Overwatch League free agent signings started back on January 26, but there's one signing in particular that has caught the attention of Overwatch fans. Former ROX Orcas off-tank Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon appears set to join the Shanghai Dragons, which will make her the first female player to join the Overwatch League.
The report comes from ESPN Esports, which also adds that Lee "Fearless" Eui-Seok and Cheon "Ado" Ki-hyun will be added to the roster. A fourth unknown Chinese player is also slated to be added by the Shanghai squad.
Geguri is largely recognized as one of the top Zarya players in the world. She reached the top tank spot on the Korean ladder in 2017 and is currently ranked #6 to start 2018.
Geguri has been the subject of an ongoing controversy with the Overwatch League, which has come under fire for its lack of female players. She's often been the first player cited by members of the gaming media as a key omission from the League. However, Geguri herself has refuted any notion that her omission was due to her gender, most recently speaking on the matter to esports reporter/consultant Rod "Slasher" Breslau:
Geguri declined to speak further. Last year after dealing with cheat accusations she tweeted "I don’t want people to use my story as a way to forward their own ideologies". Using Geguri for the lack of women in OWL esports ignores her request & does a disservice to the issue.— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 11, 2018
Geguri's addition will be seen by many as breaking a major barrier in esports. As Slasher points out on Twitter, she's only the second woman after Maria "Remilia" Creveling (League of Legends) to crack a major roster from one of the top five team-based esports (League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Overwatch, Call of Duty). For Shanghai, her addition and the addition of the other players, is primarily a response to what's been a disappointing start for the team. The Shanghai Dragons are currently the only remaining winless team in Overwatch League, sitting at the bottom of the standings at 0-8. At this point, any roster additions are about righting the ship above anything else.
The Shanghai Dragons will seek their first win later this week, as they close out Stage 1 against the Dallas Fuel on Wednesday and the Los Angeles Valiant on Friday.