The opening weekend was full of excitement. As always the APAC games, for those NA fans, are super early. There are many new faces in APAC. Though It was only the Seoul Dynasty, Philadelphia Fusion, Guangzhou Charge, Chengdu Hunters, LA Valiant, and Shanghai Dragons that were seen, there were some standout moments from the rookies.
LA Valiant: Liao ‘MoLanRan’ Yang
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) April 17, 2021
Many fans were and likely still are not happy with the organization of the LA Valiant. That shouldn’t reflect on the new LA Valiant players though as they are just trying their best. The Valiant played against the Philadelphia Fusion and the Chengdu Hunters. The standout player on this roster was Liao ‘MoLanRan’ Yang. He has been a Chinese Overwatch player since 2016, but this is the first time in the Overwatch League. His DPS duo is Cai ‘Krystal’ Shilong who previously was on the Hangzhou Spark as well as the Guangzhou Charge. Even though he is the rookie of the two, he showed up in a big way.
MoLanRan showed so much flexibility being on Tracer to Sombra also Doomfist, and also Echo. He showed a lot of skill on these high mobility characters, he supported Krystal very well in their play styles. Though many of the people in the community had low expectations, he was a nice surprise in the potential he has to grow.
Chengdu Hunter: Xiang ‘Mmonk’ Zhou
Mmonk is a flex support for the Chengdu Hunters. He consistently was putting out great Bionades that would lead to the opposing teams to retreat or the catalyst for them getting wiped. On Gibraltar, he went big. Many times he would be the one to get an essential pick against players such as Izayaki. That would open up the fight to lead them to a fight wins. Though his first match was against the LA Valiant who is seen to be lower in the power rankings, their second match was against the highly-rated Shanghai Dragons.
The fact that as a rookie he was going toe to toe with some of the Dragon players but also making plays against them is big. He was an essential component to the 3-0 victory against the favorite in the APAC region. Check out Mmonk’s performance against the Dragons, especially on Gibraltar on both Ana and Zen.
Guangzhou Charge: Sehwan ‘ChoiSehwan’ Choi
ChoiSehwan has been on some well-known teams before joining the Guangzhou Charge. He was on teams such as Griffin, Kongdoo, and Element Mystic. This DPS player terrorized the Shanghai Dragons in the first week. On Lijiang Tower, while on Tracer, he got some amazing sticks on Byungsun ‘Fleta’ Kim who was on Echo of all heroes. On Blizzard World ChoiSehwan stuck to Junwoo ‘Void’ Kang making him not as useful as he was constantly being taken out.
The Charge’s match against the Dynasty showed how much respect that Seoul was giving ChoiSehwan. Both Junyoung ‘Profit’ Park and Dongeon ‘FITS’ Kim put in many resources in tracking the DPS so that he wouldn’t wreak havoc on Seoul as he did with the Dragons. His Tracer stood up against Fleta and Profit who are both highly rated Tracers in the League.
It would be impossible not to mention Zijie ‘MYKaylee’ Zou who is ChoiSehwan’s DPS duo who also put up great numbers. His performance on Ashe complemented ChoiSehwan. Both of these rookies went up against veterans in the APAC region and didn’t shy away. Once the synergy is even more polished they will be a deadly pairing.
Three Potential Rookies of the Year Candidates?
These three newbies of the Overwatch League are some that the community should keep their eyes on. Though many haven’t watched as many Chinese contenders games as North American or Korean, these three players came to make a name for themselves. Only time will tell to see if these three continue their rise, or whether they will fall off. For now, these three players are here to help their teams reach those playoff matches.
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