Can you believe it?! It has been two months since all Competitive Committees have started their work for their home country. That means we are in the half way to Overwatch® World Cup! To maintain the promised transparency and interaction with you, the community, I am writing this mid-term report and team updates. This is a long one, so please stay with us!
Photo Day From Left: Step, MangoJai, Mikouw, Moowe, YiWind, Amcrazy (MoonBlue is in Canada so he cannot join in the photo day)
First things first, don't worry, we will attend this year's World Cup. And we are very excited to play in the United States as most of us are having their first trip to the US.
Sponsorship and Crowdfunding
Unfortunately, we still haven't secured any sponsorship deals for the Team and we have just met 30% of our crowdfunding target only. Given the current circumstances and events happening in Hong Kong, we understand the situation, and everyone here in Fire Dragons feels a bit awkward to announce this crowdfunding project. We apologize if you see this project as inappropriate in midst of these social events, however, this is the only timing for us to gather funding. And we think Hong Kong people could make wise choice of spending their money - as always - to things that they believed and interested in.
As I am writing this, we have received 26,603 HKD of donations. To be honest, we did not expect we could receive quite a large amount of donations from you all. Again, as always, you are the best! We haven't forgotten about you, the lack of announcement is because of us still finding proper ways to honour donors! However, we are still very far away from fully sponsor team members. Please help further spread the crowdfunding project to your friends and families: https://goget.fund/2ZsSeCh
It is especially heartbreaking for me personally to receive private messages from players mentioning that they are using most of their savings for this trip. This is definitely the shortcoming of the committee. And we have been trying so hard to secure sponsorship deals. We are finding other solutions for relieving players' burden. And we will update you after we have found the way out.
State of Travel
We know travel to the United States could be a headache when we are handling such a large group of players, especially for travel permit applications. To avoid any disturbances to their practice schedule, we decided to act fast - super fast.
Most of our players have received their travel visa for the United States, thanks to Blizzard's quick preparation on related documents for visa application.
We have already purchased air tickets and hotels for this trip to lower the possibilities of missing bargaining prices because of the late booking. We chose a direct flight from Cathay Pacific because the committee hope to minimize the flight time so as to avoid fatigues after arriving at Los Angeles after a super-long-haul flight.
The committee has pre-paid the costs - these costed almost 100,000 HKD (equivalent to 12,800 USD) which is slightly lower than what we have anticipated but yet, it is still a extreme heavy burden for the committee to pay this amount of money ahead of time.
Scrims and Show match
Haruhi and his coaching team have arranged regular scrims for players (compared to last year: none) and as expected, we need some time to polish their coordination. We are looking very closely to what Sigma and other heroes changes do to the competitive scene so we can adjust the training focus. Because of strategic concerns, please forgive us not to disclose any performance feedbacks to you.
We have intentions to do show matches with our fellow WC teams from SEA, but we think we need a bit more time to get ready for that, ETA early October. (Sorry, Singapore!)
Branding and Community
This year, me and ASCII focuses on building pride and hype for players and our community. Having a sense of pride to represent Hong Kong is extremely important to strive for excellence when it comes down World Cup. We treasure our players' ideas on content creation and we treat them like our family. From this, we are extending to Hong Kong community and the global community. We created a "brand" - Fire Dragons to form a center of Hong Kong community so we can attract even more players to join us.
Building a Hong Kong community is extremely hard. Especially when the player base is that small and is scattered around the world and in many different communities. Just within 18 members from Team Hong Kong, 5 of us are not regularly stationing in Hong Kong, imagine the entire community. We see challenges, but we also see a huge potential for building a Hong Kong community for Overwatch.
Our community team is working very hard to produce content like trials highlights and some "comm check"-style of videos for you to enjoy. We are as well planning to play some internal and external community games so we allow interactions between the community and our players despite of a heavy practice schedule. We will be announcing these through our social media accounts soon.
And.... alternate jersey? Yes! Richard, also known as GreatRootBear, has been extremely helpful and is coordinating the design pipeline. We have received the first draft - we have so many comments on it - but it looks amazing already. Please stay tuned for more detail!
And lastly, updating our socials, make sure you follow them all!
Twitter (English): https://twitter.com/OWTeamHongKong
Facebook (Chinese): https://www.facebook.com/OWWCTeamHongKong/
Instagram (Chinese): https://instagram.com/owwcteamhongkong
For those who don't understand Chinese, worry not, a lot of us know English and we can teach you Cantonese if you wish to learn :P
Top left: Step, MangoJai, Mikouw, Moowe, YiWind, Amcrazy Bottom left: Poorism (Community), Derek (GM), ASCII (Comm Lead), Mif (Community)
Lastly, recent social events from Hong Kong has been rough for everyone here in Team Hong Kong to digest. While we decided to maintain the Team politically neutral, the committee are not prohibiting players to express their views in public for sake of freedom of speech. We wish those who can actually make changes to act reasonably and responsibly so as to allow Hong Kong to walk away from shadows. Those events might have been disturbing some of our players. We will keep monitoring their mental status and morale so we can help our players to stay focused practicing and making the home proud.
Until next time, see ya!