This is what the Tiger Nation has been waiting for. To be able to see the Seoul Dynasty in action as a whole team. They are the only Asian (Chinese+ Korea) representative team that hasn’t played in a show match/tournament yet. The NeXT Cup 2021 will be that first look into the Dynasty to help predict their trajectory for Season 4. Here is a look at the tournament and the teams that are participating in the lens of the Seoul Dynasty.
[NeXT Cup 2021]
We're not done for the off-season, here's our next challenge!
— Shanghai Dragons (@ShanghaiDragons) January 13, 2021
The Shanghai Dragon’s tweeted the announcement of the NeXT Cup, but provided little else in terms of details. The format will also be a big determining factor. Will the NeXT Cup tournament run 2/2/2 lock, pick ban or hero pools? Is it a best of 3 or 5 for the group stages? Is it point based and then single elimination? Double elimination? A pick ban system could work in the Dynasty’s favor with their DPS flexibility, though 2/2/2 would be a solid neutral choice as well for them. These will all be variables in how these matches will play out, but at the end of the day it is about good Overwatch.
It is exciting to think that this will be the first time that the Tiger Nation will officially see the synergy between the GC Busan/London Spitfire players and the NYXL players coming together to be the Seoul Dynasty. One can only hope to see a large range of DPS mixing and matching, as the rest of the roster has pretty much already been seen with the exception of Taesung ‘Anamo’ Jung stepping in for long time Dynasty main support Jinmo ‘tobi’ Yang.
The tournament will only have four participants of the Shanghai Dragons, the Guangzhou Charge, the Dallas Fuel, and the Seoul Dynasty. None of these teams can be taken lightly. The Dynasty have story lines with each and every one of these teams.
Though the most looked forward to has to be Fearless going up against his old team of the Shanghai Dragons on a remake of his even older team of Element Mystic (Dallas Fuel). But it isn’t just Euiseok ‘Fearless’ Lee, but Seungsoo ‘Jecse’ Lee is also going to be facing up against the Seoul Dynasty for the first time. Though he was on the Houston Outlaws in Season 3, the Outlaws and Seoul never matched up because of the region lock. Thought it is not just player storylines but also the history that the Dynasty holds with these other teams.
The Dragon and the tiger matchup never gets old. Therefore, the idea of these two facing off again is exciting. Even in the matches that the Dynasty lost with a score line of 0-3, the individual maps were close. These two have a friendly rivalry, which the Dragons will want revenge for, as it was the Dynasty who knocked them out Season 3 playoffs. The Dragons will be the hardest opponent they face in this tournament, as this team has seemingly gotten even stronger in the off-season.
The Charge have always been a consistent team. As they were in the APAC region in Season 3, there are many instances in which these two have faced each other. It has been a back and forth in which neither team has ever been way above the other. The match between the Dynasty and the Charge will be the best in determining their power levels compared to last year. The Charge also have a few new parts, and though they have already played in other tournaments, it will be interesting to see how the extra time have helped improve the squad.
Though the rosters of both teams have changed, the Dallas Fuel vs the Seoul Dynasty will forever be remembered as Envy versus Lunatic-Hai. Is any of the Envy or Lunatic-Hai members present? No. But the legacy still lingers. It will be great to see how the rebuild of the Element Mystic players, who could be considered the young middle generation, faces up against a team of mostly veteran players of the Dynasty. Maybe this is the season in which that narrative changes to something more relative to the present.
Where and When
There is no news of if this will be broadcasted in English for the NeXT Cup 2021. The link that the Dragons provided is on the Chinese streaming site. It is a good guess that there will be a Korean stream of it as the Dynasty is playing in it, though that has not been announced as of writing.
The group stages will be on January 23rd, 24th, and 30th. The times have not been released yet. But keep in mind when they are it will probably be in (CST) and will need to be adjusted. The finals will be on January 31st. It will be able to be watched on CC.163 here. Hopefully, the Tiger Nation will see the finals that they wanted for Season 3 of the Dragons versus the Dynasty.
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