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LA Valiant Sign New Chinese Roster for OWL Season 4

Aaron Alford

On Thursday, March 18th, the Los Angeles Valiant officially announced the signing a new Chinese roster for the upcoming Overwatch League season. The signing comes six weeks after the team cut their old NA lineup. Cuts that took place while in the process of relocating the team and its operations to Asia, where they are set to compete throughout the upcoming OWL season.

LA Valiant 2021 roster

Image courtesy of L.A. Valiant

Thursday’s roster announcement comes nearly two months after the Valiant organization announced that they had dropped their entire NA roster due to Visa issues related to the relocation and COVID-19. The organization’s move drew a significant amount of criticism due to its timing, coming nearly a month after the deadline for teams to have signed their players. As a result, many of the dropped players didn’t even have a chance to make their case to other teams.

The new Valiant Chinese roster consists of:

  • Flex DPS Cai “Krystal” Shilong 
  • Flex DPS Liao “MoLanran” Yang
  • Main Tank Han “Silver3” Haibo
  • Main Tank Yelin “Aidoudou” Wen
  • Flex Tank Cheng “ShowCheng” Yu
  • Main Support Zhang “Highbee” Zening
  • Flex Support Qi “Wya” Haomiao

Valiant’s new lineup features mostly Overwatch League rookie players. Only Krystal and Wya having played in the OWL before, both for Guangzhou Charge. Most of the team members were strong prospects in Chinese Contenders before Valiant signed them. 

This is a very young team that won’t have much time to prepare before jumping head first into OWL competition. And against the likes of the Shanghai Dragons and Philadephia Fusion, who are also competing in the APAC division this year. We saw a similar situation last year with the youthful Vancouver Titans team that was signed after the Titans dropped their entire roster mid-season. Vancouver’s young, last-minute lineup ended up struggling throughout the year, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see this new Valiant roster also take a while to find success in the very competitive APAC division.

Krystal Makes His Return

One of the most surprising aspects of this announcement was the inclusion of Krystal. It was unexpected to see the DPS player again on an Overwatch League team, after his bad blood with the Hangzhou Spark and brief two-way career with Charge in 2020. Krystal was even sued by Spark’s parent organization Bilibi Esports, after he allegedly took extended time off without permission and refused to come to team practices.

Despite finding little playtime or success on his previous teams, Krystal somehow always manages to find his way back into the Overwatch League. Maybe this time it will stick.

The Valiant’s newly minted team won’t have to wait long before testing their metal. Overwatch League kicks off its fourth season in less than a month on April 16th, 2021.