It was a historic moment in the Overwatch League as a crowd favourite won their first match ever. The Shanghai Dragons ended their 42-match losing streak with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Boston Uprising. The Season 1 of the Overwatch League saw 40 games go by without a win for the Chinese Franchise.
IT HAPPENED!!! #OWL2019
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) February 23, 2019
The Shanghai Dragons team did not have many western fans at the start of Season 1. After all, they had a fully Chinese roster and western fans could not relate as much with the players. However, as the season continued, the Shanghai Dragons team looked out of place in the tournament. They were unable to form any formidable strategies against top tier teams. Their coordination seemed to fall flat and it was very obvious in their movement. While on an individual level, there were players who could match up against the best in the League, their team chemistry was simply not at the same level.
Shanghai Dragons won their third match of Season 2 against Boston Uprising. They had a very coordinated impressive performance against the Boston team. This team for Shanghai is very different from their Season 1 roster. They don’t have a fully Chinese roster anymore. Instead, the team has nine Korean players with only Diya being the Chinese representative.
Shanghai Dragons seem to have found a solution to counter the current meta. Yang “DDing” Jin-kyeok used the Sombra to optimal effect in their victory. However, supporting him and ensuring that they altered their playstyle to match DDing’s position proved the team’s synergy. He was exceptional with the Sombra and enabled the Shanghai to dismantle the Boston gameplan. Ofcourse Gamsu also had a significant impact on the team’s morale and planning. Despite joining the Shanghai Dragons just a day before the start of the season, he has been instrumental to their success so far. One match out of three is definitely a success, especially since their first two opponents were two really strong teams.
We made a first win today @ShanghaiDragons. We were getting too much pressure from the losing streak. But, we will overcome and be a great team now.
— Gamsu (@GamsuOW) February 23, 2019
The victory means a lot for Shanghai Dragons fans as they have been waiting for well over a year. During the course of the last year, as Shanghai Dragons lost one game after another, they gathered a loyal following. Many Overwatch league fans were also Shanghai Dragons fans as the season 1 continued to be a winless season.
The Shanghai Dragons had to make an emergency trade with Boston Uprising days before the start of the season. With their main tank, Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee, out sick they needed a main tank player. Gamsu’s addition to the team definitely adds so much talent, experience and firepower to the team. This Shanghai Dragons roster is not the same as last season and hence it would be unfair to hold them to the same standards. After all, no one is bringing up the statistics of any other team from Season 1. However, it was a crucial mental barrier for the players to win their first match. It inspires confidence but more importantly, it lifted a lot of pressure from the team.
Sucks, not our best, but got a long season ahead of us.
— Chris ‘HuK’ Loranger (@LorangerChris) February 23, 2019
The Boston Uprising did not field Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth on their starting roster. It definitely raised a few eyebrows as he has been one of the best tanks for the team. A VPesprots report by Sascha ‘Yiska’ Heinisch for VPesports mentioned that the Overwatch League prevented Fusions from playing for the Boston Uprising. A technical clause in the League rules stipulates that a two-way player loses his/her Contenders eligibility for that season after playing in more than two Overwatch League games.
The decision to disallow him from playing against Shanghai Dragons was taken at the very last moment. League officials asked him to step off stage after he had already connected his peripherals. Many teams find themselves in a similar situation and there are talks underway of multiple OWL contract negotiations. These contracts will promote the two-way players into an Overwatch League contract. This would prevent a similar situation in the near future.
For now, Boston Uprising is the first and only team to lose to Shanghai Dragons in the Overwatch League. We hope to see the Dragons perform significantly better than last season. Their next match would be against Chengdu Hunters in Week 3. You can catch their action live on Twitch.