Profit's two final's appearances share some interesting characteristics
The 2020 Overwatch League Grand Finals have concluded, but it provided fans with countless memorable moments and gave the San Francisco Shock their second title. While the Seoul Dynasty fell short of claiming the trophy for themselves, fans across the entire league were excited to see a player like Junyoung "Profit" Park back in the spotlight after winning the Inaugural Season championship. Profit showed he can still play to an elite level just like he did during his first year on the London Spitfire, but there was more in common than just his personal ability.
When the London Spitfire took down the Philadelphia Fusion, Jaehui "Gesture" Hong was one of the cornerstones of their roster. It was a similar situation here on the Seoul Dynasty with Gesture being a massive playmaker that made the opponent worry about more than just Profit. In the Inaugural Season, Gesture played Winston and Orisa while this year he showed an emphasis on Roadhog, but his ability to turn fights for his team can't be understated. Gesture was arguably the best player for the Dynasty early in the Grand Finals bracket as Profit took a while to hit his form. Gesture has such a strong reputation in the league for a reason, and he should never be overlooked. While the Shock were able to take the first two maps, Gesture showing up when it mattered helped bring the series back to 2-2.
Dong Eon "Fits" Kim didn't receive much attention this year, but that changed in the playoffs. Profit's DPS partner showed up in primetime and competed with the best in the world to bring his team to the finals. Fits had to go against some of the best DPS players in the world while earning their way to the finals, and it is no easy task to go against Seonchang "ANS" Lee and Finals MVP NamJu "Striker" Gwon on the biggest stage. Fits played a similar role to Profit's London Spitfire partner, Ji Hyeok "Birdring" Kim. Birdring had a good performance in the Inaugural Season Finals, but he never received as much attention as Profit. It would be difficult to say that the Spitfire would have won without Birdring playing the way he did, and the same could be said for Fits. This Finals' appearance should give Fits the attention he deserves if he can keep up this level of play into next season.
Profit already made it to the Inaugural Season Finals when no one expected it, so it was fitting when he did it again. The London Spitfire went a combined 9-11 in their final two stages of the Inaugural Season and no one expected them to make a deep playoff run. The legend of "Playoff Profit" feeds off of stories like that, and the same thing occurred on the Seoul Dynasty. After a 12-12 season, failing to reach the top half of the table, many people viewed the Dynasty's season as a disappointment. Both the Spitfire and the Dynasty were able to reform their playstyles and adapt to new metas just in time for the playoffs. It was unexpected for Profit's teams to make the finals, but defied these expectations on the same heroes. For the most part, in both appearances, Profit was able to showcase his world-class ability on heroes like Hanzo and Pharah. He even made an appearance on Genji, which saw a brief stint to finish Eichenwalde in the Inaugural Season Finals. It may be time to start believing that Profit knows how to make an impact in big matches.
The most difficult part for the two teams that Profit featured on was their approach to the future after making to the Grand Finals. Both times, as just discussed, the regular season performances were not spectacular. It is difficult to discern how much of that Finals appearance was from a well-built roster versus lucking out on a meta. We saw the Spitfire retain their core roster heading into Season 2 after claiming the first Overwatch League trophy, but the roster was incapable of replicating their Inaugural Season performance. The Spitfire finished Season 2 with a 16-12 record and ended up disbanding their entire roster at the end of the season. The Dynasty face a similar situation heading into the off-season. It is undeniable that this roster can play well. They took the San Francisco Shock to Game 5 in the first match of the Grand Finals bracket and played an intense match up in the championship. But should the Dynasty base their next season's plan on a roster that, while performing well in playoffs, failed to even reach a .500% regular season record?
It is important to remember that the Dynasty finished this season with four of their five final matches against the lowly London Spitfire and Hangzhou Spark, and the fifth was against a struggling New York Excelsior. If you take away those four wins and one loss against teams that looked poor in the playoffs, the Dynasty would have finished 8-11. It is going to be even harder next season if the Dynasty have to play against teams like the Shock and Fusion more often, including some other teams that are a constant threat like the Paris Eternal. Profit and Gesture are two key pieces that should thrive in any meta, but some hard decisions will have to be made while planning for a more dominant run through the regular season.
No matter what happens, it is fair to say that if this roster stays together, everyone will be rooting for them to make another run at the championship. The Dynasty and Spitfire both went into their Grand Finals as pleasant surprises, and they left with fans loving them even more. Profit has been to the Finals twice and there were a few similarities between the appearances. Although he was not able to claim the trophy this time, there is one similarity that all fans can hope to see again- seeing the legend that is Profit in another Grand Finals.
Images via Overwatch League