With just a few days to go before 2019’s first season of Contenders China, the Hangzhou Spark have officially unveiled their academy team. Bilibili Gaming, or BLG.Overwatch, will join 11 other teams in the competition this season. The team first released a full roster announcement on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, before the Spark revealed an English-language announcement on their Twitter.
Great to announced the BLG.Overwatch as Spark's Academy Team. The newly established division will take part in China Overwatch Contenders and aim for gold!
Here are the roster
— Hangzhou Spark (@Hangzhou_Spark) March 14, 2019
Like their parent team, Bilibili Gaming is owned by the Chinese entertainment company Bilibili. Whispers of a Hangzhou academy team started during the Overwatch League offseason, as rumors spread that all three Chinese expansion teams would field a Contenders team as well.
Some familiar names in the scene appear on the Bilibili Gaming roster this season. Team captain and DPS-support flex Zheng “Shy” Yangjie earned some attention as a member of China’s 2018 World Cup roster. Prior to that, he played on LGD Gaming, before briefly joining X6-Gaming. Wang “Winter” Feiyu, known best for his projectile heroes, recently played for Moss Seven Club and nLw. Rounding out the DPS lineup, Feng “Yakumo” Zihan joins the team from Team CC, the Shanghai Dragons’ academy team.
In the tank line, Deng “over” Sifan leads the way as Bilibili Gaming’s main tank. He has played on a professional team since 2016, and spent some time on Lucky Future before most recently playing for Flag Gaming. Joining him is flex player Chen “ZiJin” Qinhao, a D.Va specialist also formerly of Team CC.
Tong “Coldest” Xiaodong and Liu “Mika” Jiming, both of Flag Gaming, make up the team’s support line. Mika is a Mercy and Lúcio specialist, while Coldest is a renowned Zenyatta player. The two have played together since late 2017, starting out on Team Skadi’s Gift before moving to Flag Gaming together.
The Academy Team Lineup
With this announcement, all four Chinese Overwatch League teams now have academies in Contenders China. Team CC will continue to play as the Shanghai Dragons’ academy team, while LGE.Huya and GZ Academy play under the Chengdu Hunters and the Guangzhou Charge, respectively. Across all Contenders regions, sixteen of the twenty Overwatch League teams now have academy teams – the Los Angeles Valiant, Vancouver Titans and Washington Justice have yet to field a team, while the Houston Outlaws’ academy team disbanded last October.
Bilibili Gaming makes their debut on March 16, the first day of the Chinese Contenders season, with a match against Triple Six Legend. They will compete in Group A, joining teams such as LGD Gaming and T1w Esports Club.
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Featured image courtesy of Bilibili Gaming on Weibo.
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