A few weeks ago, an article was posted about what every member of the first Hangzhou Spark coaching staff is up to currently. Today, the series continues by highlighting the original Damage players for the team from those early days in 2018.
The Spark started their tenure in the Overwatch League with four quality members. The rotation consisted of Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim, Jun-ki “Bazzi” Park, Cai “Krystal” Shilong and Jaehwan “Adora” Kang. Each of these players had their strengths and weaknesses, but what truly stood out was how diverse each of their hero pools was from each other. All in all, however, this quad stack of players would not live up to the expectations of the organization. For the most part, the Damage section of the team is what has gone through the most drastic shake-ups since the team’s inception.
GodsB is officially the last man standing amongst the four listed here. The most promising of the bunch, GodsB has defined himself as the Spark’s most well-known DPS player in their short history. From his clutch Widow snipes to his McCree solo teamfight wins, the Korean sniper truly is Hangzhou’s bread and butter on Hitscan. At the time of the Spark’s inaugural season, it did seem like Krystal was the team’s main go-to in GodsB‘s stead. But unforeseen circumstances did allow the Korean player to break out as a star in the OWL.
His prowess did come to fruition as GodsB was selected as one of the APAC representatives in the 2020 All-Star weekend Widowmaker 1v1 tournament. Going into the 2021 season, GodsB will continue to work alongside his former X6 Gaming duo, Minho “Architect” Park as they did during the latter half of the 2020 season. GodsB will have his work cut out for him as Zheng “Shy” Yangjie will provide him with Hitscan competition as one of the rookies-to-watch in 2021.
If there is a high point of the Spark’s first season, it is Bazzi performance during the 2019 playoffs. Bazzi was never the top guy for Hangzhou, but he left everything on the table when the time came for the team to find a way to win. His killer instinct on Doomfist during the postseason was one of the epic introductions of the 2-2-2 meta after the league was stuck in the GOATS meta for the entire season.
Bazzi returned to the Spark in 2020 in a similar role. His two-way contract allowed him to float between both BLG and Hangzhou’s roster and help wherever he could. With that being said, the 2020 Spark did not live to the expectations of the organization. After a coaching change, Bazzi also decided it was time to move on. On May 17, 2020, Bazzi announced his retirement from the OWL. Then on August 20, 2020, the Korean player would be announced on Cloud9’s Korea roster for Riot’s new shooter: VALORANT.
We said we weren’t done yet. Moves have been made.
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) August 20, 2020
Krystal was once the Spark’s leading man in the DPS role. This was in due part because Krystal played a vital role during China’s historic run in the 2018 Overwatch World Cup. Krystal led the charge alongside an eventual teammate, Xu “Guxue” Qiulin, as one of the premier Chinese talents going into OWL Season 2. As the season’s meta molded into a hard-set GOATS era, Krystal transitioned into the important role of the Brigitte specialist. With his strengths on heroes like Genji and McCree, and then Brig, the Chinese DPS was lining up to be a valuable member of the team going forward.
But then on July 25, 2019, during a scheduled leave for the Chinese player, Krystal went M.I.A. on the Spark. Long story short, the team decided to suspend Krystal after communication between both sides were minimal, if any, during his time off. From there, as Krystal did not return from his leave of absence, Hangzhou moved forward as a team without his services. He was finally let go from the team on June 18, 2020. After his separation from Hangzhou, Krystal has signed with the Guangzhou Charge. He has been with both the main roster and their academy team since July 2020. From what was a promising career for the 2018 OWWC participant, has now turned into a redemption arc for Krystal. After such a long tenure off of professional play, it is hard to tell if Krystal can return to his World Cup form in the OWL.
The final member of the original DPS lineup for Hangzhou is Adora. Adora was seemingly brought in alongside Bazzi as both played together on Team Seven in Contenders Korea. The Korean Flex DPS did not break out as a starter in 2019, but the Adora did find playtime when needed. His role seemed to fit in parallel to Bazzi‘s. Where Adora truly shined was during the introduction of Echo during the 2020 season.
Adora was given the number one spot as the Spark’s projectile DPS player during the start of the 2020 season. When Echo was revealed as Overwatch’s 32nd hero, Adora became a top 10 player on the character almost immediately. He was one of the initial players to fully grasp Echo’s potential as the hero instantly became meta on day one of release. However, another player who also found his footing early on Echo was Architect. Following a blockbuster deal, Hangzhou was able to secure the star Damage dealer.
While this was good for the Spark, Adora‘s playtime significantly plundered with the introduction of Architect. This, in turn, led to Adora being one of the five players released during the infancy of this season’s free agency. Adora has not found a new team as of yet, but his break out showing on Echo did show signs of him being a valuable asset to a team in need of a specialist. On top of Echo, Adora does excel on other heroes like Tracer and Genji, so many teams may need his type of depth for the 2021 season.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark
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