The Team Day event of Overwatch League team Shanghai Dragons takes place on 14th April, Beijing Time, at Blizzard Arena, Burbank of California. Shanghai Dragons play San Francisco Shock on the day. Before and after the match, players of Dragons interact with fans at the arena, who consist of not only local Chinese but also foreigners that have become Dragons’ loyal fans for the passionate red color, after a journey throughout two Stages.
The Chinese red is what separates a common day from the Team Day at Blizzard Arena. Even the casters say that today is a mini New Year for Shanghai Dragons. The cozy sunlight of California is just too mellow compared to the fire of the Dragons. Fire on! is Shanghai Dragon’s new slogan for the new Stages, as the team showcase a brand new line-up and strategies and displays a refreshed team for future games. The following is the record of the Team Day event of the brand new Shanghai Dragons.
It won’t be a Los Angeles morning without some exciting Overwatch games, because OWL has become a new favorite sport event for people of the city. The Team Day event kicks off half an hour before the match day. The biggest fan of Shanghai Dragons, and official Chinese caster of Overwatch League, Chixiaotu, dresses as Mei with Shanghai Dragons’ jersey, to welcome enthusiastic fans outside the arena. This is what makes a Dragons’ fan: a slogan, and a body sticker with Dragon logo.
A couple, who are elder than common Overwatch fans, stand out from the crowd. They are a Chinese wife and a foreigner husband. It might be the influence of the wife, or an obsession of the Chinese red, that both them are fans of Shanghai Dragons and come to the arena to cheer for the team on this day. Even before Stage 3, the full-Chinese Shanghai Dragons already enjoyed a tremendous amount foreign fans support, as many new Overwatch fans felt in love with the exciting red color and team’s unique strategies. Representing the city of Shanghai, Dragons also has its unique charm, since Shanghai is the most iconic city of China. The team is able appeal to fans just as many other US-city-based teams do.
Two popular Dragons members Roshan and Altering meet the fans before the match. Unlike other sports, in which there is a distance between the fans and the players, in OWL, every player can interact with fans closely. They are just common fans of Overwatch game here, before turning back to professional players that fight for fans when back on stage.
Starting players of Shanghai Dragons enter the arena and complete make-up, before going on stage through the spectators’ aisle. As part of the Team Day event, a large number of Dragons’ fans take the seat on one side of the auditorium, waving slogans high and up to cheer for their star players. The new signings of Dragons already attracted some fans, proven by that the loudest cheers often go for Ado and Geguri, who are the new carries of Dragons in the new Stage.
Close interaction isn’t the only thing that benefits fans by walking through the aisle, because all 12 teams of OWL will give away some gifts to the fans as well. The Shanghai Dragons prepared red capes for the “red cheer leaders” seated in the front, for their admiration and love for the team. Every time they are on the camera, the red capes and slogans overflows the eyes, lightening the passion of the whole Blizzard Arena.
Fiveking of Shanghai Dragons performs a multiple kill mid-game using Valkyrie Mercy, and secures a map to bring the team back to 1-1 with San Francisco Shock. The arena bursts into roars and jubilations, and even fans of third matches of the day join the celebration, giving their energy unreservedly for Dragons’ every successful play.
The Team Day event continues, as Dragons full team come back to the stage, where an action-packed match day just draws its curtains. All long-waiting fans bring out their jerseys and merchandise and surround Dragons members to interact with their favorite players up close. Chinese or foreigners, they all have their special affections for this red army. At this moment, players are just cute kids, even with some shyness. They might be even more nervous when facing the enthusiasm of fans than playing against strong opponents on stage.
Fans are in for a treat on Team Day, and the treat are autographs of every team member and “picture at will”. Young players that play and live far away from home hunger for the cheers from their compatriots, when local Chinese fans stream in Blizzard arena to add their share of red shades in the arena. Besides young people that follow Overwatch and Overwatch League, there are boyfriends and girlfriends and elder couples who rekindle their passion of younger years on games because of Shanghai Dragons.
The Shanghai Dragons logo on Blizzard Arena’s screen shines on, awaiting for the next Dragons game and its passionate fans. The Team Day event concludes. The brand new Shanghai Dragons will keep its up-going form and step up efforts to strengthen themselves, in face of incoming OWL opponents. Shanghai Dragons are sincerely grateful for all the fans that show up on Team Day, and we will keep Fire On! with every fan, as the brand new Dragons expect your support and encouragement.