As Season 4 creeps closer, there are all sorts of power rankings popping up from players, fans, and the talent from the Overwatch League community. The NA power rankings seem to be pretty in line with each other with the exception of a few shifts here and there. The APAC region is another story altogether.
The rankings of all these teams range from the bottom being the top and the top being the bottom depending on which ranking one looks at. That brings into question why? The APAC games last season were on at a time most NA citizens would be sleeping, so their gameplay wasn’t seen as much. There was also the fact that during the NA broadcast it was mostly a quick summary in which the League got to decide the narrative. Has this affected the way people view APAC teams? Maybe.
Connor ‘Avast’ Prince’s ranking of Seoul has put the Dynasty in one of the lowest positions of many of the top analysts. Here is a look at his argument of why they should be as well as the counter argument of where they should be ranked.
Low End of the Rankings?
Pre-Season Fingerless Rankings
Western and Eastern Divisions pic.twitter.com/EVqv70lWzj
— Avast (@Avast_o) February 13, 2021
There is one thing that Tiger Nation is used to after seasons of the Overwatch League. That is to be undervalued when it comes to their potential. Given in Season 1 everyone thrust the Dynasty on such a high pedestal that when they didn’t perform they were banished away to be the ‘underperforming team.’ One of the most shocking rankings for any Seoul Dynasty fan was Avast’s ranking which put the Dynasty second to last only above the LA Valiant. Avast did back up his positioning with three major topics: Hyeonwoo ‘Toyou’ Lim is unproven/off-tanks, Seoul Dynasty, the backline is weak and Jongryeol ‘Saebyeolbe’ Park brings nothing to the team other than his Sombra play.
To call Toyou unproven might be because he was only in the League for the last part of Season 3. But that would be the same thing as calling Seungjun ‘Whoru’ Lee a rookie as this was his first Overwatch League season. Toyou has played in the gauntlet, contenders, and for the Seoul Dynasty with a relative level of success across all categories. He might be young, but he isn’t green. Toyou has experience. He has performed well and has garnered praise from staff, coaches, and players alike. The NeXT cup on Gibraltar last point, when he was on Zarya, shows that he is just not a D.Va or Sigma player, but a well-rounded off-tank.
Weak Backline or an unknown backline?
Are things that are unknown categorized as weak or strong? Unproven has the connotation of usually negative rather than neutral. Is Seoul’s backline weak or just not yet proven? Youngwan ‘Creative’ Kim showed he is not just a one time star. He has shown consistency through the playoffs and also now the NeXT tournament. He has stepped into his role continuing to improve and shine in each opportunity given.
Taesung ‘Anamo’ Jung is not a rookie and has been on the NYXL for many seasons. Though fans are still sad that Jinmo ‘Tobi’ Yang is not the main support, in the companion stream Tobi had nothing but great things to say while watching Anamo play. The coaches last season helped Tobi improve his Mercy and Brig, so there is no reason that they cannot help Anamo the same way. Right away the Dynasty’s backline might be the strongest, as there are always growing pains when new members join, but there is great potential.
Saebyeolbe was added to the team in the offseason. Though his hero pool is not as wide as Seoul’s other DPS he was signed for a reason. There is more to a player than what is seen in-game. What players can do to support the team outside the game is just as important. The coaches and staff saw something in Saebyeolbe that made him an essential player to the team. With only 8 players, the Dynasty must have a plan even if it isn’t apparent.
This is a similar situation to Creative and Minhyuk ‘Michelle’ Choi who came in when Joonhyuk ‘Zunba’ Kim and Seungtae ‘Bdosin’ Choi was on the team. In both instances, the additional players came in clutch when needed. There is a reason behind the addition of Saebyeolbe, even if the fans and community don’t see it yet.
Avast did say that with the right meta, though it was categorized as a ‘silly meta’ the Dynasty can contest against other teams. What makes a meta silly and what makes a meta normal? That distinction was never made clear.
Where should they rank?
There are a few major factors that can be quantified. Flexibility, ‘power level’ of the players, coordination, and for consideration past performance. Though it is believed Seoul is better than second to last, here’s a look at some factors to hash out an argument of where they should be ranked in the APAC power rankings.
Even from the beginning of the inception of the Dynasty, Seoul has been a flexible team. The players that Gen.G tends to sign are players that are flexible in their role as well as other roles. With the 2/2/2 there is not as much use for players who are flexible at other roles, though the community never knows when the League will change up their format. Gesture and Minseo ‘Marve1’ Hwang are both proficient in main and off tanks. Profit can switch from projectile and hitscan. Dongeon ‘FITS’ Kim has a large hero pool that he can dip into as well. Creative and Anamo hasn’t had much chance to flex so that is a question mark for the fans. If 2/2/2 is broken could either of them flex onto an off tank or a DPS if needed?
What does it mean in power levels? How strong are the players individually. This is the part in which ‘pick your player’ and each would appear on the screen with different stats of attack, defend, HP, etc. The overall power level is quite high. The Dynasty is not at Shanghai Dragon level (who would imagine saying that in Season 1 of the Overwatch League!), but the individual performance of players such as Jaehui ‘Gesture’ Hong, Creative, and Junyoung ‘Profit’ Park can carry a match. In the APAC region, there are many new talented players that will be joining and it is hard to predict their power levels as this category is all relative to the pool of players they are playing against.
As of now, there was only the NeXT Tournament to base their coordination off of. Coordination seems to be volatile at times. When they are all working in sync, that is when the Season 3 playoff run happens. When they are in disarray and uncoordinated is when they get stomped by teams. In the off season Profit and FITS showed really good coordination in dives as well as focusing a target down. The majority of the team seen was the same as previously with the exception of Anamo who seemed to be slotting in well. Of the three variables this would be Seoul’s lowest as they have not shown consistence in this area.
Even after looking at what numbers and the eye test can gauge, there is still an intangible element that can’t be measured. Certain players such as Injae ‘EscA’ Kim possess that quality. Playoff Profit as the fans have lovingly dubbed it is one of those elements that can’t be measured. These intangibles are hard to put into an equation to figure out where a team should be ranked as it isn’t as easily recognizable.
Looking at all the variables, Seoul would seemingly fit 5th place in the rankings. There are still questions to the team, but the pieces that they have as well as past performance deserves respect. They are not proven like the Dragons are who have already won two off season tournaments, but they also are not a completely untested team either.
The Dynasty continually has to prove themselves. Their wins are dismissed because of the meta, the other team wasn’t playing seriously, it was a one off performance, and the list goes on and on. But if anything was learned from last season, it is not to discount the Dynasty before the trophy is given out. The team that went 10 and 10 and was the lowest rank seed beat the rest and came in second in Season 3. It is time to sharpen the claws and face the new season and power rankings knowing that the Dynasty will once against have to prove that they aren’t so easily written off.
Follow The Game Haus for more sports and esports coverage:
For more high-quality esports analysis and memes, check out Lauren’s Twitter, @Daebakowl
“From Our Haus to Yours”