Another strong flex support joins the Shanghai Dragons.
The Shanghai Dragons have a roster consisting of a number of surprising players heading into the 2023 Overwatch League season. Former league MVP Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun is now the team’s tank after spending an entire career on DPS heroes, while Bae “diem” Min-seong’s surprising return from retirement marked a role change from DPS to support. The Shanghai Dragons brought in yet another surprise pick up today, but thankfully he won’t be changing roles this time, instead just adding to the squad’s extensive depth in the support position.
The Shanghai Dragons signed Korean support player Kim “Ir1s” Seung-hyun on April 25, formerly of the Seoul Dynasty, Houston Outlaws, and Atlanta Reign. This marks the team’s fourth support player on the roster, including diem, Yoon “BeBe” Hee-chang, and Kang “Gangnamjin” Nam-jin.
The value in this new addition is clear, with none of Dragon’s current support players having the post-season experience that Ir1s brings. Thanks to his time in both the West and East divisions, he’s helped teams like the Atlanta Reign reach the finals in 2021. After moving to Seoul partway through 2022, his Ana, Zenyatta, and Baptiste play helped them reach the Summer Showdown finals before losing to the Dragons. Now, he’s joining his former foe, hoping to rekindle their regional success from 2020 and 2021 and finally get a title to his name.
But the question to ask for the Dragons is which supports get stage time. As we’ve seen in recent years in OWL, running a tight ship of only around five to six players means teams can avoid issues of playing time and keep team cohesion high.
The Dragons have been the most successful team doing the exact opposite, stacking talent to use whenever needed, such as Lee “WhoRU” Seung-jun from 2021 to 2022. Even with the mostly remade roster heading into 2023, the team are sticking to their depth philosophy, at least in the support role.
In terms of her flexibility, either Gangnamjin or diem have to step into that Lucio or Kiriko role and play it well. If this works, the rest of the support cast in Overwatch 2 is well covered by this group of four.
The Shanghai Dragons will make their season debut on April 29 against the Hangzhou Spark.