The Dallas Fuel is the main candidate to make the biggest jump in terms of record from stage one to stage two. The trade for Kim “Rascal” Dong-jun and signing heavy sought-after free agent Dylan “aKm” Bignet revitalized a talented Dallas Fuel roster. Unfortunately, the Seoul Dynasty brought the newly formed Fuel roster back down to earth.
There’s still a question of how the Dallas Fuel looks to use their new DPS-mains. Early on, aKm has been the primary hitscan player with Hwang “EFFECT” Hyeon on Tracer. Rascal will often replace aKm, keeping Effect focused on his role. It comes down to map preference, and the Fuel is still feeling it out. The use of Effect does deserve a spotlight considering his lack of production against the top OWL Tracer players.
Munchkin Steals the show
In my eyes, Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom was the standout in the 3-1 for the Seoul Dynasty. Yes, Kim “Zunba” Joon-hyuk was everywhere on the D.Va, but it was Munchkin’s survivability and constant full-clips that had the most positive effect for the Dynasty. The Dynasty made a substitution on Hollywood moving out Munchkin for Choi “Wekeed” Seok-woo to play Genji. The move led to Effect with more space to work and not have Munchkin continually bully him. It was the one map win for the Dallas Fuel.
It was a total team effort from the Seoul Dynasty. Predictably, letting Yang “tobi” Jin-mo focus on Lucio and Ryu “Ryujehong” Je-hong play more reactionary on Zenyatta makes them that much scarier. By no means were Jonathan “HarryHook” Tejedor Rua and Scott “Custa” Kennedy bad, it was actually quite the opposite, but with all the pressure Zunba and Munchkin can do to support mains, it allowed the Dynasty supports to thrive.
The biggest mismatch in the loss for the Dallas Fuel was trying to contain the two-man wrecking crew of Zunba and Gong “Miro” Jin-hyuk. It’s not often Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod looks that bad in the D.Va matchup, but the aggressive anti-dive defense from the Dynasty made it really tough on both Mickie and Félix “xQc” Lengyel. The sheer advantage in eliminations-to-death ratio shows how dominant the Seoul tanks were yesterday.
A Small Stepback for the Dallas Fuel
However, it’s not all bad for the Dallas Fuel. A small step back, sure, but even in a 3-1 loss, they showed plenty of fight. It felt as if a game five was certain to happen after a third point hold on Route 66, but the Dynasty’s timely hero changes on the last point and stalling tactics held on. The lack of in-game adjustments and coaching adjustments continues to be a work in progress.
— Twitch Esports (@TwitchEsports) March 1, 2018
The Fuel will end week two facing another 2-1 team in the Los Angeles Valiant. It’s gut check time for a Fuel squad who not only needs wins to stay competitive for the stage two playoffs but as a team who desperately needs wins to get back in the overall playoff conversation. A loss against the Valiant would be a major blow to their chances and will kill the good feeling the new acquisitions have brought to this team.
Lineup Questions Persist for both the Dynasty and Fuel
Despite the win, the move off the hot hand in Munchkin to Wekeed was questionable from the Dynasty coaching staff. Add the Dynasty to the list of teams struggling to find cohesion with their DPS players. Week one was all Chae “Bunny” Joon-hyuk and Munchkin has thus far received all the week two playing time. It’s another work in progress, but Munchkin’s starting to separate himself from the pack.
Back to the Fuel roster, finding the right spot to run Rascal or aKm will come off trial and error. aKm got good run on strong Soldier: 76 maps and switched onto Pharah on Hollywood. The decision to go with Rascal on Route 66 was questionable considering aKm was much more warmed up and starting to present problems for the Dynasty. The move to Rascal, who ended up playing 76 anyways, didn’t have the same effect on the match.
Regardless, both teams have a good problem here. The talent on both rosters is immense and finding playing time for all these talented players is a task. Good players will be on the bench as it’s inevitable, but finding the right balance and using substitutions timely will separate the best coaches from the worst. It’s a small issue, but an issue nonetheless and something to track heading into the rest of stage two.
Featured photo via Seoul Dynasty Twitter