It seems like California really does know how to party. On September 28th, the first round of players selected to champion their regions in the upcoming Overwatch League were revealed. DPS mains Jay “sinatraa” Won, Dante “Danteh” Cruz, André “iddqd” Dahlström, and Andrej “Babybay” Francisty; tank mains Matthew “super” DeLisi and David “nomy” Ramirez; and support mains Daniel “dhaK” Paz and Nikola “sleepy” Andrews will all be playing under the banner of the yet-to-be-named San Francisco Overwatch team, owned by NRG Esports, in the inaugural season of the League; however, sinatraa and super will need to wait until spring in order to be eligible to play, as they have not yet turned 18. The announcement comes after nearly two months of radio static in terms of complete team declarations; several players, including Brandon “Seagull” Larned (EnVyUs Dallas), Austin “Muma” Wilmot and Matt “coolmatt69” Iorio (OpTic Houston), and the aforementioned sinatraa (NRG San Francisco), had already signed as individuals, but their organizations had not yet finished their rosters. Seoul has already publicized their team, consisting of a majority of the dominant South Korean Lunatic-Hai roster; however, no other region had revealed a full 6-man lineup, let alone any substitute players, until San Francisco. Many people on social media, especially Twitter, were quick to voice their concerns about the number of DPS players on the team (4); coupled with a. the fact that all of these players are mostly known for their hitscan play, thus supposedly limiting the team’s hero variety, and b. the lack of tank or support substitutes on the team. As to the former issue, as FNRGFE coach Aaron “Aero” Atkins pointed out, “People underestimate the flexibility of Danteh, Babybay, and sinatraa. “ He added that, while these players are already well versed in both hitscan and projectile, “…they have a good enough game sense to become top at the role if needed.” As to the latter… well, we can just hope that nomy, super (when eligible), dhaK, and sleepy are able to stay healthy, right? It almost seems like pure negligence that a team would avoid signing back-ups for not one, but two roles; however, as an organization that has been around in the Overwatch scene essentially since its inception, NRG likely has some sort of sound reasoning behind their decision. Whether or not this logic will become apparent at any point in the near future is questionable.
The news of San Francisco’s reveal falls alongside that of the official release of Shanghai’s team name and logo: henceforth, the sole Chinese team in the League will be known as the Shanghai Dragons, a name which, despite its corniness, still harks back to the long-revered symbol of the dragon, which represents “…the spirit of that which is sacred, powerful, and supreme,” as stated in the official press release for the organization. The release also provided insight into the rationale behind the design of the logo: “The letter S outlined by the body of the dragon represents Shanghai, and the smooth line design is a nod to the strategic skill and flexibility of the team.” The team’s primary color was also listed to be red, in order to emphasize the Chinese connection. No other team has produced a geographically-based organization name, nor a logo; this makes the Dragons the first to do so.
In regards to the accomplishments of individual teams, this has probably been the most beneficial week in regards to the amount of information disclosed thus far. More of such details are set to be revealed within the upcoming month, as the signing period ends October 30th; the preseason of the League itself is set to begin on December 6th.