Oh boy, the time’s finally come. The rumours have been circulating. Spark fans have been eagerly awaiting another signing.
This Wednesday, the team announced the signing of Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon on projectile DPS. He is the Spark’s third new signing on top of Contenders stars Tong “Coldest” Xiadong (flex support) and Liu “M1ka” Jiming (main support). Today, I’ll be breaking down what each of the new signings mean for the team. What impact can they make on a relatively stable core 6?
Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon
Ado joins the team having played on the extremely disappointing Season 1 Shanghai Dragons, as well as, Season 2 newcomers Washington Justice. Keep in mind, he was stuck in GOATs jail for a lot of that season.
I’m extremely excited to see what Ado can do on the Spark. Many would argue that this signing was pointless; considering, GodsB, Bazzi and Adora could cover most of the DPS bases. I’m absolutely giving him the benefit of the doubt here though. He sat on mediocre teams in his past 2 seasons and was never really given an opportunity to shine. Plus, based on the matches we’ve seen so far this week, Genji seems a viable pick. Ado’s known for his stellar Genji play. Paired alongside one of, if not the, world’s best Winston player in Xu “guxue” Qiulin, the team could become a dive powerhouse.
Ado’s had a 2-month tryout with the team. With rumours of further Chinese Contenders talent potentially joining the team, he must have performed exceptionally. As a fan, I trust the organisation in signing Ado, as according to the Spark, Ado’s “skill and professionalism impressed [the team] during his 2-month tryout.” Even if he doesn’t get lots of playtime, he brings a wealth of experience and skill that will help develop the team’s talent.
We’ve seen Ado’s insane Genji and Tracer plays, and with a solid coaching group behind him I feel he can develop into a brilliant player – he deserves it after all. He’s going to impress everyone and prove all his doubters wrong. I mean, come on, the scriptwriters should give him his redemption arc, right?
Tong “Coldest” Xiaodong
Tong “Coldest” Xiaodong is the first of two Contenders signings for the Spark. He brings with him a plethora of Tier 2 experience having played in every season of Contenders China since 2018’s first season. He first played on Team Skadi’s Gift in early 2018, where he earned a 5-8th placing in China’s first season of Contenders that year.
On June 9th of that year, Tong (alongside Liu “M1ka” Jiming) joined Flag Gaming. He played for them during the rest of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. He earned 3-4th and 2nd place Season 2 and 3 respectively in Contenders China. BiliBili Gaming, the Spark’s academy team, acquired him soon after. He earned the moniker of the “Chinese JJonak” thanks to his exceptional Zenyatta play throughout his time in tier 2. I’m extremely excited to see what Coldest can bring to the team as one of China’s best flex supports.
The only question is whether the Spark will start him over Bebe. Ideally I’d want to see a Coldest/iDK support lineup but questions hover over their ability to comm. It seems likely to happen now, as the team has more time to hone support cohesion. Only time will tell. This is a big signing – I’m really excited to see this guy take to the stage.
Liu “M1ka” Jiming
Liu “M1ka” Jiming is the second Contenders China signing the team has made. He comes in on main support, specialising in heroes such as Mercy and Lucio. He also brings in a wealth of Tier 2 experience. M1ka has played on the same team as Coldest since late 2017 on Team Skadi’s Gift – the two have awesome chemistry already, and the only concern is whether they can translate this to the Overwatch League.
M1ka is certainly the more unknown of the three new signings in the Western world. Many rate him as a top 5 main support in the Chinese region. He’s an exciting prospect for sure, and I’m really excited to see him play! He brings a great deal of experience as a mature Tier 2 player. I don’t know if he can start over iDK, unless the team rotates support duos from iDK/Bebe to Coldest/M1ka. We’ll find out soon enough when the Spark take to the stage.
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