Before Overwatch Leagueâ€™s inaugural season even began, most people agreed that the Seoul Dynasty (now 9-3) were going to be the team to beat. Everything started out well enough for the South Koreans, but they started dropping matches toward the end of stage one that they should have converted. Now that the Mercy meta is a thing of the past and stage two is upon us, it looks like Seoul is ready to reclaim the top spot in the standings.
New meta for stage two
There were too many things wrong with the Mercy meta to list in a couple of paragraphs. Though some felt that it opened up more viable DPS options, the fact remained that her ultimate was garbage for both pros and casuals alike. Erasing risky or high-value kills does nothing but kill hype. As Overwatch League caught up with the rest of the post-Mercy world, one thing was all but certain - Lucio was going to come back in a big way. For Seoul, returning to a more standard meta seems to have worked wonders. Now that Jin-Moâ€Tobiâ€ Yang is back on Lucio for the most part, it seems as though Seoul has been approaching each fight with more confidence. Having Sound Barrier increases the effectiveness of dives by essentially forcing the opposing team to deal with more HP. What this means is that Seoulâ€™s tanks become monstrous to fight off, allowing DPS to lay down more effective damage for the duration of the ultimate. Combine that with Transcendence, and you have a very long fight on your hands. [caption id="attachment_102592" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment[/caption] The new meta has also allowed Je-Hong â€œRyujehongâ€ Ryu to stay on his damage-dealing support heroes, Zenyatta and Ana. It felt like a waste seeing Ryujehong have to swap to Mercy so often in stage one. Heâ€™s one of the best overall players in professional Overwatch, and he made a name for himself with Zen and Ana. Seoul has already seen many fights go there way against the Los Angeles Valiant (8-4) and San Francisco Shock (3-9) last week thanks to kills by Ryujehong. As long as Seoul can stay patient and not overextend, they should see the results they were looking for in stage one. In the early going, their tanks have been a bit overeager, often leaving Ryujeghong alone to deal with enemy Tracers. Tightening up some of those gaps will be crucial to their success against teams like the New York Excelsior (10-2) and Houston Outlaws (9-3).
Widowmaker is definitely still a thing
Something we saw a lot of in stage one was Mercy-boosted Widowmaker kills (that subsequently went for naught because of Valkyrie). Almost every single team in Overwatch League has a world-class Widow, and Seoul is no exception. Byung-Sun â€œFLETAâ€ Kim has quickly emerged as one of the best DPS players in the league. While heâ€™s given us impressive displays on all his heroes, his most jaw-dropping plays have come courtesy of Widowmaker. [caption id="attachment_102593" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment[/caption] One common thought from stage one was that Widow could either take out Mercy, or force her to use Resurrection early on in a fight. Now that Valkyrie has been changed, Widowmakerâ€™s effectiveness has shot through the roof. A perfect example of what Widow can do for a push came from FLETA against San Francisco on Watchpoint Gibraltar. At each stage of the fight, FLETA kept San Francisco pinned down and didnâ€™t allow them to bully their way into superior positioning. On the final stretch, he nailed headshot after headshot, keeping San Francisco at their spawn door with no options. Now that Mercy is seeing bench time, you can expect a lot more of this going forward.
A new acquisition
Staying dedicated to fielding a top-tier support line, the Seoul Dynasty have recently acquired Heo â€œGamblerâ€ Jin-woo to help fill for Tobi and Ryujehong. â€œWeâ€™ve finally assembled our perfect roster,â€ said coach Baek Kwang-jin in a press release. â€œStage one provided us insight into each teamâ€™s strategies and matchup potentials. Now we are working to create new strategies by incorporating and coordinating with Gambler. You can expect to see us perform with innovative tactics during Stage two.â€ Itâ€™s going to be interesting seeing where Seoul will fit Gambler, but itâ€™s safe to say that it will probably be for specific maps or matchups based on their coachâ€™s comments. Since Gambler is known for Mercy, expect to see him in Pharmercy compositions on Oasis, Lijiang Tower, and Ilios.