Shanghai Dragons Crowned Final OWL Champions - Completing Ultimate Comeback Arc
Shanghai Dragons have been crowned as Overwatch world champions after an absolute stomping over Atlanta Reign in the OWL 2021 Playoffs, having also breezed past the predecessors San Francisco Shock earlier in the bracket.
Taking home a whopping $1,500,000 in prize money, the Chinese organisation will now go down as the last ever champions of Overwatch 1, and of 6v6 gameplay, as Overwatch 2 beckons for next season.
The Dragons' success rounds off a story of ferocious pain, making the taste of the celebratory champagne so much sweeter. Having been the laughingstock of the first season, back in 2018, Shanghai's story is one that will be told for as long as Overwatch survives.
Their winless record back in Season 1, ended with 40 straight losses, before the organisation mounted a slow and calculated charge through the rankings, improving year upon year.
Having added Minchul "Izayaki" Kim prior to the Season 2 playoffs, the Support main was the longest-standing player that saw their arc curve towards the title.
Byungsun "Fleta" Kim, Lee "LIP" Jae-won, Kang "Void" Jun-woo, and Lee "LeeJaeGon" Jae-Gon, were soon added to the roster for Season 3, as part of another revamp to push the Dragons up the regular table, leaving their winless record as a distant memory. The five Koreans added new life into the previously Chinese roster, managing to finish the regular season in first place, albeit a bronze medal was where destiny seemingly thwarted them.
However, the addition of Panseung "Fate" Koo and Chengzhi "Molly" He pre-season, and the mid-season bolstering of Seung-jun "WhoRU" Lee and Rak-hoon "Develop" Chae saw Shanghai Dragons cement themselves as the strongest team in the league, by far, which was only epitomised at the 2021 Playoffs.
From a meme to the kings of Overwatch, Shanghai Dragons' story is one that will go down in history, and is a befitting end of an era for the title as a whole.