The largest complaint lodged against the upstart Overwatch League since its inception has been the omission of female players from all 12 franchises, but that is reportedly about to change. According to Rod Breslau at ESPN, Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon will become the first woman signed to an OWL roster. She is set to join the winless Shanghai Dragons as the team attempts to right the ship as the first stage of the OWL season nears its end.
The news comes after Geguri announced that she had signed with a “foreign” team during a stream, noting that she would not be joining the only South Korea-based team, the dominant Seoul Dynasty.
Geguri is known within the Overwatch community as one of the best Zarya players in the world and was a member of the now-defunct Apex League squad ROX Orcas. The Korean player’s name has come up numerous times since the announcement of the OWL rosters revealed that no female players had been signed to compete as an example of top female players being passed over during the league’s signing process.
Shanghai’s acquistion of Geguri couldn’t come at a better time, as the team is highly likely to end stage one of the OWL season with a goose egg in the win column. The Dragons are looking to retool their roster by bringing in Geguri alongside two other Korean players, Lee “Fearless” Eui-Seok and Cheon “Ado” Ki-hyun, and an unnamed Chinese player.
The move is the first answer to a number of concerns plaguing the OWL during its inaugural season. Apart from criticisms over the lack of female players, the league has also suffered black eyes due to numerous player conduct violations, the bleeding of bigoted internet culture into player and team activities, and a lack of transparency pertaining to the league’s code of conduct. The league has proven immensely popular in its first month, though, so this is a good first step toward making it more inclusive.
There’s no word yet on when Geguri mount up behind the mouse and keyboard for the Dragons, but her debut more than likely will not occur until the second stage of the season begins when the Dragons face the Dallas Fuel on Feb. 21.