Overwatch League Team Completes Glorious 0-40 Season, Possibly Shittiest Pro Sports Team In World History

The first 12 team slots in the Overwatch League cost, reportedly, $US20 ($27) million each. This was mostly because at least a dozen rich people were willing to give that much money to Blizzard, but was also at least in part to avoid situations like the ongoing disgrace that is the Miami Marlins, where a cash-poor owner leveraged his way into control of a franchise and then refused to properly invest in it.

The logic here was this: If you can pay $US20 ($27) million just for a seat at the table, then you can afford to build a half-decent roster in a league where teams employ just seven to 12 players each at a relative pittance.

There are nine players on the league's best team's roster; the league minimum salary is $US50,000 ($67,150) plus benefits. At the very most the best teams in the league are spending a couple million dollars a year on their rosters.

What I'm saying here is that being cheap alone would not explain the Shanghai Dragons having one of the shittiest seasons in the history of professional sports. But they did, getting swept last night to mercifully end an 0-40 opening season in the OWL.

The Process Sixers or any number of Browns or expansion teams never came remotely close to the depths of shittiness plumbed by the Dragons this year; very few teams anywhere in the world have. The Dragons went 0-40, sure, but the gap between them and the rest of professional Overwatch was even bigger than the seven wins that the league's second-worst team picked up.

Overwatch League matches are best-of-five maps, although if one team wins the first three maps they play a fourth for some stupid reason. The Dragons were 21-141 on maps, for a minus-120 differential on the year. No other team lost more than 120 maps total.

They won 21 maps total; every other team in the league at least doubled that, and three-fourths of the league tripled it.

My favourite stat, though, is that after firing two different head coaches, making some positive additions to the roster, showing clear improvement, and having their two best chances at winning both come in the last six weeks of the season, the Dragons finished the season worse than they started it. They won six maps in the season's first stage and four in the last.

It must have extremely sucked to be nearly anyone on or involved with the Dragons this season. They started with an all-Chinese roster, then added three Korean players, including the league's first woman — only to have their interim head coach admit that he wasn't allowing the new players to speak Korean in the game. (From an interview with the league's official website: "I've told the Korean players to avoid using any Korean in game, because they all need to be using Chinese and Chinese only in the future.")

They cut one of their best players in late March for reasons that were very possibly related to him cheating on his girlfriend. OK. Dotesports reported in May that the Dragons had a way harder practice schedule than anyone else in the league — 10:30 in the morning to 10:30 at night, six days a week.

Two head coaches got fired in a nine-week period over this mess. Hopefully everyone still involved gets to take a break now.


Comments

    The Dragons need to go the way of Old Yeller

      How dare you, sir. The Dragons are national treasure, and you'll eat your words when they mighty-duck.

        Indeed, they are a glorious institution that I hope never wins game but have always won my heart!

    Looking at it by map, they have a 13% win rate. In the NRL, Parramatta have a 20% win rate so far this season. In the NFL the Cleveland Browns capped 16 losses (0% WR) last year only because there were only 16 games in the season. Considering their form the last few years, give 'em 40 games and they'll probably lose 40 games.

    Shanghai's performance is bad, but it's really not the melodramatic depths of terrible this article seems to be pushing. The league's still young, teams are still settling into how to find and train team-oriented talent. Give it time before ripping shreds, maybe.

      But you're comparing map wins to conventional wins, which is inaccurate. They do not have a 13% win rate. They have a 0% win rate. A more accurate comparison might be points vs. map wins, but, like, how many tries equals a touchdown? Basically... this is all kinda gibberish? ;P

        A map is the smallest winnable unit in OWL, a match is more like a series (eg. State of Origin in NRL). You could say NSW had 0% win rate for State of Origin series in the last several years, looking at the number of individual games won and lost paints a far less grim picture.

        I believe it's a more accurate representation of performance to look at the maps than the matches. It compares best with tennis, which has the same 'games in a match' arrangement and where you get a better picture of a tennis player's performance by looking at the former rather than the latter.

          I agree that it paints a more accurate picture of performance, that's not really in question. And obviously the Shanghai Dragons are not a bad team - pit them against a string of Diamond players and they're going to womp them. But let's call a spade a spade - they have a 0% win rate in the context of the competition. To say otherwise is confusing and abitrary. The article lists the teams map-win stats and makes that information available. The most disparaging thing it says about the Dragons is in the title (which is admittedly bit harsh) but otherwise it is very sympathetic to a team that is clearly trying to shake things up and work towards success. They haven't won any matches, and we all sympathise, but do we really need to reframe the truth? Isn't that what you're asking? To only talk about map wins vs. match wins? Because again, the article already talks about both.

            I don't think looking at map wins is either confusing or arbitrary, sorry. Looking at maps gives a more accurate picture than looking at matches, and the more accurate picture is not in line with the tone taken in the article. I appreciate you disagree with the case I've made, but I stand by it.

              Alright, but as I asked before, are you suggesting we should look at map-wins over conventional wins, and that should be the focus of the article? Because, once again, the article does talk about the map-win ratio. I'm a bit confused about what it is you're proposing.

                I'm just expressing my opinion that the article is more critical of the team than I think they deserve, and explaining why by using a more fine-grain look at their performance. You can look at it however you like, of course, I'm not prescribing any particular view.

                The explanation is just to support my opinion. 0-40 gives a specific large-grain picture that makes them look like abject failures (a tone the article also takes in my opinion), while 21-141 (and specifically pointing out that that's 13%) is a more fine-grain picture that paints them as mere under-performers.

                Think of it like taking a nice colourful 1920x1080 image and reducing it to 16x9 pixels - it might end up being shades of grey and brown as all the colours are averaged out and you might mistakenly believe the picture was all greys and browns in the first place, but it wasn't. Same kind of principle here.

                  Ok, I think this is the key point we're disagreeing on - you feel the article is more critical than I do. That's cool. Each to their own. :)

              Also, just to be clear, I haven't disagreed with you. I've agreed with you that presenting map-wins offers a broader statistical perspective. You don't need to polarise my opinion, because I agree with you on this. As I said, my confusion is that the article already talks about this. So... what do you want here?

                So the downvote is because you feel I've mischaracterised your position?

                  Haha, the downvote was because I knew you'd bring it up in the next msg. Who gives a single upvote, in such a quick turn around, 5 msgs deep into a thread? The person who made the post, of course. Admit it - you wanted to see if I'd downvote you. ;P

                  @thepoetpyronius I noticed because it had a 1 on it when I replied before, and a 0 on it now, and I was curious who would downvote what I thought was a fairly rational comment. I'm not comixfan, I don't have multiple accounts or sockpuppet, it's against the rules. It was a rule I helped get put in place, actually.

                  Replying here since the thread is at it's msg limit. Well, now i feel like an asshole. My bad. :)
                  Last time I checked you could self upvote, when did they change that? Nm, have one back. ;P

                  @thepoetpyronius Ha, all good mate :) It doesn't bother me, I always want people to feel free to disagree with me; I was just curious if there was a reason, helps me learn when I haven't communicated well. You can see who voted (and how) by clicking the number, if you're curious.

                  All g. I'm never really bothered by a disagreement either, I enjoy talking about it to gain clarity. :)
                  And I did not know that! Good tip.

    I hope the author doesn’t cut himself on all that edge.

    It's not a good thing for the OWL in general, China makes up a large majority of views and a really big chunk of merchandise. Losing that amount of revenue won't be a good thing if the dragons fans start to fizzle.

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