The Seoul Dynasty entered Week 4 of Stage 2 as the only team with an undefeated stage record. After matches against the New York Excelsior and the London Spitfire, it finds itself on the outside looking in for Stage 2 playoff standings.
This is all too familiar territory for Seoul, starting Stage 1 5-0 only to lose back-to-back matches to New York and London as part of its fall out of playoffs. ESPN Stats & Information attempted to break down these two pivotal matches and just what went wrong for Seoul this week.
New York Excelsior vs. Seoul Dynasty
In Stage 1, Seoul lost its first match of the year to New York 2-3, posting an 0-2 score in the tiebreak map. It repeated this performance on Wednesday, losing a nail-biter that started with a double-overtime assault map loss and ended with another 0-2 tiebreak map loss.
ArK Showing Dominance on Mercy
Yeon-joon "ArK" Hong came to play on his two main heroes, Mercy and Lucio, and recorded the fewest deaths per 10 minutes of any player in the match (3.8). Additionally, according to Winston's Lab, he gained 4.7 ultimates per 10 minutes on Mercy, 0.6 better than league average on that hero. Consequently, he garnered the two highest player ratings by hero in the matchup with 1,382 on Mercy and 1,253 on Lucio.
Libero out to kill Fleta
With ArK providing key support for his team, Jong-ryeol "Saebyeolbe" Park was allowed to flank and harass on Tracer while Hye-sung "Libero" Kim was granted to ability to be the role player, spending time on five different heroes throughout the match. Libero spent the most time on Genji with a clear gameplan while on the hero: Neutralize Byung-sun "Fleta" Kim.
Fleta died eight times at the hands of Genji, the most of any hero, and his 2.7 deaths per 10 minutes to Genji were almost double that of any other hero. Fleta didn't come through offensively in this match, and part of it may have been an unwillingness to play Genji himself. Fleta played four minutes on Genji against New York (his second-most played hero so far this season), his fewest minutes on the hero in any match.
Battle of the Tracers
Meanwhile, in the other DPS matchup, Saebyeolbe proved to be the more skilled Tracer. Coming into the match, Sang-beom "Munchkin" Byeon knew he had a huge task in front of him playing against one of the game's best Tracers. He seemed to press a bit too hard, putting himself in harm's way too early and too often. He had a higher first death percentage (7.8) than Saebyeolbe (4.4) and a higher first kill percentage (15.6 vs. 10.3) on Tracer showing he was on the front lines far more often than Saebyeolbe. This more aggressive approach led to a 1.5 kill/death ratio, lowest among DPS players, while Saebyeolbe's flank and wait approach lead to a 2.5 kill/death ratio, highest among DPS players for the match.
Miro getting revenge on Mano
Last June, Jin-hyuk "Miro" Gong was a South Korean 2017 Overwatch World Cup roster snub, as Dong-gyu "Mano" Kim was chosen over him for the competition. Perhaps the saving grace of Seoul in this matchup was the Winston play from Miro as he outclassed New York's Winston main Mano in every statistical category. He had more kills per 10 minutes (6.1 vs. 5.3), fewer deaths per 10 minutes (5.0 vs. 6.3), and a far lower first death percentage (9.2 vs. 17.5) than Mano throughout the match. Seoul will have to better utilize and play around their star tank.
Seoul Dynasty vs. London Spitfire
After losing in overtime against New York last Wednesday, Seoul had a much tougher time against London on Saturday. Both teams played only six players and, according to Winston's Lab, five of London's six finished with a player rating above 1,000, compared to just one player for Seoul. This led to a 4-0 victory for London over Seoul. London is the only team to shutout Seoul in a match, and it has now done it twice.
Profiting early and often
Joon-yeong "Profit" Park has not been as dominant in Stage 2 as he was in Stage 1, but he saved some of his best for Seoul. According to Winston's Lab, Profit's 1,262 player rating was his second-highest in Stage 2 and his 17.9 first-kill percentage was the highest in the match. The Spitfire won 73.9 percent of its team fights in which Profit used his ultimate, over 30 percent higher than his average for Stage 2 entering Saturday (55.7 percent).
One of the other ways Profit was able to make an impact was his ability to take down the Dynasty's support players, particularly taking advantage of a new matchup in Seoul's support Je-hong "Ryujehong" Ryu, who did not play the first time these two teams met in Stage 1. According to Winston's Lab, 17 of his 35 final blows came against support heroes (Lucio and Zenyatta), and 12 of those 17 final blows were against Ryujehong's Zenyatta. This helped lead to 911 rating for Ryujehong, his second-worst rating this season (904, in loss to Valiant).
Fleta looking for answers
Fleta could not get comfortable against the Spitfire. According to Winston's Lab, he made a team-high 13 switches. That is an average of 2.44 switches per 10 minutes, nearly twice his Stage 2 average entering Saturday (1.28). Fleta ended up playing seven different heroes against London, which helped lead to his highest time per ultimate in any matchup (99.94 seconds).
Fleta's 752 player rating, 26 kills, and 9.0 first-kill percentage were all lows in a match this season. In addition, for the first time, he finished a match with a negative kill/death ratio of -10. Dynasty's next opponent is the Houston Outlaws; the last time Fleta faced the Outlaws he finished with a career-high 77 kills.
In addition to the Outlaws, the Dynasty is looking ahead to a matchup against the Florida Mayhem this week. With the two other teams at 6-2 in the Stage 2 standings (Spitfire and Gladiators) ahead of Seoul in map differential, the Dynasty will look to win big to make Stage 2 playoffs. It's unlikely that the Dynasty will catch London, as it has the weakest strength of schedule for Week 5, but it can look to catch the Los Angeles Gladiators, who need to play both Philadelphia and Boston.