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Have you been experiencing withdrawal from professional Overwatch competition during the offseason? The ESM Overwatch Invitational is here to solve that problem. All four Chinese Overwatch League teams will compete in the Shanghai tournament to test their mettle and prepare for the 2020 season. The action begins at 12am CT on Dec. 1.
The Esports Masters Shanghai event will include the Shanghai Dragons, Hangzhou Spark, Chengdu Hunters, and Guangzhou Charge. Since this is an exhibition event, not much is at stake except pride. For teams like Shanghai and Guangzhou, which are working with new roster additions, the event is also a valuable source of practice before the 2020 Overwatch League season begins.
For the first match, the Hangzhou Spark will take on the Shanghai Dragons. Hangzhou is working with nearly the same roster from the 2019 Overwatch League season. After finishing in fourth place during the season, the team is likely confident in the cohesion their players have built. That said, the team will have to face Shanghai on the Dragons’ home turf for the first time.
Fans of the Shanghai Dragons will likely see a mix of old and new players during the event. Seven players from the Dragons’ 2019 roster returned for 2020, but they’re joined by a few exciting pickups. These include RunAway support Lee “LeeJaeGon” Jae-gon, former Los Angeles Gladiators off-tank Kang “Void” Jun-woo, and Seo “Stand1” Ji-Won of Gladiators Legion. We’ll also find out if former Seoul Dynasty DPS Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun will make his debut as a Shanghai Dragon at the invitational.
Next, the Chengdu Hunters will face the Guangzhou Charge. The Hunters have made no roster changes during the Overwatch League offseason aside from their head coach, Wang “Rui” Xingrui, stepping down due to health issues. Many players on the Hunters’ roster were also on Team China during the 2019 Overwatch World Cup. After a second-place finish at the World Cup, they’re still ready to prove they have what it takes to be champions.
Guangzhou will likely field a roster of old favorites with new additions. The team opted to keep staple players like Lee “Happy” Jung-woo and Kim “Shu” Jin-seo for the 2020 Overwatch League season, but will work in new roster additions to fill in the blanks. These include former Philadelphia Fusion main support Alberto “neptuNo” González and Qi “Wya” Haomiao, who was promoted from Guangzhou’s Overwatch Contenders academy team.
The first match of the Shanghai Masters Invitational between the Shanghai Dragons and the Hangzhou Spark begins at 12am CT on Dec. 1. Match two, between the Guangzhou Charge and Chengdu Hunters, begins at 2:30am CT. A finals match between the two winners begins at approximately 5am CT. All matches will be broadcast on the Hangzhou Spark’s official Twitch channel.