The morning was an emotional moment for the Seoul Dynasty fans. It wasn’t just that the Seoul Dynasty were in the top four, but all the different components that created the moment. It seemed as if it was hit after a fit of emotions or nostalgia for Tiger Nation.
The Seoul Dynasty came into the Final Four as the underdog team. That was reflected in the brackets, social media, and analysis of how these playoffs were going to go. With the Dynasty facing up against the #1 seed in NA many anticipated a one-way match. Though the match ended in a loss for the Seoul Dynasty, it was close. The match cemented the fact that Seoul didn’t luck into getting the second APAC spot in the Final Four.
The beginning of the match on King of the Hill set the tone for the whole match. Not only did each sub map (Gardens and City Center) on Oasis go to a 99:100/96:100 but the point was consistently flipped back and forth. It showed that the Dynasty players were able to stand toe to toe with the best in NA. Jaehui ‘Gesture’ Hong was a stand out in grabbing a 3k on City Center. His hooks were able to turn the tides of many team fights. It allowed the fans to think, that this wasn’t as impossible as everyone was saying to pull our a win.
The fear crept in the minds of Tiger Nation. After a close first map, having the second map that they picked taken away from them felt disastrous. It wasn’t just a loss on Hollywood but a full hold. The Twitter timeline was already dismissing the match as all but over. No maps could save the Dynasty or how NA should never have been scared of APAC.
It wasn’t as if the players weren’t doing damage as the stats showed, but it wasn’t clicking. Until it did. Not only did Seoul win Volskaya with a 4+ minute time bank, but they full-held the Shock. Havana was shades of the same, having the team pulling clutch moments out of thin air. The hopes were revived with the first King of the Hill map being so close.
When Busan rolled around it felt symbolic. The Seoul Dynasty playing on the South Korean map. But it wasn’t meant to be. The deflation of the almost reverse sweep, which the Dynasty hasn’t performed in ages, was like a popping of a balloon. It wasn’t a 3-0. The Dynasty proved that they belonged in the Final Four. They played a close match with the #1 ranked NA team and they almost toppled them.
Jehong ‘Ryujehong’ Ryu
What is Ryujehong doing in an article about the Seoul Dynasty? It was a while now since the old Seoul Dynasty captain left the team to join the Vancouver Titans. In true Ryujehong fashion, he couldn’t stay away. He was dragged back, like when there was the Lunatic-Hai vs Runaway match, in supporting his old teammates. This wasn’t just any stream. It was a stream that was done at the Gen.G HQ in South Korea. There was even a Seoul Dynasty logo that was hung up behind him. It felt as if he was a part of this historic moment. There was also a feeling that he had come back home, even if it was just for a moment.
The Youtube stream was a companion stream. Ryujehong’s commentary was nothing but completely and utterly biased. He acted the whole time as if he was a proud father watching his boys. The screams of ‘YANG JINMO’ or complimenting Dongeon ‘FITS’ Kim on his DPS play. Throughout the match, even at halftime when Seoul were down 0-2, he reassured fans that everything was going to be okay. Even after the Seoul vs the Shock match was done, he continued to gush, but this time over Byungsun ‘Fleta’ Kim for the Shanghai vs Fusion match.
He was an added element that helped fans during the match. Not only was it a source of entertainment as he screamed as if he was right there with them, but his admiration of his old team felt reassuring.
The Overwatch League, to fill the breaks, had many little video segments. The Shock ‘Padz’ showing the camera around their quarantine hotel rooms was a humorous one.
At 3:23:40 during a pause break in the Shanghai Dragons vs the Philadelphia Fusion the broadcast ran a segment about Fleta. It wasn’t just about this season. This video covered his journey from Flash Lux to the Shanghai Dragons. Tiger Nation got to see a glimpse of Fleta in the iconic blue and white Lunatic Hai jersey for the Seoul Cup that brought the nostalgia of the first time the fans got to see him with the core of what was to become the Seoul Dynasty. Of course, there was quite a bit of footage of Fleta with the Seoul Dynasty. It wasn’t just seeing him, but also seeing him interacting with some of the ‘forever tigers’ that have moved onto different teams or esports.
To see Fleta, who was a newbie in Season 1, come this far was emotional for the fans. Most, if not all, Seoul Dynasty fans support Fleta and want to see him succeed. To see that there was a montage on everything he had gone through hit home how much he had earned that MVP award.
Just the Beginning
The loss to the Shock doesn’t end their run. There is another day of matching coming up where the Philadelphia Fusion will face off against the Seoul Dynasty. With the Dynasty bringing the Shock to 5 maps, and the Fusion being 0-3ed maybe it won’t be the Dynasty being the underdog this time around. Fans will watch on, unable to cheer from the crowd, but will be there in spirit hoping to see the team move onto the next round.
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