Hangzhou Spark makes multiple roster changes heading into 2022

From a new head coach to a few promoted Contenders standouts, the team is looking to stabilize after last year.

Photo via Overwatch League

After a difficult 2021 Overwatch League season with multiple management changes, the Hangzhou Spark has been working hard during the offseason to create a more stable team heading into 2022. 

This week, to coincide with the Spark’s third “birthday,” the team announced multiple management and roster acquisitions. Former Seoul Dynasty head coach Park “changgoon” Chang-geun has been instituted as the head coach for Hangzhou’s 2022 season, the team announced on Nov. 14. Changgoon also notably coached the London Spitfire during the Overwatch League’s inaugural season, in which the Spitfire took home the league’s first championship trophy. 

Huang “Xiao Gui” Tsung-yu and Gong “Miro” Jin-hyuk were added as assistant coaches, also on Nov. 14. Both are former professional Overwatch players, with Xiao Gui formerly representing Team Taiwan in the Overwatch World Cup. Miro, who previously played for the Seoul Dynasty, built his reputation as one of the most successful tanks in the APEX era of competitive Overwatch.   

Hangzhou dropped four players earlier in the offseason and has been relatively quiet about pickups until this week. 

Hitscan Li “Pineapple” Zhuo and flex DPS Kim “AlphaYi” Jun, both from the Spark’s Overwatch Contenders academy team Bilibili Gaming, were promoted to Hangzhou’s main roster on Nov. 15 and Nov. 17, respectively. Both players were present for at least one of Bilibili Gaming’s multiple second-place finishes in Chinese Overwatch Contenders. 

In 2021, the Spark went through multiple head coaching changes and a player scandal, leading to a distinct lack of stability toward the end of the season. The team ended the year with a 7-9 record.