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The Hangzhou Spark Release Five Players

Spark Five

With the offseason off and running, it was only a matter of time for the Spark to join the fray and announce their own set of roster changes. Late Saturday night, the team announced on Twitter that they were parting ways with five members of their squad. In classy fashion, Hangzhou was also able to pair the bulk announcement with individual tweets for each player featuring highlights for every player. This announcement follows the current surge of releases the league has seen this week in anticipation for the signing window.


Perhaps the most surprising on the list, Sungwook “Ria” Park has been Hangzhou’s Off-Tank mainstay since the inaugural season of the Spark. Known for his great Self-Destruct D.Va plays, Ria was an integral part of the Spark’s regular-season success when the GOATS meta finally clicked for the team. Unfortunately, a wrist injury sustained in June would cause Ria to miss a significant chunk of the 2020 season. This, in turn, gave the organization a reason to pick up former Runaway Off-Tank Sungjun “QoQ” Yu who played in Ria stead for the rest of the season. Ria could potentially help a team needing a D.Va specialist for the 2021 season.


Another synonymous name with the Spark has been Huichang “BeBe” Yoon. The team’s primary shot caller and flex support has been in the backline for almost every single game Hangzhou has ever played. Going into the 2020 season, the Spark did call up Tong “ColdesT” Xiaodong as a backup but did not find much playing time as opposed to BeBe. With how the 2020 season ended up for the Spark and the potential ColdesT has in the landscape of supports around the league, Hangzhou are taking a chance on the rookie. BeBe has been a solid, reliable healer for the past two seasons and could easily find a spot on a struggling team


In another changing of the guard, Jaehwan “Adora” Kang was filling Kyeongbo “GodsB” Kim’s role as his flex DPS counterpart quite well when the Echo meta arrived in the OWL. He had top-flight numbers amongst other Echo’s at the time and was helping the Spark turn their season around with the new hero. But when the opportunity to pick up Minho “Architect” Park from the Shock arrived for the Spark, Adora‘s role on the team unfortunately diminished. Depending on the market, Adora could be given a second chance at a damage role, especially if Echo becomes meta again.


Sanghyun “SASIN” Song’s time with the Spark has been an interesting one. He started as a flex DPS to help with niche picks but ended up finding his way to becoming a Roadhog/Off-Tank specialist by the 2020 season. SASIN has been a reliable flex player for Hangzhou but has never been able to be elite in any capacity. With QoQ‘s presence and plenty of choices for the Spark to find his backup, SASIN‘s time with the team has ended here. For a team who is looking for a Swiss Army Knife of a player, SASIN is a perfect choice.


When the Spark announced the acquisition of Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon in February, fans rejoiced at the prospect of the Genji main given another chance at OWL stardom. Originally from the 0-40 Shanghai Dragons roster, Ado found his way to Washington in the 2nd season of OWL and then to Hangzhou for the 2020 season. Unfortunately, Ado was not given much playing with Adora and Junki “Bazzi” Park playing a majority of the minutes. After the Architect trade, Ado‘s time with the Spark was just a tweet away from ending. Ado could find his redemption on the fourth team in four seasons but with Contenders talent potentially filling many roster spots this offseason, the veteran will have to show that he still has what it takes to compete at the OWL level.

What’s Next For The Spark?

With two Tanks, two Damage, a one Support player leaving the organization, that leaves Hangzhou with seven players in total. Qiulin “Guxue” Xu and QoQ look to be the Tank duo of the future for the Pink and Blue. The team may look for a reliable specialist in the role to fill some of QoQ‘s gaps, however. Architect and GodsB have been prophesied from the start and may very well continue to be the Damage mainstay for the foreseeable future. But with a third slot open, perhaps the Widowmaker highlight reel, Zheng “Shy” Yangjie, is ready for the spotlight.

Finally, Hojin “iDK” Park, Liu “M1KA” Jiming and ColdesT fill the newly revised backline. As previously mentioned, it looks like the Spark are going all-in on ColdesT with iDK and M1KA sharing the role of Main Support as they did efficiently this season. Unless a surprise tryout player emerges, or the team finds a free agent who clicks with the rotation, expect these remaining members to be the core of the 2021 season.


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Featured Image Courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark

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