Femme Fatale: Which OWL team signed first female player Geguri?
After an insane wave of Twitter speculation following recent comments made on Kim ‘Geguri’ Se-Yeon’s Twitch stream, which Overwatch League team will make history with the first ever female player to join competitive play?
Ready for the show
Kim ‘Geguri’ Se-Yeon has become a bit of an internet celebrity in recent years with her excellent win rate and gameplay ability on her patented hero, Zarya. On the Korean servers last year, she boasted an astronomical 71% win rate on the champion at the ripe age of 17 years old. One year later, Geguri is set to take the league by storm after announcing her signing to a ‘foreign team’ on her stream just last week.
This announcement comes with a caveat, though. Just which team exactly set up the groundwork to make this move possible? According to an official statement from Overwatch personnel, there’s been “no apparent contract” for a team to sign Geguri at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that negotiations between player and team haven’t already been under way.
Since the Overwatch League announced their free agency signing period back on the 22nd of January, a few teams have taken the initiative to pick up talent as Dallas Fuel announced their signing of Dylan ‘aKm’ Bignet a few days after. While some fans questioned the move on its face, there’s no questioning the level of value a player like aKm brings to the roster, and Geguri will be looking to add that same value to any team that does the honors.
Although players like aKm fill in their niche as a high level damage carry on any hero, Geguri brings a more stable, controlled focus to her game that is unparalleled by her greatest opponents. Her proficiency on heroes doesn’t stop with Zarya either. She has proven her skill in mechanical ability that surpasses anything she can do on just one role.
In 2016, while playing for a regional team, Geguri was accused of cheating in the Nexus Cup Korean Qualifiers for having aim that was deemed ‘not humanly possible’ by her opponents. But the officials at the Nexus Cup and Blizzard Korea both dismissed the case and confirmed that yes, Geguri is just that good.
The following year she went on to join ROX Orcas in an attempt to break into professional play in the APEX Tournaments to no avail as her team was not able to qualify. Still too young for the Overwatch League in November, Geguri would have to wait until she was 18 in order to sign for a team and live out her destiny as the first professional female Overwatch player.
Time to Excel?
At the moment, all roads lead to New York Excelsior when examining the factors at play. For starters, New York’s seldom struggles on a composition standpoint stem from them only having one true off-tank player in Meko. Adding a player like Geguri that can give you an insane amount of pressure on her unrivaled Zarya pick, and there’s little that NYXL will need in order to supercede all the other rosters as best in the league, if they haven’t done so already.
Adding to that theory, Twitter and Reddit found out that four front of house New York Excelsior managers, including the Head Coach, recently followed Geguri on Twitter. Geguri herself follows all the teams currently participating in the Overwatch League but it is believed that the connection to New York is at this point more logistical than it is cultural, as there were other Korean speaking options on the table.
If we’re to entertain other options, Seoul Dynasty wouldn’t be a likely fit due to their proficiency and depth at the Tank role. London Spitfire are at capacity with their players, so there’s no possible way they would be able to make the move. The only other reasonable expectations would be Dallas Fuel, LA Valiant, or Boston Uprising as potential candidates that could’ve done some free agency swooping, but the stars simply don’t align the same way they do for Excelsior.
Obviously at this point, it’s still too early to call exactly what move will be made, but there’s been enough deducing across social media to put a destination in place for Overwatch League’s first female player. Over the course of the split, OWL has done a lot to include more and more diverse viewpoints and insight from a variety of female commentators, and now this initiative to bring in a highly qualified female starlet to the fold as a gamer is furthering the cause of bringing on equality through gaming. Some fans have even gone to the lengths of bringing signs to the OWL with the words ‘More Women’ voicing their approval.