Around the OWL: Hangzhou Spark make signings, ATL Academy leaked
The Hangzhou Spark have wasted little time after their branding reveal last week. The Chinese organization have officially announced their core lineup with eight players and three coaches formally announced. Of those eight players, tank duo Jeong “NoSmite Da-un and Xu “Guxue” Qiulin will have the biggest expectations to fill coming into the 2019 year. Hangzhou Spark have opted for a heavy Korean roster with a few players that have spent time in the Chinese Contenders scene, a nice touch considering their bicultural coaching staff and player base.
The Atlanta Academy roster was also inadvertently leaked alongside other North American Contenders teams through the Overwatch Contenders official website this week. Atlanta Academy have seemingly paired up with Last Night’s Leftovers as the rebrand for one of the most interesting semi-pro teams in Overwatch finds a new home.
Meet the Sparks
Hangzhou Spark have hit the ground running at a blistering pace. With their branding and logo winning over a majority of fans after last week, Hangzhou have decided to follow up that positive momentum with a six man roster update to keep fans at the edge of their seat.
While most of these players are relatively unknown quantities, hailing from lower seeded teams in the Korean scene, the potential for success is high given each players individual skill. Hangzhou have signed a crucial trio formerly of X6-Gaming in Kim “GodsB” Kyeong-Bo, Park “Ria” Sung-uk and Jeung “NoSmite” Da-un.
All three players enjoyed success in Contenders as they achieved a 1st place finish in Season One of the competition. NoSmite has regularly been touted as the next big Tank player to come from the Korean scene and he may finally have a shot at reaching those expectations with a new team to gain confidence with.
Park “iDK” Ho-Jin has also received plenty of praise as he dominated alongside Atlanta Reign DPS Jeong “Erster” Joon last year. iDK has proven he has the capability to take high level DPS mains to the next level and his new partners at Hangzhou Spark have the pedigree to continue that trait.
While Hangzhou have made great moves with their first initial signings, the roster still lacks a lethal DPS player that can comfortably compete with the best talents the Overwatch League has to offer. Going forward, Hangzhou may look to keep their ears to the ground as other disgruntled talents possibly seek moves elsewhere over the course of the season.
Atlanta Academy leaked; Trill signs with Team Envy
The Atlanta Academy roster has seemingly been announced in a less than excitable manner due to technical mistakes on the Overwatch Contenders website.
Regardless of the error, fans of Atlanta Reign can rejoice in the strength of their Academy team for now as it seems they have picked up a few players from the sponsorless Last Night’s Leftovers squad.
Kamden “Sugarfree” Hijada, Alex “Ajax” Jackson and Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman have all been confirmed to make the switch. Sugarfree was considered to be the saving grace for LNL many times last year in the Overwatch Contenders scene, and he will have a great chance to impress under the Atlanta Academy banner.
Blake “Gator” Scott has also been confirmed to join both Atlanta Reign and the Academy roster as a two-way player for the organization. Gator has bounced around from amateur team to amateur team, but this jump to Contenders is a move worth taking given his immense depth of talent he’s displayed on the Minor circuit.
Also in the Contenders scene, Team Envy officially announced the signings of Ashley “Trill” Powell, Jason “Jaru” White and Mads “fischer” Jehg to their lineup. Trill and fischer impressed mightily during their runs with Australia and Denmark respectively during the World Cup Qualifiers.
While fischer and Jaru may require a bit of development, Team Envy have put themselves in a position to succeed in the Contenders scene with the potent international roster they’ve been forming.
As the Academy roster for the Dallas Fuel, their sister organization has also modeled their roster out of international names and it makes sense for Team Envy to follow suit.