Overwatch League 2019 Team Preview: Shanghai Dragons
By Blizzard Entertainment
Joined Overwatch League: July 2017
The Dragons started the Overwatch League with a full Chinese roster, but went winless during Stage 1, reaching the decisive fifth map in just two of their matches. The team continued to struggle in Stage 2, again going 0-10 and suffering eight sweeps at the hands of their opponents. Stage 3 was looking like more of the same, despite bringing in roster reinforcements and changing up the coaching staff, but in a surprising Week 4 matchup with the Philadelphia Fusion, a suddenly spunky Shanghai squad forced a tense fifth map before finally losing. The when-will-they-win drama continued to draw in fans and generate attention as Stage 4 kicked off. Late in Stage 4, facing a beatable Florida Mayhem team and eyeing their best chance for that elusive first victory, the Dragons once again forced a fifth map before coming up short in a nail-biter. Shanghai went on to finish the season 0-40.
2018 TEAM STATS AND LEAGUE RANKINGS
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Find out what the casting team thinks about the Dragons’ lineup.
Keys to Success
Overwatch League analyst Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson offers his thoughts on what Shanghai needs to focus on this season:
- The Shanghai Dragons had an appalling 2018 season, but now, the only way is up. One look at their offseason signings should demonstrate that the Dragons are aiming way higher in 2019, scrapping most of their original roster to acquire the core of the second-best Contenders Korea team last year. Now that they have serious talent to work with, accomplished coaches Seong-Hwan “BlueHas” We and Chung-Hyeok “Levi” Jung should be able to craft a real team. Levi in particular is known for his creative strategies, so fans of innovation and redemption arcs should keep an eye out for the Dragons this season.
- Shanghai have also solved their communication issues from 2018 by pivoting into a (nearly) full Korean roster. Rather than trying to speak in a blend of Mandarin, Korean, and English, Shanghai can now make sure everybody is on the same page at all times. All the effort expended last season was totally wasted as they couldn’t overcome the language barrier, but this is a clean slate and a new start. There is Weida “Diya” Lu to consider, but it seems likely he will be integrated slowly, if at all.
- Even if Diya isn’t fielded often, DPS could be one of Shanghai’s strongest positions. Min-Sung “Diem” Bae is a mechanically talented player with a history of success, and Jin-Hyeok “Dding” Yang’s stints on projectile heroes ooze potential. Even though Dding spent a lot of his time playing D.Va over the past two years, he possesses one of the world’s best Pharahs and his Hanzo play is also stellar. Now that he is finally in a position to focus on those heroes, with Se-Yeon “Geguri” Kim or Jun-Hwan “Guardian” Jo taking over off-tank, Dding can be unleashed on his pocket picks.
- Tank lines seem to correlate most heavily with success in Overwatch, and Shanghai must ensure that theirs are up to the task. Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee and Geguri were not top performers in 2018 by any means, but from what we’ve seen in the past, they have the potential to be an above-average duo. Hopefully, with the parts around them functioning well, this tank line will match and elevate the team to a playoff-caliber roster.
Catch the Shanghai Dragons in action in their season opener against the Hangzhou Spark on Thursday, February 14, 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.