Seoul Dynasty vs Los Angeles Valiant
For our third match of the day, we have an exciting clash between the Seoul Dynasty and the Los Angeles Valiant. Well, perhaps "exciting" isn't the best possible word here, but it should be exciting regardless, especially if you're a fan of the Seoul Dynasty.
This is a pretty exciting week for anyone who's following the Overwatch League, or is just a big fan of competitive Overwatch. This week marks the very first time the League is being held outside of the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. Blizzard wants to create a very specific, sport-esque kind of set-up where teams would play Home and Away games, with matching jerseys.
Had this match happened just a couple of months back, we would've been elated. Everyone would want to tune in and watch two teams of fairly equal strength duking it out in a thrilling format across multiple fantastic maps. It would've been filled with back-and-forth action and predicting the final outcome would've been a nightmarish endeavor.
This time around, however, the situation couldn't be any different.
They're two recognizable teams, almost legendary at this point, well-known for their strength and synergy, but they're playing from opposite sides of the standings. Whereas Seoul has been on a tear lately ever since taking down the New York Excelsior in the stage one playoffs, the Valiant have been the laughing stock of the region. They simply don't have an identity right now and they're completely out of sync and simply don't have a good enough grasp at the current meta. They're trying their best, that's for sure, but they're just not getting any work done.
They're currently sitting at twelfth place with two wins and three losses, but make no mistakes -- they're play is all over the board. That said, they did improve quite a bit from stage one, and that's evident in their play as well. With the meta shifting back towards certain DPS-centric team comps, they're finally able to have an impact. Their synergy is still lacking in the current meta, but they have some exceptional players within their ranks, so they should be improving sooner rather than later, especially if the meta continues developing in this direction.
Their second stage started off in the worst possible way -- they were pitted against the stage one finalists San Francisco Shock, and the series ended in the only way it could -- with a clean 4-0 for the Shock. They were then able to take down Atlanta Reign in a back-and-forth barnburner in week two (3-2), and then proceeded to play a very solid match against the Los Angeles Gladiators. The fact that they only lost in 1-2 fashion against one of the toughest, craziest, and most capable teams that's currently undefeated, should give a lot of faith to Valiant fans across the globe. Week three allowed the Valiant to take down the Washington Justice, which was, in all fairness, an expected result. They didn't have the hardest of schedule this stage, and it's evident in their wins as well. Their most recent match was a complete shellacking and it ended in a 4-0 for Dallas Fuel, and to make matters even worse, they have one of the best and most frightening teams in the League up tonight. That's a tall order for any team in the world, let alone one of Valiant's current caliber. They could, in theory, put up a solid fight, but Seoul are simply too dexterious, too nimble in the current meta, they're deceptively strong and they have two exceptional rosters that are just waiting to create absolute carnage. But it's always in controlled circumstances -- they're never unhinged or out of sync.
Finally, judging by their mediocre, or rather abysmal performance yesterday, they simply don't have what it takes to compete at the highest possible level right now. Could they improve? Absolutely. By all means, but their improvement will have to happen over a prolonged period of time, and it would have to involve a couple of noticeable changes -- both in the coaching staff as well as the team itself.
As for Seoul, well, they're on a complete tear ever since stage two began. While their 2W-2L record isn't anything to write home about, it's fairly deceptive. They had the Los Angeles Gladiators in week one -- a team of exceptional strength and grit -- and they took them to the brink of defeat, only to ultimately lose in 2-3 fashion. As far as losses go, that was a good one. Week two saw them face the League favorites and stage one champions Vancouver Titans, which was a relatively close 3-1 series that, in all fairness, went as expected. Seoul then proceeded to outclass Dallas Fuel across the board in 4-0 fashion last week, and they're coming off a great win over another Texan team.
Their most recent game was a dominant showing over the Houston Outlaws, a relatively one-sided 4-0 in favor of Seoul. They were dominant across the board and have once again proved that they're a worthy contender that's looking to upset the status quo and make a name for themselves once the stage two playoffs come around.
Their schedule was absolutely abysmal, and they made the best of it for sure. The hardest teams are finally out of the way, which means Seoul is poised to make a solid run and get to the playoffs in stage two. They have the Valiant up ahead, and they shouldn't need much in order to emerge victorious in relatively one-sided fashion. They're just better, more synergetic, more aggressive in the current meta, they swap team comps more frequently when compared to the Valiant, and can play a wide variety of strategies depending on the map and state of the game.
They probably won't be taking down Vancouver, the Gladiators, or the Shock in the immediate future, but they're improving at a staggering pace and should be a tough nut to crack for anyone outside of the top three. While the Valiant might be able to put up a bigger fight than most expect, they should by no means be able to take down a team of Seoul's caliber.