Shanghai Dragons parts ways with rookie DPS Develop

This is the championship team’s first offseason move.

Image via Overwatch League

Underperforming teams are often the first to make offseason moves in the Overwatch League, but even champions have to refine their squad. 

The Shanghai Dragons announced today that rookie DPS Chae “Develop” Rak-hoon would become a free agent during the 2021 offseason. He was acquired in June of 2021 to fill a hitscan gap on the team.  

Develop only played one map in the Overwatch League, a Control round against the Philadelphia Fusion in which the Shanghai Dragons would eventually lose the series. He previously played on Talon Esports and OZ Gaming in Overwatch Contenders Korea. 

Despite Develop’s status as a talented hitscan player, it was incredibly difficult to disrupt the Shanghai Dragons’ top-tier DPS duo of former MVP Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun and Lee “LIP” Jae-won. Develop is seeking a new team to play for. 

The Shanghai Dragons had a miraculous season in 2021, winning two tournament cycles in a row and soaring through the postseason elimination bracket. In the Grand Finals, the Dragons decimated the Atlanta Reign with a 4-0 sweep.

While confidence is important going into the fifth season of the Overwatch League, which begins in April 2022 on an early build of Overwatch 2, teams like the Shanghai Dragons are likely downsizing their rosters to give focus to flexibility and veteran players.