Week 20 brought a loss to the Seoul Dynasty by the Chengdu Hunters, but also gave insight into how the team has improved. Though the score line was 3:2, it was even closer on a few maps. A moment of changed positioning could have swung many of the maps in the favor of the other team. Week 21 brings a change of pace. The Dynasty previously had only had one match per week. This week they will face both the May Melee Champions, Shanghai Dragons, as well as the Chengdu Hunters.
The APAC region showed last week that anyone can beat anyone with the Dragons being almost toppled by the Hunters and the Spark beating the NYXL. With many matches going to map 5s in Week 20, it is looking like the close competition in APAC will give the community more long sleepless nights.
If history is any indication of how this week might go, the Tiger Nation is in for a tough weekend. In the past it seemed as if the team would prioritize one match over the other. They would seemingly prep and plan for one team more than another. The pattern seemed as if that they would prepare for the harder opponent, and then be under prepared for the easier opponent, having them lose both matches.
Shanghai Dragons: 16-2-0 (June 27)
This week will be exhausting for the Seoul Dynasty. As between the two matches, the Dynasty needs to prepare for eight maps total. Ilios is the first map against the Dragons and the tie breaker against the Hunters. Anubis is the only guaranteed map in both matches. That brings up the question do the Dynasty prep two different strategies for Anubis so that the Hunters don’t scout their plan during the Dragons match? Will the Dynasty utilize their larger roster and have certain players specialize on certain maps or against a certain team? That could be a good option for a Jinmo ‘Tobi’ Yang and Sungjun ‘Slime’ Kim to split the main support duties.
Week 21 the Dynasty also needs to prepare for a new meta. The hero bans are not in play this week, which gives the Dynasty freedom on what to run. Off of the results from the May Melee, this is when the Dynasty thrives. To win the Dynasty needs to be able to deal with the Dragons’ dive. That is what lost them the May Melee last month. They weren’t able to counter the Dragons’ dive even on maps that weren’t dive favored. To do this the Dynasty needs to tighten up their peel for their supports, as Pharah comps leave Seungtae ‘Bdosin’ Choi too vulnerable, which gives the Dragons a player advantage if he is taken out early.
Prediction: 3:2 Dragons
The Dragons are fresh off their close match with the Hunters and will prepare extra hard to reprove themselves as the dominant force in APAC. Truly, the Dynasty has the ability to win. If this was the second week of a meta and there was only one match to prepare for, the prediction would be flipped around to have the Dynasty winning. The split attention will hurt their prep. The Dragons have a better understanding of how to use their roster. Their mentality is so strong, being able to pull themselves back up to reverse sweep teams. If the Dynasty is having a good day, and some of the players on the Dragons are having a bad day it could swing the momentum of the match in the favor of the Tigers.
Player to Watch: Byungsun ‘Fleta’ Kim
Fleta is the meta. This is a fact that the Tiger Nation knows well. The DPS this season seems to be much more consistent and on heroes that the fans rarely saw him run on Seoul. His Tracer has been outstanding, and to think in Season 1 the Dynasty picked Tobi to run Tracer over him on Blizzard World against the San Francisco Shock. He is again going head to head against Junyoung ‘Profit’ Park. It will be interesting to see if both run the Tracer and who will come out on top. While the Dragons seem to rotate, Minseong ‘Diem’ Bae as a Widow specialist, Jinhyeok ‘Dding’ Yang as a Pharah specialist, and Junwoo ‘Lip’ Kang an all around DPS in and out depending on the map, Fleta is a constant. Watch to see how Fleta performs against his old teammates, and Profit in the upcoming match.
Chengdu Hunters: 4-12-0 (June 28)
The Chengdu Hunters in their Week 20 matches showed how much their play style is off of taking risks. They would take seemingly losing fights and turn it around through ultimate investments. They would wrap around the map losing precious time to just spotted out and wiped. Therefore many times it was a coin toss of whether a fight would be a pay off or would crash and burn.
To win this match the Dynasty needs to lean hard into positioning. The Chengdu Hunters have one of the best Widows, and the team as a whole values having ‘line of sight’ (LOS) and prioritize that in fights. It will be hard for the DPS to get an advantage if eve the Dragons struggles with combating the Hunter’s when they had the superior LOS/positioning. The Seoul Dynasty showed on Rialto, when they almost full held the Charge, and they could take advantage of positioning and that is what the fans need to see even more this coming week. London exploited Hunters’ over extensions to gain the win, so the Dynasty should also keep an eye out to punish those small mistakes from Chengdu.
Prediction: 3:1 Hunters
This is a very winnable match for the Dynasty. When it comes to the Hunters there is no way to know how it will end. Last week they lost in a convincing fashion to London, but then almost swept the Dragons. Unfortunately they are also facing the Dragons, which will take a lot of resources to prepare for.
The Dynasty can take a page out of the Dragon’s play book and focus on flexibility. They should force Tzu-Heng ‘Baconjack’ Lo to go onto uncomfortable heroes, and punish Leave who likes to chase kills. If the Dynasty is able to make tactical retreats and then collapse onto Xin ‘Leave’ Huang giving them an advantage with being picked off by the opposing widow, they have a chance of bringing it to a map 5.
Player to Watch: Dongeon ‘FITS’ Kim
FITS is able to play any hero with no hero pools. This season he has shown his hitscan capabilities, but it would be amazing to see him pull out his Doomfist or Hanzo. Profit and FITS both can play Widow and Tracer, so to see a switch up from FITS Widow could be interesting and throw a wrench into the planning of the Hunters. It is going to be important that FITS matches up with the Hunters’ DPS. Shanghai struggled with the Hunters’ DPS when the individual performances of the DPS weren’t at a higher level (taking into account synergy, positioning, resources, etc.). FITS needs to have a stellar match to give the Dynasty a fighting chance.
This is going to be a physically and mentally exhausting week for the players. The Seoul Dynasty puts so much effort into the game. Go leave them a message of support and some kind words over at their discord before Saturday! https://discord.gg/SeoulDynasty
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