:30 p.m. PST. All 2019 season matches will be available live and on demand on overwatchleague.com, the Overwatch League app, our Twitch channel, MLG.com, and the MLG app.