Esports work in mysterious ways. On May 17th the APAC region on stream had the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ranked teams pick their opponents for the May Melee. The Seoul Dynasty were at the bottom of the ranking losing three of their four matches with a map differential of -8. The odd aspect was that even though Seoul were at the bottom of the rankings, the Shanghai Dragons and the NYXL did not pick the Dynasty as their opponents. Horcury the general manager of the Seoul Dynasty even said in his interview on stream that their results were not great this month and they were the lowest but nobody picked them which he thought was odd. The Hangzhou Spark ended the Seoul Dynasty’s run in Season 2 when it came to the playoff tournament. Will the Dynasty have the reversal of fates or have a rerun occur from last season.
Hangzhou Spark (5/23): 6-7-0
The Hangzhou Spark stopped the Seoul Dynasty in their tracks the last time they met. There were other circumstances such as the Seoul DPS struggling on Sombra and lacking coordination within the team. The pacing was determined by the Hangzhou Spark, which was a faster tempo than the Dynasty were comfortable with. Though in weeks to come, the Dynasty would beat the Dragons who also played at that fast pace showing the growth of the Dynasty players.
In Week 15 against the London Spitfire, the Hangzhou Spark had a very convincing win 3-0ing, while Seoul got 0-3-ed by the Chengdu. It is safe to say that the Dynasty is the underdog in this situation, and that is when they thrive.
How to win?
How to win is a loaded question. There are so many variables to this question, but to narrow it down to chance and strategies. Hero pools (or the lack of) is also a key component to the Dynasty taking the win.
Maps. Maps are such a huge factor for the Dynasty. Hanamura is a map that the Dynasty are 0 and 3 on. Maps that the Seoul Dynasty succeed in the most are Nepal, Volskaya Industries, Kings Row. Payload maps are the Dynasty’s best type with an 80% win rate. If the maps are in the Dynasty’s favor that they are skilled as and also accommodates their double shield compositions then they will have an easier path to victory.
Another variable is Sanghyun ‘Sasin’ Song and Kyeongbo ‘Godsb’ Kim. When they are having a ‘good’ day they appear to be unstoppable. That is a variable that cannot be measured. The only counter is to thoroughly prepare for the worst outcome for Seoul, which is the that Sasin and Godsb are on their A game.
The Seoul Dynasty can also push this towards their favor off of compositions and strategies. In the past, the Spark has had issues following up on kills after large EMPs and huge bio grenades. If the Dynasty are able to kite back or save essential ultimates, that will allow for more full team fights. A part of this is having the Dynasty play heroes that they are comfortable with as well as what is meta.
In the match against the Chengdu Hunters, Zen was noticeably missing from Seoul’s team compositions. This really hurt them as they didn’t have a defensive ult for burst damage or enemy ultimates. On the other side killing the supports is essential to stem the bleeding. In the match in Week 15 the Chengdu Hunters allowed for the Hangzhou Spark supports to continue to live for way too long. That allowed the tanks to continually go back for health and then jump back in. Strategies to cut off these lifelines should be a main focus of the Dynasty.
Hero Pool Savior
Hero pools, or more the lack of hero pools is the savior of the Seoul Dynasty. McCree was out of the hero pool when they met up in Week 13 and Echo was the shiny new toy of the league. The positive is that with no hero pools the Dynasty will be able to play double shield with a rotation of the DPS on Tracer, Mei, McCree, and Reaper, as well as the flexibility of the supports switching between Baptist, Ana, Brig, and Zen.
Seoul still don’t have a firm grasp on Echo as a hero, but against Chengdu Week 15 on Hanamura Jemin ‘Illicit’ Park subbed in for Junyoung ‘Profit’ Park. He played the Echo well, using his duplicates for a multitude of heroes. Thought with McCree back into rotation Dongeon ‘FITS’ Kim should be able to sharpshoot the enemy Echo out of the sky.
The freedom of no hero pools will give Seoul more opportunities. The Tiger Nation hopes that the coaching staff will not overthink the compositions or strategies given the openness of hero selection to pull out an abstract concept that has a high chance of failure in the name of surprising the enemy. The Dynasty needs to play what they know and play it well.
Prediction: 3:2 Spark
Minho ‘Architect’ Park. The rumors are that Architect will be joining the Spark. That would be a scary DPS duo of Godsb and Architect who together dismantled Korean Contenders. Even if Architect joins, Jaehwan ‘Adora’ Kang is still a huge threat. Every time the community thinks it is going to be a close match it is a stomp and when people believe Seoul’s game will be a stomp it is close. Does the community have a caster curse on the team?
The Spark are on a hot streak. They have the mental advantage over Seoul. There is a good chance that the Seoul coaches will over-coach and overthink the strategies, which will end with dysfunction compositions. The hero pool advantage will give the Dynasty a leg up making it not a stomp, but the map 5 KOTH will give the Dynasty struggles.
Player to watch: Jaehui ‘Gesture’ Hong and Minseo ‘Marve1’ Hwang
The player, or players, to watch is the main tank of the Seoul Dynasty. Of all the positions the weak link seems to be the main tank. Both Gesture and Marve1 when they played in Week 15, as Seoul Dynasty switched Minhyuk ‘Michelle’ Choi, Marve1, and Gesture around in their match against Chengdu, both Marve1 and Gesture looked uncoordinated. Gesture and Marve1 looked the best when they were paired together. It is essential that their synergy is on point with the DPS. They cannot afford to have Gesture jump is and feed ult percentage to the Spark.
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