China's Overwatch League team, Shanghai Dragons, addressed its fans yesterday following 32 losses and zero wins since the league started. While the tone of the letter was intended as an apology and a promise to work harder, it revealed an intense training schedule that may be doing more harm than good.
"We have the most intensive training scheme among all the teams," team manager Van Yang explained in the open letter. "Our daily schedule starts at 10:30am as we leave for training facilities and return to our houses around 10:30 to 11:00pm, with a possible training extension to 12:00am; we train six days a week with one day off. During mid-stages, we have 3-4 days off depends on other teams' schedule (if we can have scrims with them)."
In addition, Yang addressed fans who were concerned that Shanghai Dragons members were playing games that were not Overwatch, stating that they only did so on off days. He does not address how the team handles travel time or breaks.
The team's long hours seem to fly in the face of Blizzard's goals for a sustainable league that supports its players. Though they may have financial security and other benefits, Shanghai Dragons' players appear to be working 72 hour weeks to obtain them.
This isn't the first bout of controversy Shanghai Dragons has experienced. The team has lost two of its coaches since the start of the league in January, one for health reasons and the other for rule violations. Though four new players joined the roster recently (including the league's first female player, Kim "Geguri" Se-Yeon) and have improved the team's play overall, Shanghai Dragons still hasn't won a match.