Hyo-bin “Choihyobin” Choi is now a name synonymous with excellence in Overwatch. Since signing with the San Francisco Shock in Season One, he has shown nothing but brilliance. This was especially so in their historic run in the second season, culminating in the Finals MVP Award. Here is a look at his past and role within the Shock.
Name: Hyo-bin “Choihyobin” Choi
Birthday: September 5, 1997 (22 years old)
Country: South Korea
Jersey Number: 11
Signature Heroes: D.Va, Sigma, Roadhog
The Best D.Va
Starting his professional career in 2017, he signed with a Korean team named X6 Gaming. He played alongside future Shock teammate Min-ho “Architect” Park. This team won many different APEX Challengers competitions, as well as first place in Korean Contenders Season 1.
Throughout these tournaments, Choihyobin mainly played D.Va. She was a staple in most metas since launch due to the versatility and power of her Defense Matrix. He was able to showcase his aptitude on the character on X6, then on April 5, 2018 the Shock announced they signed him. With the announcement, Architect said he is “happy that ChoiHyoBin has a chance to prove that he is the best D.Va player in the world.”
This signing came in the midst of the Shock’s building for the future. In March, not only did they sign Architect and Grant “Moth” Espe, but Jay “Sinatraa” Won and Matthew “Super” DeLisi both came of-age. These five players became the core of their 2019 championship squad. Despite the lack of immediate improvement in the 2018 season, there was a clear uptick in performance as the team built for the future.
Finding Their Rhythm
Moving into the second season of the Overwatch League, San Francisco made a number of changes to their roster. They released three players, traded Dante “Danteh” Cruz for main tank Myeong-hwan “Smurf” Yoo. They then acquired three more players to fill the roster back to the 12-man limit. With this, Choihyobin was starting at the flex tank position with Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson as backup. Though Nevix played second fiddle to Choi, he allegedly helped in playoff preparations and improved Choi’s Sigma play.
Throughout the GOATs meta, the Shock dominated the field. There is hardly a statement more powerful than completing a stage without losing a single map. While any member of the Shock’s starters could have been in MVP contention, only Super and Sinatraa made the final ballot. Yet some argue Choihyobin should have been in the conversation due to his stellar D.Va play. His damage mitigation and negation of important ultimates was one of the key factors for their success.
After the 2-2-2 role lock, there was a sharp meta shift between Stages 3 and 4. GOATs could no longer be played, so the tank lineup heavily favored the combination of Orisa and Roadhog. With Smurf’s Halts and his Hooks, the Shock once again found themselves with an undefeated stage.
After their regular season dominance, they continued into the postseason. With Sigma as the newest character, he quickly replaced Roadhog as Orisa’s go-do companion. In the playoffs, Choihyobin showed off his skill and landed accretion after accretion in conjunction with the Halts. After a heartbreaking loss to Atlanta, the team rallied back and swept the next three games and found their way into the finals.
They faced off against their rivals, the Vancouver Titans, in a highly-anticipated competition. The culmination of the season with the two best teams duking it out in Philadelphia was the storybook moment the league needed. Yet, no one expected the performance from the Shock. In a dominant performance, they trounced the Titans with a 4-0 victory. With his Sigma play, Choihyobin was awarded the Finals MVP and an incredible cap to an incredible season.
Looking ahead to 2020, the Shock are poised for success once more. At the top of most power rankings, the team’s skill and flexibility should work well with the new hero pools. Choihyobin’s proficiency at all the off-tanks should lead to victory and put them in contention to compete for another championship.
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