Old man strength! Old man strength!
Kim "GodsB" Kyeong-bo turns 24 this October.
While that might not seem old, age is becoming more and more of a talking point, specifically in the Overwatch League. 24 in esports years? He might as well be an ancient relic of a time long gone preparing to retire, but with his recent performances, that seemingly couldn’t be farther from the truth.
GodsB began his career with X6-Gaming in 2017. This was a team that was poised to do well from their stint in APEX Challengers and first jumped out on my radar as they defeated the legendary South Korean team, Lunatic-Hai during the Nexus Cup 2017 Spring qualifiers. He first began his career as more of a flex DPS, with more of a propensity for hitscan, alongside Tracer specialist Kim "TimeBoy" Won-tae during APEX Season 3. This saw GodsB playing anything from Genji to Pharah with some hitscan and Doomfist being peppered in during later seasons.
But he coiled up and bided his time. Soon we’d see GodsB find his footing in the spotlight.
During this time, GodsB stood out not because of his mechanical prowess or his execution, but more so because of his flexibility and this theme of being selfless to his DPS partner and his team. Whatever the team needed from him, he seemingly would do it, no questions asked. However, the community would soon find itself praising the jack of all trades.
GodsB, Overwatch hard carry
After the APEX Era, GodsB returned to his wheelhouse to play more hitscan characters like Tracer, Widowmaker, and McCree alongside Lee "BQB" Sang-bum’s stellar Sombra. With comfort picks in hand, X6-Gaming coasted to a Contenders title in 2018 with little resistance. This solidified him, and his team, as legitimate threats.
Not only that, but this revealed a different side to GodsB.
This wasn’t the same player that took the off-role to Timeboy’s Tracer. This was someone who could carry. This was someone who could take over the game.
It was GodsB’s time to shine.
It would be that success that green-lit his approach onto the biggest stage in Overwatch esports.
As we approach the Overwatch League era, GodsB, alongside many of his former X6-Gaming teammates, are signed to one of the four Chinese expansion franchises, the Hangzhou Spark. That year saw rumors circulate that during preparation for the league, the Spark was playing off-meta DPS compositions in the hay day of the tank favored GOATS metagame, something that GodsB undoubtedly was thriving in.
Think of the triple-DPS compositions that Shanghai featured towards the end of Stage 3 in 2019. GodsB playing the high ground on Busan with Soldier: 76 and McCree peppering the enemy team’s Zenyatta. Assumedly, this was what we almost got.
Sadly this went to the wayside as the team made its way to Los Angeles to compete. We soon found GodsB piloting Zarya which left us all with a sour taste in our mouths. Maybe he was over the hump? Maybe this was the time to see him finally hang up the mouse and keyboard for good?
Jumpcut to Season 3 and GodsB continues to leave us all scratching our heads.
No, not in the same way you watching his previous year’s performance, shooting his Graviton Surge from half-court to score some uncounted style points or casting empty EMPs.
This story actually has a happy ending--well at least for now.
GodsB Overwatch Veteran cool
To GodsB’s credit, he was able to avoid being such a liability that his team managed to finish 4th in the regular season and in the playoffs. This isn’t some coincidence at this point. GodsB has remained around long enough that he provides something else to his teams.
2020 was set to be an endurance test for the Spark but more importantly for GodsB. I mean, let’s face it, the man is getting old and the younger generation isn’t getting worse. If anything this year we’ve seen more genuine candidates for rookie of the year than I can remember going back to 2017. Now that might be a feeling based argument, but I think you can see the point.
2020 was his year to test and see if he could still throw hands with the best of them.
And so far, it has gone past “good” and ventured into 2018 GodsB territory.
Now he is receiving some unintentional assistance. Before Hero Pools mixed the season three up, McCree was a staple pick--and depending on the week, the lone cowboy has shown to still be a vital piece to the Overwatch League metagame puzzle. This obviously plays into the veteran’s wheelhouse, but that’s not to say he can’t find some essence of reinvention again. Much like he did during his freshman debut, Hero Pools could easily sit GodsB on the perimeter and ask him to become more of a supportive player.
And he’d happily oblige. But right now? GodsB looks great on hitscan.
It’s past being an argument, GodsB is doing a lot of the heavy lifting for this team offensively. The Hangzhou Spark’s Old Man has still got some gas left in the tank, and by my estimation, he is far from empty.
While GodsB is on the higher end of the age bracket in the Overwatch League, his “never say die” attitude is what makes him evergreen and somewhat loveable. If he needs to step back and support his team on off-picks, he is more than happy to do that. However, he knows that if the metagame plays into his wheelhouse, the team will give him that same respect and allow him the spotlight. Even though we don’t hear much from him, there is just something about his selfless nature that keeps you rooting for him.
Currently, GodsB and the Hangzhou Spark sit at a respectable 3-2 match record, going 11-10 in maps as of April 17th, 2020. And as more and more South Korean teams return home to circumvent the COVID-19 epidemic, GodsB is going to step up to the plate.
Rest assured Spark fans, your old man is an invaluable teammate and he and his “old man strength” will continue to lift the Hangzhou Spark up whenever they need a boost.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment