Now that the inaugural season of the Overwatch League is complete, Blizzard and the fans of the game can take a reflective look back. It’s a pretty exciting time too given the bright future of eSports and being part of something brand new. After all, most of us weren’t around when the NFL, NBA or MLB started up.
Part of reflecting on the new, however, comes with looking at the first season and the mark it made in the annals of sports history. While there are arguably some stellar things to add to the timeline of sports including being the first major franchise to take on eSports as a true professional sport, there are also more…dubious honors. One, in fact, eclipses not only eSports but all professional sports. We are speaking, of course, of the 0-40 season of the Shanghai Dragons.
But how could such a thing happen? NetEase, a Chinese gaming conglomerate, poured $20 million for the rights to a franchise and additional hundreds of thousands of dollars for player salaries, advertisement, and all of the other attendant expenses for a professional sports team. The stars seemed perfectly aligned for success. However, money alone can’t make a team ‘gel’.
According to AbacusNews.com, the Shanghai Dragons’ loss record supersedes that of the Philadelphia 76ers NBA team and it’s 28-game losing streak. Oh and let’s not forget the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers that lost 26 games spanning two seasons. Crossing the sea, we also find the English Premier League team Sunderland that lost 15-games in a single season.
Seeing those numbers, one quickly realizes how abysmal a 0-45 record truly is.
What contributed to this horrifically bad season? The head coach got fired. The League’s first female player was unable to play due to visa issues. The team’s best player was dropped after a deluge of personal issues detracted from his concentration. Practice sessions were said to last over 12-hours per day, 6 days a week. The sum total is a lack of consistency and player fatigue all leading to the arguably worst “honor” in sports history.
The bottom line for fans is that it pays to understand the odds of championship potential for any team as well as to understand the underlying factors contributing to its chances for success or failure. NYXL has proven that they are a successful and consistent team. Without a doubt, they have the best chances of winning the Championship. In fact, Sportsbettingdime.com has set the teams’ odds on winning the championship at a very favorable 2/3 (60%). At this point, it’ll be hard for any other team to take that first spot.