After eking out a thrilling 2-1 opening win over Dallas, the Seoul Dynasty found their footing in the Overwatch League and started rolling; in the last couple weeks, they have seemed basically unbeatable. The Dynasty are the rebranded iteration of Lunatic-Hai, long considered one of the best Overwatch teams in the world, so it makes sense that they entered the League as favourites. And yesterday, they got rolled.
Image via Blizzard
It’s not necessarily surprising that the London Spitfire beat Seoul. New York had just taken a 3-2 thriller against the Dynasty and London is also the reconstituted bones of a pair of elite Korean Overwatch teams.
What made their win such a shock was the ruthlessness of it all. London notched a 4-0 sweep, didn’t let Seoul take a single map objective until the fourth round and dictated the terms of every fight. It was comprehensive, and Seoul looked hesitant and scared. This dude’s face says it all.
In an odd move, Seoul opted to replace captain and Zenyatta wizard Ryujehong with less experienced support player Gido. While their desire to stay unpredictable and resist stagnation is admirable in a vacuum, Gido and Tobi never synced up and moving your star player and linchpin out of the lineup isn’t innovative — it’s outthinking yourself.
Seoul’s probably wary of other teams figuring out their strategies, but if you’re a top team, playing your style is more important than overreacting before other teams have even figured out your shit.
Seoul has looked terrifying over the back halves of games this season, but their inability to pivot last night was worrisome. Not only did Ryujehong not make an appearance, the Dynasty stuck with the same lineup on all four futile maps, without trotting out Munchkin, Wekeed, or Xepher in an effort to shake things up.
London was better in every phase of the match. Their tanks were coordinated, their specialised control map squad cleaned up on Ilios, and they maintained an aggression that Seoul simply couldn’t match. Birdring and Hooreg outsniping Fleta, whose Widowmaker play dominated the first three weeks, pretty much says it all.
If last week’s slate of games revealed that there’s more parity between the top and bottom of the league than initially appeared, then this London beatdown showed that the top of the table is also less settled than it seemed when Seoul was racking up sweeps and London and New York were losing to middling US teams.
An even more interesting prospect presents itself tonight, when Seoul will face another 5-2 team, the Houston Outlaws, who are on an unholy hot streak. They can either reassert themselves, or lose even more ground and legitimise Houston as the best non-Korean team. Either way, London looks like OWL’s top dog at the moment.