The Countdown Cup marks the last few regular-season games for all the teams. The Seoul Dynasty face off in Week 16 against two of the relatively easier teams of the Hangzhou Spark and the LA Valiant. That means that it is essential that the Dynasty pull off a flawless weekend in terms of wins. The hero bans coming back into the competition brings a new element that the teams have to contend with and could possibly help swing the tides of the matches. The hero bans are not that bad overall for the APAC region or the Seoul Dynasty. All of the hero bans have other heroes that the Dynasty is just as proficient on. Hopefully, the Seoul Dynasty have thoroughly prepared for Week 16 so at the end of the season, their fate isn’t in the hands of others.
Another #OWL2021 tournament, another challenge ⚔️
Hero pools are back for the Countdown Cup! Check out which heroes didn't make the cut!
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 21, 2021
The Hangzhou Spark are a team that also has a rollercoaster of emotions this season for their fans as well. In one stage they are dominant going undefeated and the next they are struggling to get into the mini-tournament. With this time off it has given the team more time to practice and go over mistakes that had happened the previous tournament.
Like the Seoul Dynasty, these picks don’t hurt the team too much. Zheng ‘Shy’ Yangjie just like Dongeon ‘FITS’ Kim is impacted by the Ashe ban, but is amazing on other heroes such as Widow, McCree, and Hanzo. This is going to be an even match in terms of where these two teams are sitting in the rankings. Unlike the LA Valiant and the two matches later this Countdown Cup, the Spark are the closest to them, which makes this a must-win.
Prediction: 3-1 Seoul
The Seoul Dynasty need to win this match and win with a good map differential if possible. Rotating the DPS for the Spark could be a weakness as the overall team synergy won’t be as strong. Minsoo ‘Seominsoo’ Soo has had some long holds on his EMPs. It isn’t a solid lineup but will switch between Minho ‘Architect’ Park, Shy, and Seominsoo.
Xu ‘Guxue’ Qiulin’s Winston is one of the best and now that the Spark can play dive without as much worry about double shield bunkers, Seoul are going to need to counter dive or hard counter it so that Hangzhou doesn’t get big value on their dives. Positioning will also be a big factor, as any isolated out-of-position member of the Dynasty will be jumped on.
Player to Watch: Hyeonwoo ‘Toyou’ Lim
Toyou is going to be key in this match. The last time that Toyou got POTM was against the Hangzhou Spark. How the casters put it on stream was that Toyou was POTM because Shy was not. Toyou and FITS were able to shut Shy down and make sure he wasn’t able to be impactful. This needs to happen again in this match. Toyou will need to show up not on Sigma, where he has had many memorable performances, but on Zarya or D.Va.
The LA Valiant have been having a hard season. This on paper should be an easy match, but with a new tournament format any team could come out swinging. No team wants to lose to the zero-win team. The LA Valiant have shown improvements throughout the season. Though they have been able to pull out small map wins there hasn’t been a time where a LA Valiant winning the whole match was reasonable to assume. That being said the Dynasty should put in as much effort for the Valiant as for the Spark.
Prediction: 3-0 Seoul
The Seoul Dynasty should be able to pull out a 3-0 win. If they even dropped a map then it would show some instability with the Dynasty. This game is important as it is their only ‘easy’ match of the four matches being that these map points are for them to lose. With the likes of the Fusion and the Dragons waiting for them, they need to pad their map differential in case the worst happens. This can be done by praying upon the un-coordination and out-mechanic-ing them in-game. The Dynasty can’t let their guard down as the DPS of the LA Valiant is still very dangerous when given the opportunity.
Player to watch: Liao ‘Molanran’ Yang
Molanran in their match against the Chengdu Hunters pulled out the Doomfist. FITS is a Doomfist enthusiast so much that when he joined he did a Doomfist tutorial for the Seoul Dynasty Youtube. If Molanran can match the DPS of Seoul like Huang ‘Leave’ Xin did in their match against Seoul then this might be a little more competitive than the community thinks. Keep an eye out on Molanran to see how he does against Junyoung ‘Profit’ Park and FITS, especially since Echo is taken out of the meta.
Week 16 is a week that needs to be near perfect, more for the overall playoffs than anything else. This is a good warm-up week for the Dynasty in preparation for the harder matches at the end of their 16 match season. Each match counts, but it is now crunch time to count each win and point to do the calculations of who will be in the play-ins at the end of the season. This week is the beginning of the Countdown Cup but the end of the Season where playoff Profit and the rest of the squad have to show up big.
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