Three-time Overwatch Contenders Australia champions Sydney Drop Bears are looking to get back into the winner’s circle in 2020, casting their eyes overseas to Thailand and Korea to elevate their roster to the next level.
The Sydney Drop Bears are ready to hit 2020 running, acquiring the services of new Korean and Thai imports, as well as former Ground Zero main tank Robert ‘Minny’ Shishoian.
Minny, who made the season one 2019 IEM Sydney LAN with the Melbourne Mavericks, is one of Australia’s rising stars in the role. The 16-year-old has cemented himself as one of the best Winston players from the region, and will be looking to improve on back-to-back 3-4th place finishes in 2019 with the prestigious organization.
However, with the Australian talent pool drying up between retirements and exports, the Drop Bears have been forced to look overseas for hidden gems to bring over to Australia. They’ve managed to find that in DPS player Thanadol ‘thk’ Kitautcharanukul and off-tankKim ‘DoRi’ Ju-yong.
Thk has been a part of Xavier Esports since 2017, having played in every season of Contenders Pacific for the SEA org. The young Thai DPS player has been on the cusp of multiple Overwatch World Cup appearances, although has often played second fiddle to the likes of Ubon ‘oPuTo’ Dara and Patiphan ‘Patiphan’ Chaiwong.
DoRi joins as the team’s off-tank with no prior competitive experience. He comes with only ladder credentials to his name, but will be looking to build his reputation in Contenders Australia.
The Sydney Drop Bears will round out their roster with Dario ‘Akraken’ Falcao-Rassokah, Ashley ‘Fluro’ Thompson, and Winter ‘Winter’ Thomas returning for 2020.
Winter was a shining star for the Drop Bears in the latter half of 2019, breaking out to prove himself as one of the region’s best DPS players. Akraken will now have more time to dedicate to Overwatch after completing his studies, with the flex support player expected to return to his dominant 2018 self.
The Drop Bears have also managed to obtain the services of Spain Overwatch World Cup coach Pablo ‘Darkzero’ Alonso, as well as Up Gaming coach Luke ‘Talavin’ Keller.
Sydney Drop Bears’ import strategy has been led to mixed results. After being forced to rebuild in 2019, the Drop Bears fell to Order for the first time at IEM Sydney in season one, and then failed to make the Melbourne Esports Open grand finals in season two with their mixed roster.
Players like Song ‘Dreamer’ Sang-lok and Teetawat ‘Teetawat’ Teerayosyotin have gone on to play in the Overwatch League, but other talent like Park ‘Nyang’ Su-young have slumped back into the shadows. Their 2020 season will rely on these imports for success, but if it all pays off, Australian Overwatch’s old dynasty could be returning to the helm.
Contenders Australia restarts in mid-January for the 2020 Seeding Tournament. Follow the Sydney Drop Bears on Twitter.