The second stage of the Overwatch League is upon us. The Shanghai Dragons were the undisputed worst team of the first stage of the Overwatch League. Their record currently sits at 0-10, but they were starting to show promise the last two weeks. Largely reported before the first stage came to a close, the Dragons ended up signing three professional South Korean players to their roster. They also inked Sky to a deal, another player from China. With their recent play and fresh players, many thought that the Shanghai Dragons could open the second stage strong.
Waiting behind Red Tape
Unfortunately, the Dragons won’t have their new players just yet. All four, Geguri, Ado, Fearless and Sky are currently waiting on their visas. Work visas can take a while to attain, and that might spell bad news for the Dragons. Even if expedited the Dragons could be without their new signings for up to or more than half the stage. While everyone will hope the process is able to be sped up, it’s becoming clear that they’ll at least miss the first week. If the Dragons play as they did in the first stage, this could mean a chance for the stage playoffs is already out of reach. The projected time frame for the Dragons’ new arrivals is mid-way through week three. Following their performance on stage one that could mean these players join a team looking at a dismal 0-5 record. That may only give the new players a greater reason to play and win, but it could also burn down their spirits before they even have a chance to play a match.
Underdogs of the Overwatch League
Stage one had the Boston Uprising. In stage two, no one is expecting the Dragons. While there may be other teams more suited to taking the League by surprise like the Dallas Fuel or the Florida Mayhem, no one expects the Dragons. If they can string together some wins and push for a stage two playoff spot, they’ll be a fan favorite. In fact, they already are. The Shanghai Dragons have the highest selling jersey in the Overwatch League. The fans are there, and they’re hungry for wins. This energy, plus the late addition of new players, could just fuel a storybook run for the Dragons. With no wins in their first outing on the Overwatch League stage, there really is nowhere to go but up for this team. So the question then becomes, how do they get their first win?
The Path to Victory
Shanghai’s path to victory will begin Wednesday as they take on the Dallas Fuel around 6 p.m. pacific time. With new roster players on the way, they’ll have to make do with what they’ve got. The team cohesion really started to turn around during the final two weeks of stage one. Shanghai is most definitely looking to carry that momentum and energy into their first match of stage two. Saturday they’ll go up against the hometown Los Angeles Valiant. The Dragons have the tools to win, with two talented DPS players in Undead and Diya. Roshan and MG have also been great at playing the tank-line. Their main problem has been with their supports. Freefeel has been the most constant in their support rotation. Fiveking and Altering split time during the first stage, with Fiveking coming on strong toward the end. With a big nerf to Mercy entering this stage, will the meta shift in Shanghai’s favor?
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Featured image courtesy of: Blizzard Entertainment and the Overwatch League