With Stage 1 of the Overwatch League now complete, and with trades and player buys now in full swing ahead of Stage 2’s launch next week, we’re starting to see squads announce the newest additions to their lineups. The Shanghai Dragons are leading the Stage 2 charge with the signing of the OWL’s first female player, legendary Zarya main Kim “Geguri” Se-Yeon.
Much was made of the talent pool on show in the OWL at the beginning of Stage 1 when it was revealed that the rosters of all 12 teams were male despite there having been plenty of strong female talent available for drafting.
Geguri’s signing is a big step in the right direction for gender parity in the league, and rumours have swirled for the last few weeks that she was on her way to the bigs with the Dragons. Along with Kim, the Dragons announced a further three new members — 18 year old Zenyatta, Ana, McCree main He “Sky” Junjian, 20 year old WInston, Reinhardt, Roadhog main Lee “Fearless” Eui-Seok and 19-year-old DPS specialist Chon “Ado” Gi-Hyeon who frequently runs Genji, Pharah, Tracer and Doomfist.
Geguri’s been a rising star in Korean esports circles for a while now, her Zarya play so god-like that she’s been accused of cheating by numerous (male) players over the last year. She’s also been working on expanding her hero pool ahead of joining the OWL beyond her beloved Zarya to include D.Va and Roadhog.
To say that Stage 1 was catastrophic for the Dragons would be to undersell just how bad it was. Notching up a 0-10 losing streak was a devastating weekly blow to team morale, though they did start showing a marked improvement in their play the longer the stage went on. These new player acquisitions are part of a concerted effort within the Dragons to address “the core problems of the team.” The current hurdle is getting their four new stars to US to compete.
“They are securing visas and communicating league rules, as well as providing language assistance, professional education, and logistical support,” reads a prepared statement from the Dragons. “All members of the Shanghai Dragons will work together to help the four new players adjust to the high-intensity competition of the Overwatch League so that they can show their best form and level of play.”
The Overwatch League’s first new player signing window is currently underway. The window began on Feb. 11, allowing all 12 teams to make trades and sign free agents. The league rules state that any new hires must be 18 years old by April 5 and meet US visa requirements for them to be eligible for play this season. The earliest new players can actually play in the OWL is February 22.
Overwatch League returns for Stage 2 play on the very same day, February 22.