Overwatch League

Overwatch League: Have the Korean teams been figured out?

The Overwatch League is currently halfway through its third stage. For the majority of the season, the Korean teams have displayed a dominance that other teams were constantly trying to match. As the stages have progressed, more and more teams have been able to grab wins against these near unstoppable teams. With constant play and recordings available to the other teams, have the Korean teams been figured out?

Overwatch League Prediction: Seoul Dominates

As the inaugural season for the Overwatch League kicked off, many pegged the Seoul Dynasty to be the top team. Currently they sit in second place to the New York Excelsior. However, they kicked off the first season with a bang. They’ve gone 7-3 in both stages, going 0-4 against the other Korean teams.

Overwatch League

Seoul Dynasty by Robert Paul

Stage three has seen Seoul look much weaker than before. They opened the stage swept by a resurgent Los Angeles Valiant, and then dropped another game to the Los Angeles Gladiators. As of this writing they’ve yet to face the other Korean teams in stage three, but their diminishing dominance leads to a likely loss against both. Many believe that the Seoul Dynasty have dropped maps due to deploying a “b-team” during matches against weaker opponents, and they’ve been chastised for it.

They missed both stage one and stage two playoffs simply from map differential, and winning a few more against weaker teams could’ve pushed them into a higher tier of play. As the stages have continued, the Dynasty have looked less and less like the dominant team they were in the beginning. Many teams have figured out who the key players on the squad are, and make quick work on them during play. As their strategies and style of play is shown more and more, teams are able to study and counter it efficiently.

Spitfire Losing Altitude

The London Spitfire were another top projected team at the beginning of the season. Over the first two stages, they backed that prediction up. They managed to play three matches on the final day of stage one to win the championship. They followed that up with a one win better record in stage two, and fell in the semi-finals. Birdring has been one of the most consistently impressive DPS players over the course of the season. His teammates always find a way to make the right plays.

Overwatch League

London Spitfire from Overwatch League

Unfortunately, this dominance has come to a screeching halt in stage three. Going 7-3, then 8-2 over the first two stages, the Spitfire are close to doubling their losses. Midway through stage three, they’re at a paltry 2-4. Their wins have come from the Florida Mayhem and Valiant. They’ve lost to top teams in this stage, and their recent play seems to be a combination of factors.

First is the fact that many of the teams have been playing for a decent period of time now, and work more cohesively. Another is that teams have adjusted their rosters and styles to be more competitive. The Valiant aggressively retooled before the start of stage three, and are at the top of stage three. The Boston Uprising have overcome adversity and meshed new players seamlessly into their lineup. The San Francisco Shock had one of the most well-known Tracer player’s finally reach the age limit to play.

The Spitfire have added a single player since the season started, and bid farewell to two of them. Rascal went to Dallas, (since released), and Fissure has been the main-tank the Gladiators needed to be competitive. While those teams have had their ups and downs, they both look more impressive in stage three than the Spitfire have.

NYXL Reigning Champs

Overwatch League

NYXL from Overwatch League

The New York Excelsior have had their way with the Overwatch League. They lost one game in the first two stages, losing an extra in the first stage playoffs. They then came back with a vengeance in stage two, capturing the championship. They’ve been dominant, and they continue to look so, but the cracks are starting to appear.

In stage three, the NYXL have already lost a game. In a surprising upset, the Boston Uprising, (on the first match without released Dreamkazper), defeated NYXL. Without their top DPS, recently adjusting, the Uprising delivered a statement to the rest of the league. They exploited the NYXL by consistently targeting and removing Jjonak from the play, who has been an absolute game changer for the NYXL.

With a surprise upset handing the NYXL their first loss of stage three, and a close match against the Philadelphia Fusion almost doubling their loss total, the NYXL no longer look impenetrable. Teams have realized just how valuable Jjonak is to the team and their style, and the quicker he’s removed from a fight, the greater the chance to win the fight is.

South Korean Dominance End in Sight

Overwatch League

Top Six Team Stage Standing Comparison

These three teams were the apex model of teamwork at the start of the Overwatch League. Two of them have taken stage championships. Their dominance lasted through the first half of the season, but looks to be over. Seoul has had an ever-so-slightly decrease in play throughout each stage. London suddenly is close to doubling their total losses from two stages during stage three. The NYXL lost to a team that had just lost one of their best players, and couldn’t capitalize.

Meanwhile, the revitalized Valiant and Boston Uprising sit 5-1 and 6-0 in stage three, and look unstoppable. Boston has taken out both the NYXL and Seoul Dynasty, while Valiant swept Seoul and face London next. A passing of the torch to the teams that have figured out and studied their Korean opponents may be happening before our very eyes in stage three, and it has made the Overwatch League all the better for it.

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Featured Image courtesy of Robert Paul

Deju Vu for the Seoul Dynasty entering week five on the outside of the playoffs

Stage one and stage two have had an eerily similar feel for the Seoul Dynasty. In both stages, the Dynasty get off to a hot start only to be fighting from the outside-looking-in heading into the final week of the stage. The two losses in week four insured the Dynasty another uphill battle, one that ended poorly for them in stage one.

The Dynasty flopping against the top teams

A heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the New York Excelsior and a rather sloppy performance against the London Spitfire put them back in an almost identical situation to stage one. With the same score lines, the Dynasty has a serious issue with not showing up against the consensus best teams. And after their latest upsetting performance, their playoff fate no longer rests in their own hands. It’s now dependent on the Los Angeles Gladiators or the Spitfire losing a few games by a somewhat wide margin.

Let’s look back at the matches, Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park has proven to be a serious problem for the Dynasty backline and for the bulk of that roster. In the two regular-season matchups, the Tracer-expert has made a living off disrupting the Dynasty gameplan. Sang-beom “Munchkin” Byeon is having a nice stage two, but the lack of Tracer duel wins is a problem, and Byung-sung “Fleta” Kim hasn’t looked as dominant in stage two. Down the line, the Dynasty struggled to contain any of the Excelsior playmakers.

Switching over to the London Spitfire, a combination of an assertive game plan and simply outperforming their counterparts on the other side have given the Spitfire an astounding eight-game winning streak over the Dynasty. As main Zenyatta player Sung-tae “BDosin” Choi likes to say, “Seoul Dynasty’s weakness is (the) London Spitfire,” and after two dominating efforts, it’s hard to disagree. No other team has been able to disrupt the cerebral style that the Dynasty brings into matches. It’s clear that bringing the fight to the Dynasty will give them trouble.

Not to mention the fact that these struggles against GC Busan pre-date the Overwatch League if you look back on how Lunatic-Hai ended their Apex run. What’s the cause of this? A regression of skill amongst the most noteworthy names on this roster or is this a coaching issue? The bulk of the responsibility isn’t on one player, but the lack of coordination and underperforming from the entire roster.

What’s going on with Ryujehong?

Je-hong “Ryujehong” Ryu is one of the more accomplished players in the Overwatch League. The first player on a grand stage to really separate himself from the rest of the pack. His skill has always been flashy, but sensible and measured.Ever since the benching in stage one, life’s been tough on Ryujehong. His struggles are bleeding into Jin-hyuk “Miro” Gong’s effectiveness and are overall hurting the dive.

As Overwatchers contenders commentator James “Jamerson” Lee pointed out to me, tracking Ryujehong’s discord orbs have not been easy. In the loss to the Spitfire and Excelsior, the emphasis on Ryujehong specifically made it really tough on him. The combination of focus fire and having to deal with Syung-heon “JJoNak” Bang and BDosin Zenyatta volleys lead to some rather un-Ryujehong like performances. It’s been a growing issue within the Dynasty’s attack and could be a point of contention moving forward.

Tobi at a press conference. Photo via Seoul Dynasty Twitter

Moreover, Ryujehong isn’t exactly known for his play on Zenyatta. Yes, he’s proven to play Zenyatta at an incredibly high level and is absolutely considered one of the best in the Overwatch League, but most of his notoriety as the supreme support main comes from his play on Ana. In no way do I think keeping Ryujehong on the bench is a smart move, but inserting Gi-do “Gido” Moon into some situations might be a switch the Dynasty need.

Identically, Jin-mo “Tobi” Yang hasn’t been playing at his best this season either. The same could be said for Fleta, who started stage one as the frontrunner for MVP. Randomly, the one position that’s been getting strong performances has been Munchkin or Joon-hyuk “Bunny” Chae on Tracer, who have both stepped up in stage two. On top of that, the contributions of Joon-hyuk “Zunba” Kim on D.va have been outstanding for a team struggling on dives.

Looking ahead for Seoul

Luckily for the Dynasty, the schedule ends with two bottom-six opponents, even if one of those is the struggling stage on playoff team Houston Outlaws. The other would be the Florida Mayhem who has shown great improvement in stage two. It will take a combination of the Los Angeles Gladiators (or Spitfire) ending the week 0-2 while losing both games by more than a few maps.

Unfortunately for the Dynasty, based on the way the Gladiators have been playing recently it, feels unlikely that will happen. If the Dynasty gets no help this week, they will find themselves watching their second consecutive playoff round from the couch, and based off expectations heading into the Overwatch League would be a colossal underachievement for them. Regardless of stage playoffs, the Dynasty sit at 13-5 atop the Pacific division and have their eyes set on the ultimate prize at the end of the inaugural season. 

 

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Featured photo via Seoul Dynasty twitter

London vs Seoul

Spitfire triumphs over Dynasty: London vs. Seoul analysis

London Spitfire never cease to amaze me. Once again after looking shaky in their last match against the Gladiators, they pull a complete 180 and 4-0 Seoul for the 2nd time. They looked absolutely dominant, an image of the team that won Stage 1. Seoul had been looking strong other then their match with New York, where they loss 2-3. Other than that, they won every match this stage. London on the other hand already lost to Los Angeles Gladiators and Houston, looking like the weak link of the Koreans. That all changed with London vs Seoul.

If you know your Overwatch history, this shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. Before the OWL, Lunatic-Hai was the dominant force (Eventually becoming Seoul Dynasty). GC Busan (Now London Spitfire) came out of nowhere and won two consecutive 3-0 sets against Lunatic Hai. Now in the OWL, London it 8-0 on maps against Seoul. This means overall their map score is 14-0 against Seoul. Why does Seoul struggle against London? Well overall it’s hard to say, it could be a mental block, or clashing play styles. But as for what happened on Saturday, I can shed some light on why we saw history repeat itself again.

unlikely Hero Picks

For most of the match, Seoul ran fairly basic team comps. Sticking to the meta of Tracer, Genji, D.va, Winston, Zen, and another support. They only veered off this in certain situations. London on the other hand, decided to mix things up quite a bit.

On Hanamura, Jong-seok ‘NUS’ Kim is on Mercy duty. This is odd in Stage 2 since her nerfs making her a more niche pick. This worked marvelous for London however as he focused much of his healing and damage boosting on Ji-hyuk ‘birdring’ Kim. Also this gave them a mid-fight resurrect, that turned the tide of a few fights on Hanamura.

On Lijiang Tower, London went for another odd comp with double hit scan heroes. Usually this isn’t a good idea since it makes it difficult to deal with fast moving heroes like Tracer and Genji, but it shut down Byung-sun ‘Fleta’ Kim’s Pharah instantly. This forced Fleta to switch to Genji, however London’s DPS was so destructive, it didn’t make enough of a difference.

King’s Row was another odd map. London looked as though they were about to lose 3rd point and allow Seoul to finish the map. Joon-yeong ‘Profit’ Park made an incredible switch to Zarya at the last second. Zarya, by the way, has a less then 5% pick rate in the Overwatch league, and one of the lowest win rates overall. This didn’t matter as Profit charged up his Ultimate in only a single fight and helped his team fend off Seoul, denying them map completion.

GOING IN WITH A PLAN

This is the Overwatch League, you need to go in every match with a plan on every map. London had a few strong strategies going into this game. First, they decided to split Seoul’s attention with their tanks. Jae-hee ‘Gesture’ and Seung-hyun ‘WooHyaL’ Sung both went in and distracted Seoul, giving birdring and Profit room to show the league what they’ve got. Profit used this space given to establish my next point.

Je-hong ‘ryujehong’ Ryu must really hate Profit, I mean REALLY hate Profit. Last stage Jehong was on the bench against London in order to “throw them off.” This time Jehong played all 4 maps against London. He’s really an amazing support, he’s known for his great positioning and amazing game sense, but you wouldn’t know that from this match since Profit killed him so many times. Jehong ended the match with 34 deaths and only 8 kills on Zenyatta.

Screenshot (7).png

Jehong giving Birdring a hug after the match. Courtesy of MLG Network and Twitch.

One thing I’ve always praised London for is their last second stalls. Kings Row is a perfect example of this in action. Seoul is about to cap the third point and London only has 2 players left alive. Instead of making the common mistake of attempting to hold out as long as they can in a ultimately pointless effort. They both fall back and hide in spawn, allowing Seoul to push the payload farther, up until the very last second when they are able to come back in with almost full 6, taking control of the payload. Spitfire knows it’s much better to sacrifice those 5-10 meters in order to stop the payload short of completing the map.

JUST BEING OUTPLAYED

Sometimes Overwatch boils down to who plays better. True, the heroes choices and the strategies are important, but sometimes who can click the most heads works too. Fleta is often considered best DPS in the league, but this weekend he wasn’t able to keep up with Birdring who just kept shutting him down.

The Tracer battle between Sang-beom ‘Munchkin’ Byeon and Profit looked very one sided. Seoul for a while now has been known to have weaker tracers, and that contrast is drastic when compared to Profit. And when they both switched to Zarya on King’s row, Profit as mentioned before charged up his ult in a single fight, used 3 Graviton Surges throughout the map which secured 10 kills and had an average energy of 65. Munchkin on the other hand, used only 1 Ult and failed to secure a single kill with it, and ended with an average energy of 35.

This doesn’t end with the DPS, the tanks were just as dominant . Gesture looked as amazing as always match ending with 16 more kills then his Winston Counter part. And WooHyaL on D.va looked just as dominant, dying 50% less than Seoul’s D.va player.

London Spitfire are definitely a force to be reckoned with. They often look shaky and inconsistent, but times like these prove why they are defending champions. Seoul isn’t quite out yet however, with a fairly easy week 5 ahead of them, we may be looking at a rematch in the Stage 2 finals. Even if it ends one sided, the skill range here is still incredibly close. Matches like London vs Seoul are matches I wish we could watch every single week.

 

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Featured image courtesy of MLG Network

Overwatch

Can Seoul Dynasty Slow the NYXL?

The past couple weeks in Stage 2 have been nothing but full speed ahead for the New York Excelsior. With a big upcoming game against the Seoul Dynasty at the beginning of Week 4, the results could drastically influence Stage 2 playoff seeding. As of right now, the NYXL and Seoul Dynasty are the top two teams in the Overwatch League, with the London Spitfire closely behind. The NYXL may be ahead in the overall standings, yet the Seoul Dynasty still find themselves leading the pack in Stage 2. Nevertheless, both teams are pushing themselves so that they can get the top spot going into the Stage 2 playoffs. With an epic match on Wednesday, March 14, will Seoul be able to slow down the NYXL or will the NYXL silence Seoul’s roar?

Overview

Both teams have so much star-power and talent on their rosters that there is a marquee matchup in every role. It is hard to argue that there are better players who aren’t already on either of these two teams. With such great players in every position, the two main matchups that I am going to focus on is support and DPS.

Support matchup

It is safe to say that the teams who have the best supports have found the most success so far in the Overwatch League. Supports provide tangible things such as healing and damage, but also intangibles such as communication, leadership and the ability to track other team’s abilities. Support is a very powerful position when the right players are in and working together. In this coming matchup both teams have the best Zenyatta players in the league – Seong-Hyun “Jjonak” Bang on NYXL and Je-Hong “Ryujehong” Ryu on Seoul Dynasty. Both players drastically alter the game with their play. Whichever Zenyatta can give their team an advantage with an early pick on the other team and can use their ultimate more effectively in team fights, will ultimately give their team a greater chance of winning. The clip below shows Jjonak’s impact in a team fight.

DPS matchup

Let’s not forget about the DPS matchup! The two-big flex DPS players to watch is Hae-Seong “Libero” Kim from the NYXL vs Byung-Sun “FLETA” Kim from Seoul. Both players can play just about every hero at a high level. In Overwatch, a game where counter picks can make a huge difference, expect to see many different heroes come out from these players in an attempt to counter the other and ultimately give their team an advantage. In addition to Libero and FLETA, expect to see a big Tracer matchup out of NYXL’s Jong-Ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park and Dynasty’s Sang-Beom “Munchkin” Byun or Jun-Hyeok “Bunny” Chae. All three Tracer players have their own unique play style, which helps their respective team dictate the pace of the game. The clip below shows the impact of Seoul Dynasty’s DPS players, helping secure a team fight win against the Philadelphia Fusion.

Last thoughts

It’s undeniable that these are two of the best teams in the Overwatch League. However, who is really the number one team in the game? With an epic matchup between the Seoul Dynasty and NYXL that went all the way to a map five in Stage 1, and now has playoff implications in Stage 2, this rematch is one that you do not want to miss. Will Seoul prove that they are again the greatest team in Overwatch or will the NYXL flex their strength and show why they are the number one team in the overall standings?

 

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Featured Image Credit: Overwatch League

Videos Clips: Overwatch League

Overwatch

Seoul off to a Roaring Start in Stage 2

As analysts and fan favorites to make the playoffs at the beginning of Stage 1, the Seoul Dynasty had an underwhelming performance during Stage 1 of the Overwatch League regular season. Not even making the Stage 1 playoffs, Seoul looked to bounce back during Stage 2 of the Overwatch League. Stage 2 brought a new patch change, new heroes, and a new hope to the Seoul Dynasty organization.

The Kings of Korea

The Seoul Dynasty team, formally known as Lunatic-Hai back in Korea before the Overwatch League began, was one of the most successful teams in Overwatch esports. Their raw talent, strategic playstyle, and ability to keep precise accounts of enemy ultimate’s were the root of their success. It led them win most of the major tournaments in Korea – Overwatch Apex Season 2, Overwatch Apex Season 3, Seoul Cup – OGN Super Match – along with many other higher finishes, however losses to the now known London Spitfire and Dallas Fuel, which are no slouches themselves; the Seoul Dynasty were undeniable the kings in Korea and the best team in Overwatch.

Overwatch

Courtesy of OGN Korea: Lunatic-Hai Apex Champions

An Underwhelming Stage 1 Finish

With expectations riding high on the Seoul Dynasty, the pressure for them mounted. Instead of destiny being in their own hands to make the playoffs, that power was given to the other teams; Seoul was banking that the other teams would lose, so that they could get in. The Seoul Dynasty and kings of Korea were unable to make the Stage 1 playoffs, a huge shock to both analysts and fans. Seoul ended up finishing the regular season in fifth place among twelve teams. Not the start to the inaugural season that they themselves or anyone else was expecting.

A Roaring Stage 2 Start

Along with Stage 2 came quite a few changes that suited the Seoul Dynasty: new strategies, new heroes, and a new meta. One of the biggest changes in Stage 2 was that teams were no longer forced to have Mercy as one of their supports. Due to the Mercy changes that Blizzard instilled, heroes like Lucio, Zenyatta, Moira and Ana came back into the meta. This was great news for the Seoul Dynasty. Seoul’s supports could return to their comfort and most known heroes: Je-Hong “Ryujehong” Ryu on Zenyatta and Jin-Mo “Tobi” Yang on Lucio. Together these two supports along with the rest of Seoul Dynasty became a force to be reckoned with. The clip below shows the renewed teamwork and cooperation between the Seoul Dynasty players.

With Byung-Sun “FLETA” Kim getting more support from his DPS counterpart, the tanks playing more consistently, and the supports back on their comfort heroes, Seoul started Stage 2 strong. Seoul commanded the beginning of Stage 2, holding sole possession of first place with a perfect 4-0 record at the end of Week 2.

Rest of Stage 2

Now that Seoul returned to form, analysts and fans made bold predictions that Seoul would finish high in the Stage 2 standings, to qualify for playoffs; but also that they were the favorites to win all of Stage 2. With hopes riding high on the Seoul Dynasty, will they continue the rest of Stage 2 strong? More importantly, will anyone be able to silence their roar? Stage 2 of the Overwatch League continues this week as the Seoul Dynasty takes on the Shanghai Dragons on Wednesday, followed by the Philadelphia Fusion on Thursday.

 

For more of the best esports news, follow The Game Haus on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to keep up with my posts or myself, come check out my twitter:@J02Armstrong. Thanks for reading!

Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Videos Clips: Overwatch League

Dallas Fuel still looking for lineup answers after 3-1 loss to the Seoul Dynasty

The Dallas Fuel is the main candidate to make the biggest jump in terms of record from stage one to stage two. The trade for Kim “Rascal”  Dong-jun and signing heavy sought-after free agent Dylan “aKm” Bignet revitalized a talented Dallas Fuel roster. Unfortunately, the Seoul Dynasty brought the newly formed Fuel roster back down to earth.

There’s still a question of how the Dallas Fuel looks to use their new DPS-mains. Early on, aKm has been the primary hitscan player with Hwang “EFFECT” Hyeon on Tracer. Rascal will often replace aKm, keeping Effect focused on his role. It comes down to map preference, and the Fuel is still feeling it out. The use of Effect does deserve a spotlight considering his lack of production against the top OWL Tracer players.

Munchkin Steals the show

Photo courtesy of Overwatch League

In my eyes, Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom was the standout in the 3-1 for the Seoul Dynasty. Yes, Kim “Zunba” Joon-hyuk was everywhere on the D.Va, but it was Munchkin’s survivability and constant full-clips that had the most positive effect for the Dynasty. The Dynasty made a substitution on Hollywood moving out Munchkin for Choi “Wekeed” Seok-woo to play Genji. The move led to Effect with more space to work and not have Munchkin continually bully him. It was the one map win for the Dallas Fuel.

It was a total team effort from the Seoul Dynasty. Predictably, letting Yang “tobi” Jin-mo focus on Lucio and Ryu “Ryujehong” Je-hong play more reactionary on Zenyatta makes them that much scarier. By no means were Jonathan “HarryHook” Tejedor Rua and Scott “Custa” Kennedy bad, it was actually quite the opposite, but with all the pressure Zunba and Munchkin can do to support mains, it allowed the Dynasty supports to thrive.

The biggest mismatch in the loss for the Dallas Fuel was trying to contain the two-man wrecking crew of Zunba and Gong “Miro” Jin-hyuk. It’s not often Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod looks that bad in the D.Va matchup, but the aggressive anti-dive defense from the Dynasty made it really tough on both Mickie and Félix “xQc” Lengyel. The sheer advantage in eliminations-to-death ratio shows how dominant the Seoul tanks were yesterday.

A Small Stepback for the Dallas Fuel

However, it’s not all bad for the Dallas Fuel. A small step back, sure, but even in a 3-1 loss, they showed plenty of fight. It felt as if a game five was certain to happen after a third point hold on Route 66, but the Dynasty’s timely hero changes on the last point and stalling tactics held on. The lack of in-game adjustments and coaching adjustments continues to be a work in progress.

The Fuel will end week two facing another 2-1 team in the Los Angeles Valiant. It’s gut check time for a Fuel squad who not only needs wins to stay competitive for the stage two playoffs but as a team who desperately needs wins to get back in the overall playoff conversation. A loss against the Valiant would be a major blow to their chances and will kill the good feeling the new acquisitions have brought to this team.

Lineup Questions Persist for both the Dynasty and Fuel

Despite the win, the move off the hot hand in Munchkin to Wekeed was questionable from the Dynasty coaching staff. Add the Dynasty to the list of teams struggling to find cohesion with their DPS players. Week one was all Chae “Bunny” Joon-hyuk and Munchkin has thus far received all the week two playing time. It’s another work in progress, but Munchkin’s starting to separate himself from the pack.

Back to the Fuel roster, finding the right spot to run Rascal or aKm will come off trial and error. aKm got good run on strong Soldier: 76 maps and switched onto Pharah on Hollywood. The decision to go with Rascal on Route 66 was questionable considering aKm was much more warmed up and starting to present problems for the Dynasty. The move to Rascal, who ended up playing 76 anyways, didn’t have the same effect on the match.

Regardless, both teams have a good problem here. The talent on both rosters is immense and finding playing time for all these talented players is a task. Good players will be on the bench as it’s inevitable, but finding the right balance and using substitutions timely will separate the best coaches from the worst. It’s a small issue, but an issue nonetheless and something to track heading into the rest of stage two.

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Featured photo via Seoul Dynasty Twitter

Seoul Dynasty decisions raise questions after missing out on stage one playoffs

Halfway through stage one of Overwatch League the geniuses of the world seemed to have it all figured out. The Seoul Dynasty were the clear favorite. Teams such as the Boston Uprising and Houston Outlaws weren’t considered actual threats yet. The London Spitfire were the dysfunctional Korean team.

Fast forward only two weeks later, the world of Overwatch has flipped on its head. The Seoul Dynasty are on the outside looking in. The most prestigious organization in the game completely fell apart. Losing to the London Spitfire and New York Excelsior is one thing, but getting swept by the Los Angeles Valiant and coming close with the Outlaws and San Francisco Shock is something entirely different.

Underperforming Players

The onus of the struggle doesn’t fall on one certain aspect, but the collection of decisions and underperformances. The coaching staff has even resorted to trying new lineups and testing different combinations. Overall, the roster decisions have proven to be costly. Sitting Ryu “Ryujehong” Je-hong and keeping Kim “KuKi” Dae-kuk on the bench in favor of Gong “Miro” Jin-hyuk.

The regular cohesiveness isn’t quite there for the Dynasty lately. Outside of having Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun hard-carry with a litany of destructive heroes, the rest of the team is struggling to work together. Fleta’s picks seem to be the one thing keeping this team moving forward.

Going back to Miro’s play, it’s obvious that he’s not on the same page with his supports right now. Miro’s getting caught out with bad positioning at a high rate. He’s failing to make the normal plays we see out of his Winston and it all stems back to the lack of synergy between Miro and Yang “tobi” Jin-mo. Tobi’s known as one of the premier support players in Overwatch history, but being forced into the Mercy role has limited his value.

Tobi is an excellent Mercy, but it’s just not his top choice in his hero pool. Considering this along with Ryujehong and Miro’s struggles is the most probable cause for this team missing out on the playoffs.

The Munchkin/Bunny/Wekeed Dilemma

As I previously stated, Fleta is a wrecking ball crashing through your window. In many ways, he’s able to single-handedly pick up the slack for his team with his mind-boggling playmaking ability. It’s not only that but his timeliness on hero picks to get the best possible matchup.

The problem isn’t Fleta, it’s the revolving door of half-Tracer mains that can’t seem to earn that second DPS spot. The best teams in the Overwatch League are incredibly deep at the DPS position. The Dynasty don’t have the same luxury when they’re still trying to find the right spot for each player.

Chae “Bunny” Joon-hyuk is presumably the most talented of the group, but he has no versatility whatsoever. If The Dynasty to play strictly dive, like the Boston Uprising or Philadelphia Fusion, Bunny would be a mainstay on the starting lineup, but that’s not always the case. Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom is the most experienced, but is limited similarly to Bunny in terms of hero pool.

If the Dynasty look to improve the roster heading into stage two, look for that spot next to Fleta to be a priority. For the time being, the same rotation of players will continue. Fleta is the focal point of any Dynasty game plan so being able to work to his strengths will benefit the entire team. In many instances, Bunny seemed to be the one that meshed the best.

Benching Ryujehong not out of the question

No one is safe on this team after a disappointing stage one, not even the highly regarded Ryujehong. There’s a scenario where talented Zenyatta player, Mun “Gido” Gi-do, gets more starts over Ryujehong. Even Tobi could potentially be subbed out for a better Mercy. Everything is on the table if this continues.

One thing to consider is the new meta plays similar to the olden days when Lunatic-Hai was the best team in Korea. Mercy getting nerfed will open up the door for more creative support picks and giving the Dynasty more weapons at their disposal. In any case, the Seoul Dynasty will be just fine. Even if it takes some minor or major tweaking, this team is too talented to stay down for long.  

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Featured photo via Seoul Dynasty Twitter