In week three of the Overwatch League, Seoul Dynasty faced off against New York Excelsior in a highly anticipated match between the league’s freshly minted titans. The back-and-forth action did not disappoint.
Some rivalries are born from locale, as is the case with the LA and Texas rivalries. But some rivalries are born from competition, from that fight for first place. In this inaugural season of the Overwatch League, the potential for such a rivalry soon emerged, with NY Excelsior and Seoul Dynasty dominating the standings. But these teams had yet to face off in the regular season, so the question remained: will these two teams be a challenge for one another, or would one team rise as the clear favorite?
That match arrived this Friday, and it did not disappoint.
New York Excelsior came in hungry after losing to Philadelphia Fusion, and it showed. They came in strong, taking fights early against a Seoul Dynasty who had cruised into this matchup with a smooth 5-0. But once Dynasty received their wakeup call they proved to be an even match for Excelsior.
Map 1: New York Dominates the Field
New York’s players outplayed Seoul’s across the board, with Saebyeolbe out dueling Munchkin’s Tracer left and right. The team then pushed their advantage, taking control of the field and capping off the performance with a beautiful Dragonblade carry by Libero.
Map 2: Dynasty Fights Back
Lunar Colony was a much rockier road for Excelsior. While they had a good start, finishing the first round with 6 minutes in the bank to Dynasty’s 2 minutes, Dynasty did not give up easily. The Tigers fought their way back to a lead, with Dynasty dominating in overtime and taking point A in the final round.
New York had to match Dynasty’s capture with only a couple minutes on the clock, but an overconfident team dive fueled by a Lucio speed buff backfired, and Dynasty was able to repel Excelsior’s attacks with the ult advantage and take map 2.
Map 3: Kill for Kill
The match on Oasis was a tense affair, with teams trading blows back and forth. Kill for kill. But despite a fluke on the second stage where New York forgot to touch the point after a reset, New York dominated the key fights and took the win.
Map 4: Can Dynasty Hold Off New York?
Junkertown looked bleak for the Tigers, with the team being heavily stalled in the early stages of the match. But a favorable fight saw them get the first checkpoint. New York stalled them again, but Dynasty made a valiant comeback in overtime, pushing the payload just shy of the second checkpoint.
Going into defense, Seoul dynasty had a tough task ahead of them, but they didn’t flinch, shutting down New York time and time again to prevent them from taking the first checkpoint, thus giving Dynasty the map and the tie.
Map 5: Who Will Win?
Lijiang Tower was intense, with the kill tracker in the corner flipping back and forth: white-blue-white-blue-white-white-blue-blue… In the madness of these long, drawn-out fights Seoul kept their heads and kept capturing the point. But New York turned on the heat and came in clutch, finally finishing the fights and finishing off Dynasty to take the win.
The Rivalry Has Been Established, and New York Has Struck the First Blow
While Seoul Dynasty showed excellent Overtime management, New York Excelsior pulled through, repeatedly showing that they were the superior fighters. This was further exemplified by Saebyeolble receiving Player of the Match, with one of the casters officially dubbing him, “The best Tracer in the world.”
To add salt to the wound, or fuel to the rivalry, in an interview with Jjonak after the match Soe asked him, “Does defeating Dynasty make you the best team in the league?”
Jjonak replied, “Of course!”
Banter aside, this was a tough matchup for both sides, and no one can say for sure who will win the next one. But one thing is for sure: Overwatch League fans have an exciting rivalry to follow in the coming seasons.
If you didn’t catch the match live, you can watch the VOD here.