“We think we should have about a 90% win rate, or at least over 80%.”
This is what the Seoul Dynasty asserted in last January at the OWL Media Day.
At that time, no one thought it was a bold statement or wishful thinking. The Seoul Dynasty had the former members of Lunatic Hai, the team that won the championship at the Overwatch APEX twice in a row. The members, Miro, Zunba, Ryujehong, and Tobi, where also the players who played for team Korea in the Overwatch World Cup.
The Seoul Dynasty also recruited Fleta, Munchkin, and Bunny as DPS players, filling their roster with the best players in the world. Some people were worried that the team had too many DPS players, but others believed that it would work as positive competition for the team.
0 win and 4 losses: this is what the Seoul Dynasty has so far in Stage 4. Furthermore, the Seoul Dynasty failed to make it to the title match 3 stages in a row. The team’s record for the recent 10 matches are 3 wins and 7 losses. When the Seoul Dynasty missed the title match just by an inch, everyone thought that the team just needed to work a little bit more to be the strongest team in the OWL. Unfortunately, that was the best performance that the Seoul Dynasty has shown so far.
The team’s rank has dropped to 7th place, and they are on the verge of failing to make it to the playoffs. When did it all start to go wrong?
One of the team’s flaws is that the players lose focus throughout the game.
The Seoul Dynasty has made many glaring mistakes in Stage 4. Heroes with 100% ultimate charge dying just before a team fight begins and losing a team fight they could have won because they died before using their ultimates; these were common occurrences in the matches that Seoul lost.
Also, the Seoul Dynasty continuously failed to push together and provide backup for each other. That sort of mistake may happen once or twice for any team, but repeating the same scene over and over again in different maps means that the team is not doing a great job at communicating.
▲ The same type of mistakes were made in two different maps in the same matchup. Mistakes made by individual players or as a team are becoming more frequent in recent matches.
Another problem that the Seoul Dynasty has is that they failed to build a flexible roster. This was actually a criticism that many fans had in the past as well.
The Seoul Dynasty had 11 players in the roster when the season began. The team had to highest number of players besides the London Spitfire and the Philadelphia Fusion, but the problem was that most of the players were DPS players.
Although some of the DPS players were registered as Flex, the team’s strategy to have more Flex players failed, and the team composition began to shake. Among the 4 tanks, including Zunba and XepheR who are Flex players, the only one who was performing well in the OWL was Zunba. At the end of Stage 3, the team even had to use Ryujehong, who used to be the off-Support, as the main tank.
As Ryujehong became the new main tank, Gido, who used to be a DPS in APEX, replaced Ryujehong as the team’s off-Support. It was not surprising for Gido to play a Support, as he has some experience with the role.
However, in terms of his skills as a Support, Gido cannot play better than Ryujehong and even Ryujehong himself is not the best Support player in the OWL.
Of course, Ryujehong is a talented gamer and his skills as a tank greatly improved as he became more experienced, but in the beginning his performance as a tank was rather unsatisfactory. The Support line became unstable and the team composition became unsteady once again. Seoul decided to put Miro and KuKi back on stage for Stage 4, but it wasn’t enough to save the team from sinking.
The imbalanced roster, the failure to make players play more flexible roles, and the players losing their touch from lack of playing; this all added up to the team’s fall in Stage 4. Most of the other teams who used to have fewer members than the Dynasty now have more than 10 members, and their rosters are well-balanced.
The LA Gladiators, the team that won against Seoul and reached 6th place last week, is showing much improvement after recruiting a player the team lacks. When Seoul recruited Gambler, fans thought that his addition to the roster would be a great choice for the team. In the end however, the Seoul Dynasty could not compose a balanced roster, could not use the advantage of early roster completion, and exposed the team’s weaknesses in team composition. Recruiting additional members is impossible after Stage 3, so the issue must be solved by the current members of the team.
Lastly, the biggest and most notable problem is that the Seoul Dynasty is failing to work as a team. One of the advantages of early roster completion is that the players can have more time to build up teamwork. Back when the members of the Seoul Dynasty were playing together as Lunatic Hai, Lunatic Hai was a group that excelled at teamplay, rather than relying individual skill.
During the matches against KD Panthera and Runaway in APEX, the individual skill of each player was not exceptionally greater than that of the other team’s players. Lunatic Hai was able to analyze the mistakes that each member made, give feedback to each other, and won the championship as a team. This was supposed to be the strength of the Seoul Dynasty. The teamwork that they already built and the chemistry among the players should have become an advantage.
However, team Seoul is repeating the same mistakes over and over in every match, every game. The teams that were underperforming in the beginning of the season are now improving. The Philadelphia Fusion, the LA Gladiators after the recruitment of Fissure, the Dallas Fuel, and the San Francisco Shock are all dishing out ever-better performance as the season goes on. But the Seoul Dynasty has not made any progress since Stage 1.
Since the first and second place teams from each Division and the top four teams will move on to the playoffs, there isn’t much time left for Seoul. This is the third week of Stage 4, and there are two teams that won all four matches and 5 teams that have more than three wins. Seoul has a four-game losing streak, and the chances that the team can make it to the playoffs are quite slim.
The team is not in first place in the Pacific Division anymore and even began to lose its place in the playoff rankings. The Dynasty cannot move backwards any further.
Luckily, the team is up against the Shanghai Dragons and the Florida Mayhem this week. This might be a chance for the Seoul Dynasty to make a comeback, but it might also be a chance for the other two teams to break their losing streaks. All three teams are currently on a four-game losing streak. It might actually be a chance for the Shanghai Dragons to get the first win of the season, as they are slowly improving in game performance.
The path towards the playoffs is not going to be smooth for the Seoul Dynasty. Will the team move on to the playoffs, or just end the season like this?
■ Overwatch League Stage 4 Match Schedules for Seoul Dynasty (PDT)
Wednesday, May 30th 6:00 pm - vs Shanghai Dragons
Friday, June 1st 6:00 pm - vs Florida Mayhem
Wednesday, June 6th 4:00 pm - vs Boston Uprising
Saturday, June 8th 8:00 pm - vs Philadelphia Fusion
Wednesday, June 13th 8:00 pm - vs Dallas Fuel
Friday, June 15th 6:00 pm - vs LA Gladiators