In an effort to support Asia-based teams, ESM announced a new Overwatch tournament to test the competition in the off-season. The Shanghai Dragons, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, and Hangzhou Spark were all in attendance with fresh faces in their rosters.
The Overwatch League is currently in the off-season, and the Overwatch World Cup is the only professional Overwatch we’ll see this time of year. All four of the teams in the competition have changed their roster over the past few months, and getting to watch new players in action was a treat. One player that stood out was Ji-won “Stand1” Seo, a new tank player on the Shanghai Dragons for the 2020 season.
The first round of matches was a blowout, and it became clear who were the top dogs of the event. All of the changes that Shanghai made in the off-season so far has made them shine during the ESM Shanghai Overwatch Shanghai Masters Invitational, outperforming every other team by miles. Their first match against the Hangzhou Spark was disheartening for the opposition, who never seemed able to find a foothold. The Shanghai Dragon’s Jae-won “LIP” Lee, formerly an Overwatch Contenders Korea player, went toe-to-toe with the Hangzhou Spark’s Jaehwan “Adora” Kang, and proved he was the better Reaper.
The Guangzhou Charge and the Chengdu Hunters were fairly matched and it wasn’t as one-sided. Despite the 3-0 win, the Chengdu Hunters didn’t always have the upper hand. The Guangzhou Charge brought Ki-cheol “Cr0ng” Nam, Qi “Wya” Haomiao, and Alberto “neptuNo” González on to the team, and it seemed that communication was their downfall. For moments, the Charge would overtake the Chengdu Hunters, only to slip up and lose the point in overtime. With more practice, they could overcome these issues, but Nero and neptuNo having clear communication will be vital to achieving success with the Pharah+Mercy composition.
The final round was by no means close, showing the great potential for the Dragons next year. The Shanghai team has made serious changes in their roster for the better. The Chengdu Hunters were on a new level in this series, but were no match for the heat the Dragons were spitting out. Their only weakness showed when support player Jae-gon “LeeJaeGon” Lee got picked off early fights. Regardless, the Dragons are looking clean in the off-season and it can only mean good things for 2020.