He entered the first season of the inaugural Overwatch League as the APEX Season 4 MVP with an otherworldly finals performance and had to be considered a top-3 player in the world. His best six heroes are arguably unmatched, which makes him one of the few players immune to meta shifts and he keeps adding heroes to the stack. His consistency is rivaled by few and he peaks consistently. He succeeds in the most unique ways, mapping out fights in his head like few know how to. And yet, before the finals happened, he received barely any recognition for it. You kept sleeping on Profit, now wake up in his dream world.
A superstar announces himself
During APEX Season 4 Profit rose to form on the back of the superbly well-coordinated GC Busan. The team was known for their surgical execution of counter dives and their ability to draw ultimates out of their opposition with very limited resource investment on their part. At the heart of those strategies were Gesture and Profit, who redefined synergy between the two roles and whose effect still can be felt in today’s OWL team makeups. They would coordinate onto the support line with well setup dives. Zenyattas as well as Lucios were either forced to use their ultimates or risk giving up the fight.
Soon it became apparent that Profit was a new breed of Tracer. Poking and prodding away, methodically taking engagements but always being aggressive and always being there to confirm the important kills. Indeed his ability to score those all so impactful first killing blows was unmatched that season. Preying on the flanks and with his advanced blink management, Profit was a nightmare for every support player in the tournament. The opponent knew it was coming and they tried to prevent it, but in the instant a defensive cooldown was depleted, they stepped on the wrong tile, or they lost a little too much health points to incoming spam, Profit was on you and wouldn’t let go.
“I think I showed everything I had during playoffs.”
Nobody felt this more than the record-holding champions Lunatic Hai. In the second group stages of APEX Season 4, the teams had to play twice against each other. Lunatic Hai, constructed around their star player Ryujehong, were of course at the time the defending champions, with back-to-back wins in Season 2 and 3. LH were put in a group with RunAway, X6 and the newcomers from Busan, and while many expected both season two finalists to make it out, the slaughter that would ensue in both matches between GC Busan and Lunatic Hai was as unexpected as it was one-sided. Ryujehong – at the time still considered the best player in the world by many – was pillaged for his riches like he had never been before in his professional career. Profit & Co. exploited especially Miro’s lackluster performance but also made Jehong’s positioning a liability. The best player in the world wasn’t just beaten, he was smashed to smithereens in an act of audacious blasphemy.
The hardest carry performance in Overwatch history
Now with the reputation of giant slayers, GC Busan would also make quick work of their later teammates C9 Kongdoo around familiar names like Rascal, Fissure, Birdring and Bdosin. Especially Birdring by head-to-head comparison seemed outclassed by Profit, who more than doubled his killing blows, a testament to GC Busan’s superior coherence and Profit’s emerging excellence. He was named the MVP in that series, but everyone on his team seemed to be putting on a show. By defeating Kongdoo, they qualified for their first final in the first season. The narrative of the Royal Roaders was boasted of the rooftops, but could they do it against fan favorite RunAway? Could Profit repeat his good to great performances and lift the trophy?
Snap forward into the match at the score of 1-2 in a best of 7, GC Busan found themselves pressured to secure map wins. Profit had delivered a strong audition of his Tracer and, together with Gesture, was holding them in the game. RunAway had done their research however and had clearly identified dive patterns which would allow them to use GCB’s momentum and retaliate accordingly. GC Busan tried a couple of variations of different focus targets but it ultimately looked like they had been figured out to an extent.
So what’s a Profit gotta do in a situation like this, with his Tracer working but not succeeding? Enter the hardest carry performance in Overwatch history.
It made no sense – Profit up until this point had played Tracer 90% of the season and suddenly he was leaving spawn area on Genji while Hooreg took over the Tracer role. At the time, experts were sure to have spotted a hail mary strategy. GC Busan were at their wit’s end, figured out and in fear of defeat, or so the social media feeds of experts read by the dozens. Especially in light of Haksal still being considered one of the best Genji’s in Korea, how could the star player of GC Busan expect to outperform him with literally no playtime on the hero?
And then he did it anyway.
It turned out that Genji and Profit were a match made in heaven. Suddenly he was able to take vertical flank routes with Gesture, was able to convert his ability to get on weakened targets – not only into kills and then disengage – but to snowball off of them with dash resets, beasting through the lines. It didn’t look as mechanically refined as WhoRU, Architect, or Haksal, but it was of a performance of lethal efficiency.
Profit didn’t merely best Haksal, he humiliated him on his signature pick. Think of the meaningfulness of kills what you will: When the dust settled after a seven map nail biter, Haksal’s kills read 77, Profit’s were at 134.
Profit, alongside his GC Busan teammates, were wholesale bought by the London Spitfire and were to be fused with the team that they had beaten in the semi-finals of APEX Season 4, Cloud9 Kongdoo. Not only did Profit enter OWL as an APEX finals MVP, they also had won the relatively stacked APAC Premier tournament once again against RunAway in the finals, this time around with a more commanding 4-1 score.
London Spitfire turned out to be an inconsistent team that could win the stage 1 finals against an already strong NYXL, but could also drop a match against the (granted at the time underrated) Boston Uprising. They made it to the stage playoffs in stage 2 but would then lose to their eventual finals opponent Philadelphia Fusion. Then they dropped into a deeper hole, eventually being the only team who finished stage 3 and 4 with a negative win/loss record but still made playoffs.
And yet during the entire up and down struggle they experienced, Profit was the consistent bedrock of the British team, only with very few underwhelming performances across the season. He only appeared to be figured out against the then-dominant NYXL and Philadelphia Fusion, both of whom played an offbeat style which Profit seemed to be unable to read the rhythm of. “Over the course of stage 3, I did make a lot more mistakes than usual on stage, and while I don’t think I necessarily went through a slump, I did miss a lot of opportunities to show carry performances.” Profit evaluated his season and yet his praises were never sung as loudly, illustrated by both the lack of season MVP votes and nomination for team South Korea, and even being in the first line up for the Allstars weekend, only having been slotted in for the injured Birdring.
Were you the best DPS in season 1 of the inaugural Overwatch League?
The Untold Genius
But how could a player of this calibre go relatively unnoticed by the community and perfectly evade all the aforementioned tokens of appreciation despite having the accolades and performances to back it up?
Harsha of the San Francisco Shock mentioned that he thought during VOD review that “[Profit] plays really strangely. Back on Tracer he would routinely empty clips into walls and just miss entire clips while darting around but he still managed to apply a lot of pressure”
Perhaps this can be explained with how Profit approaches the game and why his performance is so elusive to the eye, even though it is definitely expressed in statistics. According to Profit, his approach is reactive; “I like to review other DPS players’ play styles and preferences through VoDs. Because of this, I think my hero pool is affected by my opponent’s hero pool.” This suggests that Profit maps out fights in his mind and how they should go, a skill that is hard to qualify with hard evidence.
“I don’t think I was underrated, rather just a bit unlucky. While I didn’t mind not being a part of All Stars, I am definitely a little disappointed that I’m going to miss out on the World Cup.”
Over the season, we found out that Gesture and him sit next to each other to allow for a quick peak onto the other players monitor to set up dives better. This further expands his knowledge of the exact positioning of his opponent, which could then allow him to further make the right decisions.
London had many iterations of their roster over the season, practically every single one involved the duo. Indeed, one of Profit’s most impressive and effective attributes is his ability to have built such strong synergy with his maintank. “You could say that my synergy with Gesture is the best in the league.” evaluates Profit. Indeed it took many teams a while to develop just that with their DPS and Main tanks. One thing is certain, this God in the making can’t be understood without the pressing duality which his excellence relies upon and it can’t be found without incorporating Gesture.
“To me, being a pro gamer means always doing well on stage. It comes with a lot of pressure, but it’s also the reason I decided to take on this career, since playing in big tournaments is always incredibly enjoyable. My goal as a pro is to always be victorious at the end.“
Profit seems to have an extremely high “ingame IQ” which is not least shown by his ability to flex and transition his skill onto multiple heroes. There were few players who could play a top Genji and Tracer at the same time in Overwatch history, fewer who would rank in the top 5 of those respective heroes in the OWL. What you absolutely don’t find is someone that has at least three other picks in Brigitte, Zarya, and Junkrat – and as we found out in the finals, Hanzo – that he’s arguably in the top-3 of.
Over the season, it seems Profit developed even more into a player who doesn’t aim to become the hero he is playing and perfects all the intricacies of; it is more akin to the chess master who uses heroes as pieces on a chess board and utilizes them when the opportunity presents itself. He is not a one-trick anymore, if he ever was one, and this season showed his ability to flex around his fellow DPS player in Birdring as well.
A God in the making
He’s a big game player and has been the best on stage at every Grand Final he has played in his career. If you don’t want to count stage finals, Profit has indeed never lost a single one but was MVP every single time.
Profit will only turn 19 in November, making him one of the youngest players in the Overwatch League, and even the most pessimistic judges of age in esports have to agree that he potentially still has years left to build his legacy.
Through his flexibility in hero pool, Profit has reached escape velocity from meta gravity, making him unlikely to be rendered ineffective by future metas.
Profit has formed a bond with Gesture, another top player in his role, and their synergy has no rival – a key to success in a team game like Overwatch.
As a professional player, Profit is goal-orientated and pointed to achieve more, making it unlikely he will succumb to complacency.
If one wants to be there for the birth of a God and to bear witness to what may become the Faker, Flash, or f0rest of our esport, he ought to look no further than Profit, as he’s made himself undeniable and he has all the foundations of a legend.
You kept sleeping on Profit, you woke up in his dream world.