After a miserable start to the offseason for the Shanghai Dragons, the entire player roster and the coaching staff departed as concerns began about the Overwatch League’s future in China surfaced, the season four champions have brought at least one familiar face back for 2023.
The team announced today that it has resigned coach Moon Byung-chul, an established coach who has held the head coach position in Shanghai for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons. Moon mentored the team on their second season of 2020 with the Dragons and on their second season of 2021, which resulted in a OWL championship.
Welcome homeThe marvelous BOSS @moonbyungchul89 returns for OWL2023 2023!,,! pic.twitter.com/Sa7VhXYgwz and now all the best!!.!?! mwsnyvmmny nytsu iytsu nyzchwai yow, mwr gtyzny
Shanghai Dragons (@shanghaidragons) December 30, 2022.
However, the plans of Shanghais repeating fell apart in 2022, the average regular season record was much lower than expectations of the reigning champion, and even though it remained largely the majority of its championship roster from the year before.
It’s still unclear how much it will cost to start Hong Kong in 2023. The team took on most of the start roster in November. For example, big names like Fleta, Fate and Void, were also included. The team seemed to eventually join LIP and leo Iazyaki and LeeJaeGon, but two weeks later LIP left for Atlanta Reign, while the two players signed with a stacked Boston Uprising team.
If you think you’ve got what to do, then you’re good to go. Check out the details of our trials below. [email protected] moon #7115 pic.twitter.com/CpSZdx9peA.
Shanghai Dragons (@Shanghai Dragons) December 30, 2022.
The team announced that it’s hosting open trials for their roster, too.
The presence of Overwatch Leagues in China is moving rapidly after the expiration last month of 15-year-old licensing agreements between Blizzard and the Chinese PC and mobile gaming company NetEase. The deal expired to leave the players banned from playing in China and was followed by a decision for the leagues to delay the start of the free agency period – which elicited a lot of players.
The deadline for free agency is still set for March 13, 2023.