The Seoul Dynasty said goodbye to projectile DPS Jemin ‘Illicit’ Park. Illicit had been with the team since the middle of Season 2 (around when all-stars happened). He came to reinforce the team along with Sunghyeok ‘Highly’ Lee, but never got that time to shine like his other DPS teammates. Though on the main stage, many fans haven’t seen much of him. For those unaware of his presence and potential, here is why Illicit should be picked up by an Overwatch League team.
When new players come on to a team where their position is taken by an all-star player, it is hard for them to get any playtime. This can be seen in the Overwatch League in Season 2 when Highly was vying for the flex support spot that Jehong ‘Ryujehong’ Ryu was occupying. Though Highly is a great player (as was highlighted when he went to the London Spitfire in Season 3), to compete against such a force is unimaginable.
Overlapping Hero Pools
This happened multiple times for Illicit. In Season 2, he had to compete with Byungsun ‘Fleta’ Kim, the Season 3 MVP candidate for playtime. This did not create any animosity, it was the opposite. Illicit was a “sunflower” towards Fleta.
In Season 3, Fleta moved to the Shanghai Dragons, which made Tiger Nation think that it was finally Illicit’s time to shine. The whispers that Dongeon ‘FITS’ Kim had been popping off in the pre-season made some wonder if that Illicit had been too so that the team was confident without their Fleta deadlifter. But then there was the addition of Junyoung ‘Profit’ Park to the squad. Profit was the Season 1 MVP for the Grand Finals. He came with an impressive resume of achievements and a close to identical hero pool as Fleta and Illicit.
With overlapping hero pools, there are rarely times in which the Dynasty would put Illicit in over Fleta or Profit. This is not to say Illicit isn’t good enough to play, but that to have that high caliber player benched is hard to swallow. This was seen when the netizens sent hate towards Illicit when he was subbed in to play instead of Fleta. To step into the role of a fan favorite, and not dominate will breed hateful comments even if he played well.
Hero Pick Up
While being compared to Profit and Fleta, it comes to no surprise that Illicit is a very flexible player. He is able to cover the the projectile heroes. When Echo came out Illicit was playing and grinding the hero out. When he played in the show match against the San Francisco Shock when Echo first came out, his Echo was easily on par with Profit who was predicted to be one of the best Echos. His dedication to being ready to step in at any time shows how serious he is about being a part of the team. He rarely streamed but was seen in matches on other streams. This is a good predictor of if Illicit was needed to pick up a hero he would be able to do so in a short amount of time.
Statistics don’t tell the whole story, but they are what the League runs off of. When comparing Fleta and Illicit, their stats are similar when taking into account the percentage of time played. For example, looking at the final blows in the 2020 season, Illicit played for roughly 593 minutes while Fleta played around 1,379 minutes. There is a stark difference, but when divided by how many final blows (108 for Illicit and 1181 for Fleta) the percentage is quite close with Illicit at 1.5 and Fleta at 1.6. This is not the only stat that is close. Elimination (time played/total elims) is 0.5 for Fleta and 0.6 for Illicit.
The statistics show that, though Fleta has much more playtime, Illicit is very much holding his own.
This might seen as an obvious plug for any player. Overwatch is a team sport, so it would make sense players are team focused. Illicit has given himself to the Seoul Dynasty no matter how much play time he accrues. He is always with the team. He might not be playing but he is a team player in which he supports his teammates. Not all players can be the alpha male for the team to work. Illicit understands his job within the team and will perform. It is essential to understand that a player is more than what can be seen in game. A personality that is able to meld with others as well as accommodate other players’ play style while keeping his own performance high.
Illicit has a good reputation with other players. Before he was picked up he was an ace for BlossoM and was nominated during contenders Season 2 as one of the best players. His has never stopped learning from others. He has learned under Fleta and Profit, showing he has a lot of knowledge to apply to his own play style to improve. He would be a great player to round out any roster.
In Defense of Illicit
Illicit deserves his fair shot in the Overwatch League. He could be that star play that a team that is rebuilding could utilize. There have been many factors in restricting Illicit from blooming completely. Given the right environment, Illicit could be the next Fleta. The Tiger Nation hopes to see Illicit in Season 4 of the Overwatch League given another chance to prove himself on the global stage that he is the diamond in the rough.
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