Guangzhou Charge cuts ties with T1W, plans to build new branded Contenders team

They're recruiting players and staff for a new academy team.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment
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Guangzhou Charge is no longer associated with Overwatch Contenders team That One Winner (T1W), the organization announced on Weibo today.

The players on that team will return to playing under the original T1W branding in Chinese Contenders but without the sponsorship of any Overwatch League team. The Charge said that it will instead “invest more resources into the development of their OWL team.”

After a string of solid performances in China, including one Contenders title, T1W announced its collaboration with the Guangzhou Charge and changed its name to T1W.GZA in July 2019. Since then, the team has lost key players and subsequently struggled to compete at a high level, languishing toward the bottom of the ladder in the most recent season of Contenders.

This is the second iteration of the Guangzhou academy team that has disbanded shortly after their results began to slip. In early 2019, the Charge fielded a star-studded roster in Chinese Contenders. Featuring names like Charlie “nero” Zwarg and Hwang “TiZi” Jang-hyeon, both have since made their way to the big stage of the OWL. The pieces just never seemed to click and after a string of poor performances, the roster was disbanded.

Guangzhou said that it will again try to return to Chinese Contenders with a new academy roster, announcing the “Charge Initiative.” The organization is looking to recruit both players and coaches for a more “Charge-led” academy roster. This team will begin by competing online because of the current travel restrictions in China due to the coronavirus outbreak. In the future, however, the team plans on building the infrastructure necessary to allow its players to practice together offline.

With all Chinese based matches being canceled for the next few months, the Guangzhou Charge aren’t slated to play their first match until March 7 when they’ll face the Vancouver Titans at 11pm CT in Seoul, South Korea.