Seoul Dynasty needed a win tonight to stay in the Overwatch League playoff race, but they faced the Los Angeles Gladiators, one of the league’s top teams throughout stage four of the season.
Gladiators made it a bit easier for Dynasty by keeping their MVP candidate, main tank Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung, on the bench for the day due to illness. But apparently they didn’t need him. If Dynasty had aspirations of being a playoff side, they surely didn’t deserve to be after losing to a Gladiators team who didn’t field their best lineup.
Gladiators took the series 3-1, crushing Seoul with some creative strategies and clutch play when they needed it. Seoul opened the series with a win on King’s Row, but they seemed to falter as the series progressed.
On Hanamura, they had a prime opportunity to win another map after taking the first point in short order on their first attack, but they fell to a creative defense where Gladiators used Mei to boost Bastion above the final point. Dynasty’s split support and tank composition couldn’t contest Bastion, leaving him to deal massive damage in his turret form. When Seoul adjusted, Lane “Surefour” Roberts simply traded his turret form for a sniper rifle and obliterated Dynasty on Widowmaker.
On Oasis, Seoul had their chances but blew the series by wasting some key ultimates at the wrong moments. Then on Gibraltar, with the series on the line, they nearly full held Gladiators. But when Los Angeles pulled out their signature Doomfist, courtesy of João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles, they crumbled in overtime, eventually letting Gladiators capture the entire map. While they’d finish faster, they again failed in the clutch with their season on the line, losing in the time bank round despite entering with a minute more than Gladiators.
Overall, Seoul Dynasty came up short tonight. Their tank line was unimpressive, despite playing against Gladiators’ bench. Their supports didn’t stand out, and even legendary Ryu Je Hong had a few wasted ultimates in key situations. Their superstar DPS player, Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun, famed for his ability to solo carry teams, was quiet when it mattered most, largely outplayed by Gladiators’ Surefour.
All of those things are a microcosm of Seoul Dynasty’s season performance—except, perhaps, Fleta’s play—and after that match, it means Seoul Dynasty won’t make the OWL playoffs. But they don’t deserve to. That’s a surprising statement about a team expected to challenge for the title at the start of the year, but it’s an inescapable conclusion after their performance. They failed to make the stage title matches in all four stages, putting out below average play throughout the entire season. Today was no different.
Dynasty’s loss means Philadelphia Fusion will take the final spot in the OWL playoffs by default, regardless of tomorrow’s result against the London Spitfire. Fusion faced a daunting task on Saturday if either Houston Outlaws or Seoul Dynasty won their matches tonight, but neither team were up to the challenge.