After stepping out of the London Spitfire’s shadows in Stage 2 and consequently leading the Los Angeles Gladiators into the playoff limelight, Chan-hyung “Fissure“ Baek was been traded to the Seoul Dynasty. And just like that, the Overwatch League welcomes a third all-Korean team to its top five. Fissure’s experience, skill set, and commitment to adapting to the Dynasty make him a perfect fit for a Seoul team in desperate need of main tank proficiency ahead of Season 2. A confident, decisive main tank has proven to be a lynchpin of OWL success and Fissure’s communicative, aggressive playstyle is archetypal. A middling team before his arrival, Fissure seemed pivotal to the shift in the LA Gladiators and was awarded with an All-Star berth while coming second in MVP voting before a confusing development saw him and fellow Korean Asher benched for the playoffs. In a league contingent on the ability to adapt to consistently evolving metas, communication is critical and it is no surprise that language barriers dismantled one of the season’s most surprising teams — successfully opening the door for Seoul’s free agency bid.
“Trial? No I didn’t trial for the team. I just came and said hi, played with teammates for 2 hours… lol what trial.” As translated by Gatamchun, Fissure’s fit with the Dynasty is simple. The handsomest tank played a couple games with the team and moved into the team house a few days before the transfer was even announced. Seoul toyed with Miro, Kuki, and even Ryujehong at main tank in a rough season — and the playoffs proved how critical main tank play is to OWL success. The champion London Spitfire boasted Gesture, the runner-up Philadelphia Fusion: SADO, the LA Valiant: Fate, and the Boston Uprising: Gamsu. The Gladiators made the playoffs on the furry back of Fissure’s Winston and the New York Excelsior’s stacked roster was bolstered by Mano, OWL All-Star and South Korea’s former World Cup main tank. A dominant main tank is not all you need to succeed in the Overwatch League (hence the shortcomings of the Houston Outlaws despite Muma’s talent), but it is critical. So it should be no surprise that, including the playoffs, the Gladiators went 4-7 without Fissure (a 36% winning percentage) and 24-9 with him (a 73% winning percentage).
“Ever since APEX ended I wanted to join Lunatic-Hai … I loved the team atmosphere/vibe so i wanted to join, even if it was as a bench player.” Fissure’s passion for the Dynasty is understandable. Miro paved the way for bold, trash-talking Korean Winston players like Gesture and Fissure while Ryujehong and Zunba built the mold for Overwatch professionalism. Lunatic-Hai’s core laid the groundwork for Overwatch success before disappointing main tank and Tracer play proved their undoing. Since Stage 2, Fissure is the top ranked Winston in the Overwatch League and 7th ranked Reinhardt by Winston’s Lab. No Seoul main tanks placed in the top 10. Amongst overall player rankings, Fissure is ranked 9th (the second-highest main tank after Gesture) while Seoul’s main tanks Miro and Kuki were ranked 40th and 83rd, respectively. Fissure’s average K/D (kills per death) was 1.12, Miro’s was 0.96 and Kuki’s: 0.78. His average TTCU (time-to-charge-ultimate) was just 107.12 seconds, three seconds faster than Miro’s 110.82 and six faster than Kuki’s 113.23. Not only qualitatively committed to his new team, Fissure is an obvious quantitative upgrade at main tank.
Ahead of the off-season’s storm of roster activity, Seoul was quick to lock in Fissure and an upgraded coaching staff (KDG of Mosaic Esports and Changgoon of the London Spitfire). Adaptability is key to a game that evolves as much as Overwatch, so it is critical to have a strong coaching structure and passionate main tank who can already claim to “have a knack, really” for playing a new character like Hammond. Even before they pick up a new Tracer player, the Dynasty’s moves already grant them the talent and structure to move up the ranks in Season 2. Their new main tank is a perfect reinforcement — passionate, talented, and confident in the potential of Overwatch’s most historic club: “There were honestly better offers but I’ve been wanting to come to Seoul, so I gave up all the others to accept Seoul’s. It’s a team that’s worth it all.”