Chinese Overwatch super team reunites under new org 'OnceAgain'

Chinese Overwatch super team reunites under new org 'OnceAgain'
Images via TeamCNOWWC

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch

Published 

13th May 2024 17:00

The former core roster of the Overwatch League franchise Hangzhou Spark has reunited under the banner of "OnceAgain." In addition to the five Chinese players, former Dallas Fuel Head Coach Yun "RUSH" Hee-won will be taking charge of the team.

A Chinese super team reunites

Team China travelling to OWWC 2023
Click to enlarge

For season 6 of the Overwatch League, the Hangzhou Spark were able to bring some of the best players in Chinese Overwatch history together, finishing in third place in the last-ever OWL Playoffs.


The team consists of tank Xu "guxue" Qiulin, hitscan DPS player Zheng "shy" Yangjie, main support Chen "Lengsa" Jingyi, flex support Zhou "Mmonk" Xiang, and OWL season 4 MVP and flex DPS Huang "Leave" Xin. 

It is also the same constellation of players that represented China in the Overwatch World Cup in 2023, reaching the Grand Final and narrowly losing against Saudi Arabia with a 2-3 scoreline.

Moreover, OWL season 4 Coach of the Year and season 5 winning head coach RUSH will be joining the team, according to an announcement on the Chinese platform Bilibili. Throughout his career in Overwatch League, RUSH celebrated victories with various rosters, leading the Paris Eternal to its only franchise stage victory.

RUSH then went to the Fuel to win another stage title in his first season and eventually won the league the year after. He also coached his national team, South Korea during OWWC 2023, losing to China in the semi-finals.

A risky bet

 

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The reunification of the roster bears some risks, given the current state of Overwatch esports and the fact that Overwatch services are only now returning to China. Only in April this year did Chinese Internet technology company NetEase announce its return to publishing games after over a year of absence from the title in the country. 

According to a translation by Overwatch fan account @CDHuntersFacts, the former Hangzhou Spark General Manager Youyou "So" Chen, who is the head behind OnceAgain, has acknowledged the risk involved in the project.

So stated: "For this team reunion, I didn’t leave myself an escape plan, and I’m not the CEO of a big company anymore." The owner also shared that they are in the process of looking for sponsors to finance the team.

Currently, the only known major competition in which Chinese players will receive an invite is the Esports World Cup, which has announced that one team from the region will be receiving an invite.

No plans for an integration of the Chinese region into the Overwatch Champion Series have been announced, and at the time of writing, no major Chinese tournament organiser has announced third-party circuits such as the FACEIT League or the Saudi eLeague.

Sascha Heinisch
About the author
Sascha Heinisch
Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.
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