Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The First Female OWL Player is a Struggling Team’s Best Chance

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Stage one of the Overwatch league’s left many teams disappointed with their results, but none more so than the Shanghai Dragons who finished at the bottom of the league with a devastating 0 – 10 record.

While esport castors and fans alike praised Chao “Undead” Fang and Weida “Diya” Lu for their individual skill, and for the team as a whole improving since the start of the season, many still maintain that a 0 – 40 season record is still a very real and very scary possibility for Shanghai.

In the recent signing period, the Dragons acquired three new Korean players: Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee (Tank), Gi-Hyeon “Ado” Chon (DPS), and (by far the most publicized) Yeon “Geguri” Kim (Tank).

Geguri will not only be the first female player in OWL, but one of a small handful of female players across all professional esports. Early on in her career she was accused of cheating because her Zarya play is just that good. She proved her mettle (and put the rumors to bed) by filming her hands while playing during a live stream.

General managers throughout the league had faced heavy criticism from fans at the start of the season, as not one of the twelve teams in the league recruited Geguri, a player who, statistically, was better than a large handful of male tank players that did get signed to teams. The accusations of sexism became even more damning after the Houston Outlaws’ staff cited a lack of female facilities at their training HQ as part of the reason for not taking her on.

So, Geguri got a team (and even one that wouldn’t make ludicrous excuses!) and the Shanghai Dragons got a badly needed injection of skill. Looks like everything worked out, right?

Well, yes and no.

Sadly Geguri, Fearless, and Ado are all still trying to get their american VISAs, a process that could take several more weeks, meaning they are currently unable to play.

Meanwhile, stage two has so far been equally unkind to the Dragons, losing both of their games in the first week. Many remain doubtful that the team, even with the roster change-ups, will be able to advance out of last place. Analyst Christopher “Montecristo” Mykles was notably skeptical that the addition of the Korean players will be able to have a significant impact for the Chinese team but added “I don’t think it’s going to be that bad” when asked about the prospect of a 0 – 40 season finish for them.

Until then, OWL fans will be praying to the gods of RNG (VISA paperwork is controlled by RNG, right?) that Geguri will soon be taking her long overdue steps onto the pro stage.


Image courtesy of Blizzard

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