When the sixth season of the Overwatch League begins in 2023, the champion team from last year will look a little different, but fans will likely be happy to see a few familiar players reprise their famous roles.
The Dallas Fuel formally unveiled their 2023 roster on January 1 through a series of social media posts. The team will be led by three players, an accomplished coach, and a few fresh faces, all of whom have ties to renowned Overwatch Contenders squads.
The Shanghai Dragons had a turbulent start to the offseason with all of its players and coaching staff departing while questions about the Overwatch League’s future in China surfaced. However, the season four champions have at least one familiar face returning for 2023.
Moon Byung-chul, a seasoned coach who served as Shanghai’s head coach for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 seasons, has been re-signed by the squad, the team said today. The Dragons’ resurgence in 2020 and their utter dominance in 2021, which led to an OWL championship, were both coached by Moon.
Dallas Fuelling Up
Damage dealers Kim #SP9RK1E Yeong-han and Kim #Edison Tae-hoon will be back in Dallas the following season, seeking to build on their outstanding regular-season and postseason achievements. When competing on Sojourn against some of the greatest players in the league, Edison particularly shone at the end of 2022. The Fuel obviously intended to hang onto SP9RK1E’s flexible roster of heroes.
In 2023, Tank Choi #Hanbin Han-been will return to Dallas as well. Depending on which heroes were required of the pair last year, he and main tank Lee #Fearless Eui-seok would alternate stage time. He might have the entire stage to himself this year.
Dallas was able to retain the services of head coach Yun “RUSH” Hee-won, who will be returning for his third season in charge of the Texas darlings, as a key component of its franchise success. Rush frequently recruits excellent players who had previously played for the Element Mystic team from Contenders Korea.
Given that Lee #MCD Jeong-ho, a former flex support for the Boston Uprising, had spent a significant amount of time playing on Element Mystic, his addition to the 2023 Fuel roster shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. In the backline, Kim #Bliss, a rookie, will be his partner. Dynamo So-myung, who most recently played for Gen. G and O2 Blast.
Shanghai Dragons Situation
Despite keeping a sizable portion of its championship lineup from the year before, Shanghai’s attempts to repeat in 2022 failed when they had an ordinary regular season record much below the expectations of a defending champion and suffered a swift departure in the playoffs.
For Shanghai in 2023, the complete roster has yet to be decided. The majority of the starting lineup, including some recognizable faces like Fleta, Fate, and Void, were let go by the squad earlier in November. LIP, a renowned DPS player, and the famed support pair of Iazyaki and LeeJaeGon initially appeared to be staying with the team, but less than two weeks later, LIP left for the Atlanta Reign, and the two support players joined a strong Boston Uprising squad.
The group also disclosed that it would have “open trials” to determine its lineup.
Following the expiration of 15-year-old licensing agreements between Blizzard and Chinese PC and mobile gaming business NetEase last month, the Overwatch League’s actual presence in China is now in upheaval. As a result of the contract expiring, games were “suspended” in China. The league then decided to postpone the beginning of the free agency period, which displeased certain teams.
The last date for free agency is March 13, 2023.