Esports Overwatch

Overwatch League: Seoul Dynasty Season Preview

The Seoul Dynasty entered the Overwatch League carrying the legacy of Lunatic-Hai, a team that had won back-to-back APEX Championships and was lauded globally for their impressive play. Season 1 did not see Seoul rise to the lofty expectations placed upon them. What will Season 2 hold for Seoul Dynasty and their newly-revamped roster?

Season 1 Recap

Stage 1

The first stage of the Overwatch League was relatively kind to the Seoul Dynasty, seeing them finish with a 7-3 match record and land in fifth place in the stage rankings. They finally dropped a close match against the New York Excelsior in Week 3 and fell in decisive losses to the Los Angeles Valiant and the London Spitfire. 

Stage 2

Seoul started strong with a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Valiant. They continued their dominance and remained undefeated until week four, where they lost to both the New York Excelsior and the London Spitfire. Neither loss proved to be as devastating as their fall to the Houston Outlaws in week five. Seoul Dynasty finished the stage with a 7-3 match record which put them in fourth place, just shy of the Stage 2 playoffs.

Stage 3
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Although Seoul had previously failed to deliver the dominance that many anticipated from them, Stage 3 saw Seoul continue to crumble. In week 5, OWL audiences saw flex support Ryu “ryujehong” Jehong placed into the role of main tank despite never having played the role in a competitive environment. Not for the first time, questions arose about both Seoul’s management and players. They ended the stage with a 5-5 match record and only found wins against underperforming or historically weaker teams.

Stage 4

Seoul was demolished in Stage 4, to say the least. They scraped out wins against teams like Florida Mayhem and ended the stage with a 3-7 match score. Dallas Fuel, another team with high expectations that had struggled throughout the entirety of the inaugural season, eclipsed Seoul Dynasty by the end of Stage 4.

In The End

Seoul Dynasty finished their inaugural season in 8th place, far from their predicted dominance in preseason power rankings. They failed to make any stage playoffs nor the end-of-season playoffs, returning back to Korea to rebuild in the off-season. 

Returning Roster

  • General Manager: Lee “Hocury” Ho-cheol
  • Flex/Support: Ryu “Ryujehong” Jehong
  • Flex Tank: Kim “zunba” Joon-hyeok
  • Main Support: Yang “tobi” Jin-mo
  • DPS: Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun
  • DPS: Byun “Munchkin Sang-beom

While making some changes in the coaching staff, many of the main players from last season return. Lead by Fleta, Munchkin, tobi and  Ryujehong this teams still has plenty of talent. Fleta and Ryujehong are up there with some of the best at their position. It is clear that while they made additions, DPS was not one where they felt they needed any help. Fleta and Munchkin more than held their own at times last season, so the hope will be that they can do the same this year.

New Additions

  • Head Coach: Kim “KDG” Donggun
  • Assistant Coach: Park “Changgoon” Chang-geun
  • Assistant Coach: Lee “WhyNot” Ju-hyeop
  • Main Tank: Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung
  • Main Tank: Hwang “Marve1” Min-seo
  • Flex Tank: Choi “Michelle” Min-hyuk
  • Main Support: Lee “Jecse” Seung-soo

Michelle and Marve1 both come over from a Lucky Future Zenith that found a lot of success in 2018 winning both Season 1 and 2 in Overwatch Contenders China. Jecse also comes from a successful team, Element Mystic, who lost to RunAway in the Contenders Korea playoffs twice last season. These additions should prove useful as all three of them have played Overwatch at a very competitive level.

As for the coaches, KDG was with 6nakes where he brought them through Trials and helped them finish in a respectful position 5-8 during Season 2 of Contenders Europe. Changgoon also comes from a winning pedigree as he was part of the London Spitfire. Lastly WhyNot also comes over from a long stint in coaching over in Contender Korea. The hope is that these coaches will be able to bring Seoul together to be the team they were meant to be.

Last but certainly not least is Fissure, the man who helped the Los Angeles Gladiators go from middle of the pack to the top. It is clear that Fissure is one of the best main tanks in the world. Some would argue the best. Many believe that by adding him, Seoul may have set themselves up for a deep playoff run. Only time will tell, but the man should add quite a bit to this squad.

Player to Watch

Image Courtesy of Play Overwatch

Undoubtedly, this has to be main tank Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung. Seoul Dynasty seemed unable to find their rhythm with either of their former main tanks, at one point calling upon flex support Jehong “Ryujehong” Ryu to fill the role. Though there were issues to be found throughout their roster, the inability to unite under the leadership of a confident main tank profoundly impacted Seoul Dynasty.

There is an abundance of confidence to be found in Fissure, the “Most Handsome Main Tank”. Fissure’s aggressive and mechanically intensive playstyle helped elevate the Los Angeles Gladiators during Season 1, seeing them rise stage after stage following his addition to the team. Fissure is one of the world’s best main tanks and has the potential to stabilize the Seoul roster if he can reign in his recognized flair for the dramatic.

Team Schedule

Seoul Dynasty benefit from being a part of the Pacific Division, meaning that they will only face powerhouses like the Atlantic’s New York Excelsior once this season. Their Stage 1 schedule is still quite intimidating: Los Angeles Gladiators, London Spitfire, and New York Excelsior will provide a test for Seoul’s progress.

Securing Success

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

In order to make the most of Season 2, the Seoul Dynasty need to establish a strong core to play around, allocate staffing resources efficiently and continue to trust one another as teammates. If Seoul allow their previous failings to impact their present play, the team will be unable to build towards a brighter future.

 

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