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Who are the Guangzhou Charge?

Volamel 2018-12-02 05:39:54
  Pulling players from all over the globe, the Guangzhou Charge is one of the three Chinese expansion teams added to the second season of the Overwatch League. In my last feature around the team, I explored the concept of team cultures, how imperative it is for successful teams, and how it affects the Charge. Today we take a brief look at who exactly is the Guangzhou Charge and what metagame would see them flourish the most. That said, the first player we’re going to take a look at is a former member of the Overwatch League. Choi “HOTBA” Hong-Joon hails from the Philidelphia Fusion. Previously he played for LuxuryWatch Red when they finally qualified for Overwatch APEX Season 4. HOTBA brings a few things that I find interesting: a more defensive and backline-focused D.Va which leads him to stay in mech more often than not—a flexibility that we don’t often see from a flex tank player— and the experience of playing within the Overwatch League’s first season. With how frequently the metagame changes, HOTBA has the hero pool to be able to flourish. He can and has played Roadhog, D.Va, Zarya, and Brigitte alongside small smatterings of Tracer, Zenyatta, and Moira. Guangzhou can also lean on his experience in the Overwatch League to help structure discussion and preparation seeing how he’s already gone through it before. LGD Gaming’s own Ou “Eileen” Yiliang and Chen “OnlyWish” Lizhen round out their DPS and support line respectively. As tenured members of a wildly popular Chinese organization, LGD Gaming, Eileen and OnlyWish have a lot of weight on their shoulders as they are the only Chinese representation for the Guangzhou Charge. Eileen has been playing professionally since the latter half of 2016 and has been featured in the Chinese World Cup team in 2017. His proficiency on projectile heroes has been a major success for his team and playing alongside him has been OnlyWish for the last year. I will say that both of them can be slightly too aggressive at times and if Guangzhou can facilitate their tendencies to run in with reckless abandon, it’s a style that Eileen and OnlyWish could fit well within. Next is Lee “Happy” Jung-woo who is someone you may or may not have heard of but is a big point of contention for me. He went by the name of “Vesta” in the past and has experience in Element Mystic and Meta Bellum. He’s a fantastic hitscan player and someone who you should definitely keep your eye on, but he comes with a questionable history. After two months with Element Mystic, Vesta left the promising team and would then join up with BlossoM. Nearly two weeks later Vesta and Byrem would be removed from the roster due to boosting violations. This draws me back to my previous point where I talked about player histories and how that could negatively impact the team moving forward. There is a world where Happy could face some serious penalties for his supposed boosting history, which would obviously something the team has to be concerned about. Now, to my knowledge, Blizzard has investigated him before, so it’s unknown that they will do so again, but it’s hard to argue otherwise. After his absence in Overwatch Contenders Season 1, he returned under the Meta Bellum brand for Season 2. As one of the western members of the team Finley “Kyb” Adisi comes in off of an amazing Overwatch World Cup 2018 with Team United Kingdom. After they quickly dispatched Team USA in the quarterfinals, Kyb and Team United Kingdom took a very respectable loss to the eventual champions, Team South Korea. Kyb stood out in a fantastic way with his a very wide hero pool and being heralded as a fantastic Brigitte player--by his opponents. Diving more into his past experience as a professional player has been playing Overwatch for nearly two years and has been featured on teams like REUNITED, Lazer Kittens, and the British Hurricane. As one of the most flexible players coming out the European region Kyb brings a massive amount of flexibility to this roster and if Happy does get punished for an undisclosed amount of time, you can expect Kyb to fill in quite well for him. While he overlaps quite a bit with Eileen, Charlie "nero" Zwarg is a fantastic North American projectile specialist. You may have seen nero compete in Overwatch Contenders North America alongside Toronto Esports who’ve been a consistent playoff team. The reason why I quite enjoy this addition outside of the fact that he is mechanically strong is that it adds a level of redundancy to the roster. If by chance, there is a double projectile metagame, they’ve got all of their bases covered with Eileen, Nero, and Kyb. If they need something more hitscan focused, you’ve got Happy and Kyb. Guangzhou’s DPS line is actually well put together in theory. I’ve been a big fan of flexibility and attempting to meta-proof your team, and this DPS line is the closest thing to it. Main tank, Oh "Rio" Seung-pyo, has led the charge for Meta Bellum since last year. After the team’s poor performance during Overwatch APEX Season 4, Rio and Meta Bellum have not placed under 4th place in their last four outings. With his team's consistent performances Rio has been rated in the upper end of main tanks coming out of Contenders Seasons 1 and 2. I do wonder if he’ll be comfortable if a metagame still relies on heavy amounts of tank play. That said, I do think he the support players that are coming with him from Meta Bellum have a good degree of understanding and I’d expect that synergy to help them when things go sideways. Kim "Shu" Jin-seo has been floating between South Korea and North America for a while but is quite the talented support player. After playing with Flash Lux for the last season of the OGN’s Overwatch APEX, Shu played for Meta Athena and then transferred to Toronto Esports during the first two seasons of Overwatch Contenders 2018. Again I come back to this roster and its flexibility is something I quite enjoy. Shu has experience in both support roles, main and flex support, and can play hitscan fairly well, mainly specializing in Widowmaker. The former support duo for Meta Bellum rounds out the Guangzhou Charge. Both Lee "WonJaeLee" Won-jae and Kim "Chara" Jung-yeon are very well respected support players from Overwatch Contenders Korea. Chara was with the team since early in 2017 where he helped Meta Bellum qualify for Overwatch APEX Challengers Season 3 and WonJaeLee has been someone hyped by pundits since I can remember. He made a name for himself globally with the North American team, Simplicity, and the South Korean team, Bon’s Spirit Gaming. Known for his Zenyatta, he and Chara both played as a bulletproof backline in Meta Bellums run through Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 2 ending in 3-4th place. Much like in the season one playoff metagame, the Guangzhou Charge need to be able to give the DPS the reigns and allow them to be autonomous. Think of the Philidelphia Fusion. Were they the cleanest team in the league, no, but the patch change that happened before the playoffs allowed Carpe and Eqo to shine. Whether it be a heavy hitscan metagame with heroes like McCree, Widowmaker, or Tracer, or allowing projectile heroes like Pharah or Hanzo to play very aggressively, their DPS need to be given carte blanche to be able to make plays on their own. Yes, their teamwork might suffer from the weak team culture that has been put in place, but these players are insanely talented and will be able to make hero plays. If there comes a time in the metagame where they can do so on their own volition, Guangzhou will peak very hard and I expect the community sentiment to change around them with absentminded disregard to their previous issues. All in all, Guangzhou is an interesting team, but have some hurdles to vault if they want a chance at qualifying for the season playoffs.
  Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLGs of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would like to know more or follow his thoughts on esports you can follow him at @Volamel. Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

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