• Derek "MimicOmnic" Kwok

Can you believe it?! It has been two months since all Competitive Committees have started their work for their home country. That means we are in the half way to Overwatch® World Cup! To maintain the promised transparency and interaction with you, the community, I am writing this mid-term report and team updates. This is a long one, so please stay with us!

Photo Day From Left: Step, MangoJai, Mikouw, Moowe, YiWind, Amcrazy (MoonBlue is in Canada so he cannot join in the photo day)

First things first, don't worry, we will attend this year's World Cup. And we are very excited to play in the United States as most of us are having their first trip to the US.

Sponsorship and Crowdfunding

Unfortunately, we still haven't secured any sponsorship deals for the Team and we have just met 30% of our crowdfunding target only. Given the current circumstances and events happening in Hong Kong, we understand the situation, and everyone here in Fire Dragons feels a bit awkward to announce this crowdfunding project. We apologize if you see this project as inappropriate in midst of these social events, however, this is the only timing for us to gather funding. And we think Hong Kong people could make wise choice of spending their money - as always - to things that they believed and interested in.

As I am writing this, we have received 26,603 HKD of donations. To be honest, we did not expect we could receive quite a large amount of donations from you all. Again, as always, you are the best! We haven't forgotten about you, the lack of announcement is because of us still finding proper ways to honour donors! However, we are still very far away from fully sponsor team members. Please help further spread the crowdfunding project to your friends and families: https://goget.fund/2ZsSeCh

It is especially heartbreaking for me personally to receive private messages from players mentioning that they are using most of their savings for this trip. This is definitely the shortcoming of the committee. And we have been trying so hard to secure sponsorship deals. We are finding other solutions for relieving players' burden. And we will update you after we have found the way out.

State of Travel

We know travel to the United States could be a headache when we are handling such a large group of players, especially for travel permit applications. To avoid any disturbances to their practice schedule, we decided to act fast - super fast.

Most of our players have received their travel visa for the United States, thanks to Blizzard's quick preparation on related documents for visa application.

We have already purchased air tickets and hotels for this trip to lower the possibilities of missing bargaining prices because of the late booking. We chose a direct flight from Cathay Pacific because the committee hope to minimize the flight time so as to avoid fatigues after arriving at Los Angeles after a super-long-haul flight.

The committee has pre-paid the costs - these costed almost 100,000 HKD (equivalent to 12,800 USD) which is slightly lower than what we have anticipated but yet, it is still a extreme heavy burden for the committee to pay this amount of money ahead of time.

Scrims and Show match

Haruhi and his coaching team have arranged regular scrims for players (compared to last year: none) and as expected, we need some time to polish their coordination. We are looking very closely to what Sigma and other heroes changes do to the competitive scene so we can adjust the training focus. Because of strategic concerns, please forgive us not to disclose any performance feedbacks to you.

We have intentions to do show matches with our fellow WC teams from SEA, but we think we need a bit more time to get ready for that, ETA early October. (Sorry, Singapore!)

Branding and Community

This year, me and ASCII focuses on building pride and hype for players and our community. Having a sense of pride to represent Hong Kong is extremely important to strive for excellence when it comes down World Cup. We treasure our players' ideas on content creation and we treat them like our family. From this, we are extending to Hong Kong community and the global community. We created a "brand" - Fire Dragons to form a center of Hong Kong community so we can attract even more players to join us.

Building a Hong Kong community is extremely hard. Especially when the player base is that small and is scattered around the world and in many different communities. Just within 18 members from Team Hong Kong, 5 of us are not regularly stationing in Hong Kong, imagine the entire community. We see challenges, but we also see a huge potential for building a Hong Kong community for Overwatch.

Our community team is working very hard to produce content like trials highlights and some "comm check"-style of videos for you to enjoy. We are as well planning to play some internal and external community games so we allow interactions between the community and our players despite of a heavy practice schedule. We will be announcing these through our social media accounts soon.

And.... alternate jersey? Yes! Richard, also known as GreatRootBear, has been extremely helpful and is coordinating the design pipeline. We have received the first draft - we have so many comments on it - but it looks amazing already. Please stay tuned for more detail!

And lastly, updating our socials, make sure you follow them all!

Twitter (English): https://twitter.com/OWTeamHongKong

Facebook (Chinese): https://www.facebook.com/OWWCTeamHongKong/

Instagram (Chinese): https://instagram.com/owwcteamhongkong

Discord: https://discord.gg/mEutUvA

For those who don't understand Chinese, worry not, a lot of us know English and we can teach you Cantonese if you wish to learn :P

Top left: Step, MangoJai, Mikouw, Moowe, YiWind, Amcrazy Bottom left: Poorism (Community), Derek (GM), ASCII (Comm Lead), Mif (Community)

Lastly, recent social events from Hong Kong has been rough for everyone here in Team Hong Kong to digest. While we decided to maintain the Team politically neutral, the committee are not prohibiting players to express their views in public for sake of freedom of speech. We wish those who can actually make changes to act reasonably and responsibly so as to allow Hong Kong to walk away from shadows. Those events might have been disturbing some of our players. We will keep monitoring their mental status and morale so we can help our players to stay focused practicing and making the home proud.

Until next time, see ya!

Derek

General Manager

  • Derek "MimicOmnic" Kwok

Updated: Jul 31

Hello! It's Team Hong Kong General Manager - Derek. We have chosen our 7 Fire Dragons and announced them in the past two days. Are you hyped? Are you excited? We know... we know... some players you liked might not be recruited as one of the final 7. To be fair, it is a much tougher choice for us this year than last year as every players in the trials gave everything they got to us. And we have in fact, spent four meetings before we can actually consolidate the final roster. It is a tough task to be made and for all of us, we take every single decision seriously.

You may be wondering, we treasure transparency so much. Why would we choose a closed-door trials unlike other national teams? It is tough... we hope to make a comfortable environment for our coach and our players to perform without enormous pressure from the community. Our community team (we will announce soon!) is working extremely hard to give trials highlights and comms extract (it's hilarious!) to be shown in public.

Now, we will explain why we choose our 7 dragons and why we dropped some:

Support:

  1. MangoJai - Mango is the most experienced player in Hong Kong. Extremely skillful and such a mastermind for a lot of teams he stayed, there were so many crazy ideas and battle plans throughout the trials. His play, his skill and his communication are becoming so mature that we feel that he is ready to step up his game and we hope to see him going to the Overwatch® League.

  2. YiWind - As a mercy main coming to the competitive scene, YiWind's hero pool can accommodate with Mango, he can play Baptiste, Mercy and quite a good command of Ana while Mango can play god-tier Ana and Zenyatta. His calm and steady play style can balance with Mango's proactive style. Together they form a extremely solid supporting line helping our damage and tank players to shine.

Why not Jazzy?

Jazzy is definitely a strong pick. We have a tough time to make such a decision for quite an substantial amount of time and the reason behind is quite personal, so we choose rather not to publicly discuss this.

We mutually agree not to pick Jazzy this year for him after hours of discussion so he can spend enough time to strengthen his mental status even more to play with fellow Hong Kong players. We wish him success and getting stronger next year to contest the position.

Tank:

  1. Amcrazy - From last year's substitute to main roster, Amcrazy dedicated his time to learn and master the art of main tanks starting from last year. We have seen a tremendous improvement on his Orisa and Reinhardt in the trials. His play-style is literally like his name - crazy - aggressive and reckless. We see Amcrazy as an unpolished pearl now and he will be an aggressive but yet reliable tank player on stage under our heavy focus.

  2. Step - A new face for Team Hong Kong. He is so passionate and eager to play as a player in OWWC 2019 and try to use this opportunities to join the next phase of Path to Pro for him - Contenders. His mid-field commands are on point, even Mango caught up with us to praise his promising commanding work. He is able to calm Amcrazy down and work closely with him (as they are in the same Open Division team) but also taking enough care on backline and strategic arrangement. The committee is extremely amazed with his performance in the trials.

Damage:

  1. Moowe - Who wanted some more Widowmaker from Moowe? Yes! Here he is. He is still stunning even after a year of 3-0-3 DPS desert. Sneaky, risky and rewarding plays were seen in the trials from him. And when he played with the group, he smashed it. There is an amazing chemistry between Mango, Miko and him as they are ex-teammates. So he is a definite choice.

  2. MoonBlue - A cavalry from North America, an amazing and renowned projectile player from NA competitive scene. MoonBlue is surprising us. Participating in the trials with 200 ms ping, he could still have play after play to make huge differences on the match. He is a great fill for our team to allow more flexibility on our team composition.

  3. Mikouw - He is rather an unsung hero, he is an amazing damage player with a wide range of hero pool, from McCree to Tracer, from Tracer to Doomfist, he is always a reliable damage dealer with clean execution of strategies. One trial Miko had was a super underdog match, he could still manage to deal enough damage and take leadership role in the match. This is impressive and he earned this role.

3 damage players?

As we mentioned above in MoonBlue comments, the combination of these 3 damage players could yield a tremendous flexibility of team compositions. They all have different specialties and they all are REALLY good at those. They are some of the best damage players we have seen in the world. Utilizing the best of these 3 players' damage pools, our chance of winning increase drastically.

Special mention - Krekro

A talented player active in UK University leagues and Open Division Europe, his Skill Rating might not be the best, but that's just a decoy. His damage dealing was reliable and decisive. He improved a lot from trial series 1 until the end of the trial. This is an excellent experience for him to fight against professional players and this is as well an unforgettable feeling for him to strive for the best. Tough group really, it is a shame for us not giving a spot for him, but if he can leverage this experience, he will be a strong contestant of Team Hong Kong damage position in future years.

We have to thank all 12 players participating to our trials. We appreciate them - we really do. It is their effort to ignite the passion of our top 7 dragons and the committee to strive for the best result for all those players we dropped.

Team Hong Kong's Full Roster

So... what next?

The committee focuses changed from handling trials to promotion, travel and coaching.

You will soon expect some contents and community engagements from ASCII, our community lead and her task group we formed. I have heard some of the ideas, they are fun and amazing. We hope to cater those who are hardcore to competitive Overwatch, as well as casual community members from not only in Hong Kong but also the world. Please stay tuned!

We have assistant coaches this year as well! Please stay tuned for more information! And more importantly... we are seeking for funding to allow everyone here at Team Hong Kong to travel to the United States for participating in this year's World Cup. It is tough for our players to self-finance their way to the United States as the costs could take up to 1,800 USD (or 14,000 HKD). We have started a crowdfunding campaign and we need you to participate. Please help us! or otherwise we would miss this amazing opportunity for showcasing our amazing roster!

This is our GoGetFunding website - please back us up!

Derek Kwok

General Manager