It has been nearly two years since the announcing of the first Seoul Dynasty roster. And while the core players from 2-time APEX champions Lunatic-Hai are no longer the mainstay of the team, many new faces have played their part in maintaining their current 14-12 record in the 2019 Overwatch League season. With just two weeks of the regular season and only two matches left for the Dynasty to play, fans should consider the inconsistent (yet underrated) team’s prospects in the playoffs.
“Many of the top teams have solidified their identity, but we’ve been yet to establish our own identity.”
-Byung-Sun “Fleta” Kim
A Crisis, Revisited
Despite early struggles in the 3-3 meta and the retirement of key players Chan-Hyung “Fissure” Baek and Sang-Beom “Munchkin” Byeon, the amalgamation of the remaining Seoul Dynasty have successfully cemented themselves as a mid-table team. However, they have struggled to cement an identity in their playstyle—yet alone establish a core starting six lineup for more than just a few weeks.
In week 3 of stage 4, the Dynasty opted to start Lunatic-Hai veteran Jin-Mo “Tobi” Yang in both of their games over Seung-Soo “Jecse” Lee, who had been the main support lock-in for the previous six games. And despite a 1-1 week for Tobi and the team, there hasn’t been a striking difference within the two main healers’ playstyles or results; surprisingly, Jecse barely maintains a 31-25 (53%) map record, while Tobi slightly edges out with a 29-21 (57%) winrate.
In addition, superstar DPS player Byung-Sun “Fleta” Kim has not started a match in all of stage 4. His only appearances? Almost exclusively on payload maps— and just about always on Hanzo. Fleta’s said versatility and prowess as a top-tier DPS player has yet to be seen this stage; unfortunately, his map record sits at an unsatisfactory 1-6 in his appearances.
The silver linings in these uncomfortable truths, however, lies in the consistent performance of the rest of the players. Min-Hyuk “Michelle” Choi has quietly been a star off-tank for the team as he has had great performances on both D.Va and Roadhog. Captain and fan-favorite Je-hong “Ryujehong” Ryu has adjusted to the 2-2-2 rolelock quite comfortably with the resurgence of Ana, and DPS duo Dong-Eun “FITS” Seo and Je-Min “Illicit” Park have proved to be more than just serviceable in the current Reaper/Mei metagame.
With just enough firepower (and mostly due to their overwhelmingly positive map differential), the Seoul Dynasty might put the pedal to the metal to slip into the top 6 heading into the playoffs.
Top 6 Playoff Hopes
Looking into the last weeks of the regular season, the Seoul Dynasty can be more than content in their final few matchups. The hopeful Korean representatives face off against the struggling Shanghai Dragons and the faltering Philadelphia Fusion to close out their 2019 regular season. Both teams currently stand below the Dynasty in the overall standings, but the Dragons have a chance to usurp Seoul’s chances for a top 6 spot. The resurging Atlanta Reign also have a chance to break in, but only granted that they win all four remaining games.
And although the Hangzhou Spark currently remain in the top 6 and managed to scrape up a single win this stage last week, they continue to look like they have lost a footing in the meta. As a result, this chaotic storm could allow the Dynasty to play spoiler and grant themselves an easier path to the Grand Finals— provided they can shake off their inconsistencies and perform to their expectations.
“For us to be a top team, we need to be more consistent. We are trying really hard to get there, so I firmly believe that our team can develop.”
-Je-Hong “Ryujehong” Ryu
Overall, the Seoul Dynasty have disappointed many expectations since the birth of the team in the Overwatch League. But while the burdens of the players’ historic successes made in APEX era simply add to the expectations of their fans, the Dynasty have quietly made strides over the course of the past two seasons.
This season alone, the team was able to make stage playoffs not once, but twice— a feat that the first iterations of the team failed to accomplish. In addition, the Dynasty finally cemented a primary main tank in Min-Seo “Marve1” Hwang after what seemed to be an endless cycle of trials and errors. Certainly, Marve1 has large shoes to fill from former APEX legends Jin-Hyuk “Miro” Gong and Fissure, but the 18-year old player has shown promise in continuing to develop as a sufficient pillar for the team.
The Dynasty possess all the talent that a successful team needs— all they need now is to figure out how to put the pieces into a winning formula.
With a near lock-in for the play-ins and at least a shot at the Grand Finals, the Seoul Dynasty can only look up from where they currently stand; optimistic about the unsettled future that awaits them. But only time will tell before the 2019 Overwatch League season brings this Dynasty to yet another end.
Feature image courtesy of Stewart Volland for the Overwatch League.
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