The Shanghai Dragons have just recently entered stage two, and they’ve already run into multiple spots of bad luck. The Dragons entered the Overwatch League as somewhat of an unknown compared to the other teams, but they quickly gained a reputation as the league’s unluckiest team. As stage two starts, the Dragons will be looking to shake that off, especially with their recent acquisition of new talent. The question is whether they’ll be able to shake off that shroud of misfortune, or if they’re stuck in their role as the 12th-place team.
Stage one woes
The Dragons’ struggle began nearly immediately. The team looked their absolute worst in the early days in the Overwatch League, with fans criticizing them as being a collection of seemingly random gold players, boosted to the highest level of play. Rumors even circulated that the team was being abused in some way, leading to their tired faces and lackluster play.
Stage one was marked by teams stoking up rivalries and exchanging trash talk, but the Dragons were immune from these back and forth exchanges. In fact, teams seemed hesitant to punch down at the struggling Dragons.
Please, do not treat @ShanghaiDragons like that. They are a great team.— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) February 2, 2018
We second this statement from @Spitfire . They are indeed a fantastic team.— Seoul Dynasty (@SeoulDynasty) February 2, 2018
Eventually, the Dragons started picking up individual map wins, and occasionally looking quite strong but they have yet to pull off winning an actual match. Even the Florida Mayhem, the next highest team on the standings, have put in a stronger performance so far.
On the plus side, the Dragons got to attend a Super Bowl party hosted by the Philadelphia Fusion.
Dear @ShanghaiDragons— Philadelphia Fusion (@PHL_Fusion) February 3, 2018
We heard you’ve never been to a #SuperBowl party before. Time to change that! Please join us and the @BostonUprising watch the @Eagles #pdomjnate the @Patriots tomorrow. #FlyEaglesFly #OWL2018 pic.twitter.com/cZi24JEe3k
Stage two struggles
Stage two was supposed to be the turning point for the Dragons. They had signed new talent Geguri, Ado, Fearless, and Sky (three of whom are Korean). They maintained their existing roster, who had been showing signs of improvement. It seemed like the Dragons’ fortune was about to change.
Except instead, they ran into another spot of bad luck. The new additions ran into visa issues when trying to join the Dragons in the States. Lu “Diya” Weida returned home for a family emergency five days ago, and will be out of commission for another week. Finally, the Shanghai Dragon’s coach stepped down. Chen “U4” Congshan will be replaced by assistant coach Son “Kong” Jun Young temporarily while the organization finds a new head coach.
All of the above has been wildly unfortunate, and its tough to be a Dragons fan. In a seemingly hopeless gesture, Diya and Fiveking shared their thoughts, with Diya stating:
We are all responsible for the losing streak. You can say it’s because of the strategy or the roster, but in the end it’s because we are so noob. We truly owe you all an apology, but we’ve tried our hardest. I’m now truly lost and don’t know what to do. We want to win, but good strategies didn’t play out well. It’s just we are noobs. Our coach gets the blame every day and we feel bad for that too.
Fiveking’s statement was equally soul-crushing:
Sorry to disappoint everyone. Our desire for a win never changes, the same goes for Diya. We are currently not a good team, but we will keep working to become one.
It’s hard to be a fan of the Shanghai Dragons at the moment, but if things are going to turn around, now seems like the best opportunity for some real changes. The team will be joined by four new players in the upcoming matches, including tank player Geguri. A new head coach could help institute some major improvements. Everyone loves to see their favorite team win in the Overwatch League, but as the season develops, it turns out that it can be hard to watch one team lose again, and again, and again.