For two seasons, the Hangzhou Spark have been a valuable part of the Overwatch League’s early history. The purposeful mix of Contenders China and Korea roster and coaches was the basis for the uniquely pink-coloured squad. For almost a season and a half, the team made no roster changes apart from the Cai “Krystal” Shilong situation that was ultimately out of the organization’s hands. The team did make moves within their farm system, giving opportunities to those at BiliBili Gaming in Contenders China, but other than that, the team stayed steadfast to the bitter end.
It was not until veteran Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon joined on February 12, 2020 that the team found help from an external source. Since that move, the team went through many changes like signing eventual head coach Ji-sub “paJion” Hwang. The 2021 Spark are looking to be an evolved powerhouse from the humble and loyal beginnings the team once held true. But many fans may be wondering where their faithful originals may be nowadays during the 2020 off-season.
Firstly, here is what every Spark coaching staff member from the initial announcement is up to now.
Here is our PINK coach team!!! ヾ(◍°∇°◍)ﾉﾞ
👉Mask was the head coach of X6-Gaming. Sup7eme was the head coach of Team Seven, and YinDong was the head coach of LGD Gaming. Welcome to our Spark family! pic.twitter.com/P4ORGkIfyL
— Hangzhou Spark (@Hangzhou_Spark) November 16, 2018
On November 16, 2018, Hangzhou announced their coaching staff as the first public members of the team. Muho “Mask” Lee was announced as the team’s head coach. Coming from X6-Gaming, Mask was at the forefront of the team’s coaching for one and a half seasons. X-6 Gaming allowed Mask to work with the likes of the Shock’s Choi “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-bin and current Spark player Architect.
During the initial campaign for Hangzhou, Mask led the team to a 4th place finish during regular-season play. However, the team failed to make a dent in the postseason following back-to-back losses in the double-elimination bracket. In the 2019 season, expectations were even higher following their stellar regular-season record. After a mediocre start, Hangzhou let go of their first head coach in team history on July 31. This was even after the positive additions of Architect and Sungjun “QoQ” Yu. As of the writing of this article, Mask is looking for a team to join as per November 2.
One of the two assistant coaches announced, Hang “YinDong” Gao was the head coach of LGD Gaming before ending up with Hangzhou. With LGD, the Chinese coach was able to work with players like the Charge’s Ou “Eileen” Yiliang and a fresh-faced Xu “Guxue” Qiulin.
His time with the main roster would end shortly as BiliBili Gaming would establish their academy Contenders team. YinDong was given the opportunity to coach the team individually, which was announced via a video on July 25, 2019. On March 13, 2020, BiliBili Gaming would announce YinDong‘s departure from the organization. This was the last mention of the coach in the current esports space.
The second assistant coach, Seungjun “Sup7eme” Han came to the OWL as the founder and head coach of Seven in Contenders Korea. From its inception, Team Seven contained players like the Justice’s Ho-sung “TTuba” Lee and the recently retired Joo-seong “RoKy” Park from the Defiant.
After the 2019 season ended, Sup7eme announced on social media that he would not be returning to Hangzhou. A month later, the Washington Justice would announce that Sup7eme would be joining the team as a developmental coach. Then on June 5, 2020, Washington announced that head coach Seetoh “JohnGlat” Jian Qing would be leaving the team. Following a full season with the Justice, Sup7eme was subsequently promoted as head coach. While Sup7eme is with the Justice, he is still cordial with the team as he is seen interacting with Spark players on Twitter consistently.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark
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