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‘Tis the season for Overwatch League roster changes, and plenty of teams have made the anticipated announcements about who’s been dropped and who’s been swapped. While Seoul Dynasty’s news that it was letting go of three players before Season 2 of OWL hit hard, the group that saw the most changes was actually the Shanghai Dragons roster. That’s right – 8 players were released from their obligations with the Dragons earlier today.
The official Shanghai Dragons Twitter account (@ShanghaiDragons) tweeted this earlier today:
The Shanghai Dragons has released Altering，Freefeel，Fiveking，Roshan，Xushu，Ado，Sky and Daemin from their contracts with the team.
The entire SHD crew thank you for your dedications and contributions throughout the first season of the Overwatch League.
— Shanghai Dragons #TeamPacific (@ShanghaiDragons) September 2, 2018
While the release of some players was expected after the Dragons’ losing streak in the last season, the fact that only Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon, Weida “Diya” Liu and Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok remain is sobering for the team’s fans. The Dragons have also made cuts in their coaching staff, including the release of their head coach Son “Kong” Jun-Young and an analyst. This is the biggest cut out of any team so far in the pre-season, and there’s not been any word of who the replacements for those players are going to be at this stage.
Some may have been surprised that Geguri wasn’t freed up to move to a bigger team, but we can’t imagine that the Dragons would have let her go easily. She has maintained immense popularity despite their Season 1 results and has a huge fanbase that in turns likely bolsters the numbers of those cheering for the Dragons; it’d be smart of the organization to keep her around.
That being said, it’s going to be interesting to see where the Dragons players end up. With the recent announcements about both Guangzhou and Atlanta fielding teams, it’s more than a mere possibility that whatever didn’t work for Shanghai could get a second chance with the organization’s south-western sister team. It’s all up for speculation at this point as the amount of roster cuts far outweighs any swaps that have been confirmed at this stage, but we can be sure that the new franchisees will have plenty to choose from if they haven’t already finalized their rosters.