When the 113 Overwatch League players were announced, the community was in a justifiable state of frenzy. Which teams would be good? Which players had made the cut? Which star players, importantly, had not? It was this last question which sparked the OWL Pellet challenge -- asking writers across the scene whether there was enough star talent still available to construct rosters capable of placing highly, and perhaps even winning, Overwatch League Season 1.
Unrestricted by budget, the challengers had only age restrictions and a shallower talent pool to limit their fantasy teams. So far we have seen a Chinese squad based around Miraculous Youngster, the best team in China who were notably snubbed for the Shanghai slot, and a Western roster built around players from Rogue, Gigantti, and Cloud9 who didn’t make the cut. The rest of the pundits dug extensively into the overflowing Korean playerbase, creating varied experiments with some hidden gems.
Though I initially started to build a Western team, aiming to showcase the talent on display which had been ignored in Europe and North America, I eventually caved. The Western players available are great and could potentially make a competitive team, but there is potential for dominance by selecting the best from Korea. The scene has so much talent, so much of it undiscovered or barely emerging; if one was genuinely tasked to make an Overwatch League Season 1 winner at such a late hour, Korea would easily be the most viable option.
With a Korean team in the process of being built, I designed my city slot. Sejong is the hub of administrative functions outside Seoul, housing many key governmental organisations. It was intended to become the new capital city of South Korea in 2003, moving power away from the congested hub of Seoul. Though this plan never went through, the city is a focal point for power and a symbol of authority outside of the capital.
Sejong Greats fantasy Overwatch League Pellets branding
The city itself is named after a king from the Joseon-dynasty who reigned in the 1400s: King Sejong the Great. He is lauded for personally creating and propagating the Korean alphabet, Hangul, an incredible and intuitive phonetic system designed to bring literacy to common folk without education. The instructive manual distributed by King Sejong claimed that "a wise man can acquaint himself with [Hangul letters] before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days". Hangul’s design is beautiful; there are only 28 phonetic letters with easily identifiable vowels, and each consonant is based on a simplified diagram of the mouth when producing the sound.
The real beauty of the system, however, was in bringing literacy to the masses and allowing Korea to shed its use of Chinese characters. The script helped Korean masses forge their own identity through text and retain culture under occupation, giving rise to the name “Hangeul” -- combining the archaic word “han (한)," meaning "great”, and "geul (글)," meaning "script". "Han" also refers to Korea in general, leading to its ambiguous interpretation as the "Korean script". The Korean syllable of “han 한”, then, makes the perfect logo signifying the team’s representation of Korea and the achievements of Sejong.
Here are the Greats, honoured with the privilege of representing their country for the Overwatch League Pellets Season 1:
- Lee ”Jecse” Seung-Soo (Support)
- Park ”iDK” Ho-Jin (Support)
- Park ”Bazzi” Jun-Ki (Flex Support)
- Kim ”Rapel” Jun-Geun (Flex Support)
- Lee ”fearless” Eui-Seok (Tank)
- Bong ”republic” Geung-chan (Tank)
- Seo ”daco” Dong-Hyung (Offtank)
- Bae ”diem” Min-Seong (Flex)
- Cheon ”Ado” Ki-Hyun (Flex DPS)
- Song ”SASIN” Sang-Hyeon (Flex DPS)
- Lee ”Guard” Hee-Dong (DPS)
- Park ”Architect” Min-Ho (Substitute Flex DPS)
My philosophy with this team was to build on the core of Element Mystic, winners of APEX Challengers S5, and fill potential gaps in their armour and weaponry with players from OPC S2 winners Ardeont and notable free agents. Element Mystic is a phenomenal upcoming team with decisive teamfighting and good coordination, providing a solid base of teamwork to add other star players onto. Ardeont’s players naturally complement this with their LAN experience and more aggressive, skill-focused approach to the game, while the other free agents add firepower and fill hero niches.
Element Mystic are one of the likeliest candidates for the next top team in Korea, alongside fellow Challengers teams SEVEN and Lunatic-Hai. What Element Mystic boasts over their contemporaries, though, is structure. They have more discipline and better timing than their rivals and would be head and shoulders above them with a little more punch and a little more time.
Element Mystic’s usual star player, 15-year-old Sp9rkle, is supremely gifted for a newcomer to APEX but is too young for this project. The silver lining to the hole this leaves, however, is that Sp9rkle has a tendency to go for hero plays and seems to cause chaos in tight moments rather than remaining calm and focusing on making percentage plays. The Sejong Greats will take the other five players and put emphasis on structure above clutch, filling that sparkling, silver-toned hole with more safe flex DPS players to minimise errors.
The existing Element Mystic support line of Rapel and Jecse has a lot of talent and knows how to work well within the team. Their positioning against aggressive teams is usually excellent, baiting teams like SEVEN in too far and dodging the dive perfectly. They have solid synergy between each other and despite limited clutch potential, this duo is safe. They are unlikely to throw teamfights with overextensions or poor ultimates, acting as the safety net of the team.
To augment this relatively safe support line, I have added iDK and Bazzi to the Sejong Greats. iDK has been one of the best Lucios in Korea -- and therefore the world -- since APEX Season 3 where he controlled the backline with authority for Afreeca Freecs Blue; recently he has shown an excellent Mercy as well, providing two important roles to supplement Jecse on this team. For a more aggressive flex support with the ability to flex across any hero, Bazzi is a beast. While he sports an excellent Ana and a good Zenyatta, he has no qualms about making plays even outside of the support heroes, frequently switching to Widowmaker or Soldier: 76 for his usual team SEVEN. If more punch is needed from the support line, or if Sombra or solo support is required for portions of maps, Bazzi is a fantastic asset.
The tanks are where Element Mystic -- and so the Sejong Greats -- gets scary. Daco obliterated opponents on D.Va during their run to win APEX Challengers Season 5, getting the most out of his Micro-Missile dives and supporting his DPS and tank players well with the reduced Defense Matrix. Daco has great timing and can sense a weakness from across the map, diving in as the spearhead of the team then peeling out as he claims a kill and fearless moves in.
fearless works well in this system as a safe tank who minimises his own deaths and follows up immediately on dives. Without overextending and by exercising clinical timing with Daco, he manages to give Element Mystic a scary raw dive as well as an ability to punish mistakes. fearless is also confident on Roadhog, a necessity for main tanks since the introduction of high-DPS anti-dive compositions on open maps like Junkertown.
When a more aggressive main tank is required, one who frequently chases kills and secures them for his team through skillful play and knowledge of limits, republic would be available. The main tank for Ardeont has been unchallenged in the Overwatch Pacific Championship this season, rolling through his opponents to claim an easy title. Though Ardeont as a team has achieved more than Element Mystic, the team plays a far more loose, skill-based style that makes for a poor foundation. They are, however, excellent to harvest players from; republic has proven himself as a skilled main tank who will add an alternate dynamic to the Sejong Greats.
The other player to be harvested from Ardeont is diem, the team’s Tracer player. While Element Mystic already has a competent Tracer in Guard, the two can be made to split hero pools effectively. Guard specialises in ‘flick’ hitscan heroes like Widowmaker and McCree on top of his Tracer, also flexing onto Genji and Doomfist on occasion, while diem was known in the past on Mighty AOD as a flexible hitscan DPS with the talent to pick up offtanks. Allowing diem to specialise in Roadhog and Zarya as complementary heroes to his Tracer gives Sejong Greats a boost to both offtank diversity and DPS unpredictability, allowing Guard to stay as a support hitscan DPS.
To replace Sp9rkle, the team needs a highly flexible DPS player able to accept resources without overextending. No single player currently fits perfectly into Sp9rkle’s shoes as the young prodigy has such a large hero pool and is confident on a number of niche picks, but three players can work together to add their own pieces to the puzzle.
Ado, the Genji and Tracer player for MVP Space, had a breakout season despite difficult opposition in APEX, proving himself a valuable addition to any team. Both his Genji and Tracer are very strong, allowing the team to flex further with him on board and have changeable roles. SASIN, formerly of RX Foxes, is the next pick, allowing the team to flex between his good Genji and his very good Pharah -- pairing him with iDK’s Mercy is a surefire way to dominate on PharMercy-centric Control maps.
The final player on the Sejong Greats is Architect, a phenomenal rising talent in Korea. He has been the standout performer on both CONBOX and X6 when playing Genji, but also has a range of more niche heroes he can pull out with great success. He is the true successor to Sp9rkle but is unfortunately underage for the first two months of Overwatch League Season 1, meaning Architect will have to be a bench-warmer for that period of time. Determined to make the best use of this time, Architect would be furiously practising niche heroes in order to make sure the team was fully able to adapt to any mid-season meta shifts thrown its way.
Overall, the Sejong Greats will resemble a team much like GC Busan. Clinical timing, discipline, and solid individual skill. Percentage plays and tight execution breeds a team that minimises weaknesses, can create picks without relying on clutch plays, and uses those picks to force a teamfight win.
The Sejong Greats’ DPS players are some of the best currently playing in the East, already lauded for their talent without requiring massive resources. Their tanks have yet to be recognised by the masses but are powerhouses with the skill and timing to overpowered any opponent. The supports are able to play any variation of heroes to an expert level, minimising risk or attempting to clutch as the situation and opponent requires.
The Sejong Greats would not only be a strong contender for best in Korea currently, they would have a good chance to become the Overwatch League Season 1 champions.
And they’d certainly crush these plebs in the OWL Pellet cup. Bring it on.