Olivia R. July 25, 2019
The Shanghai Dragons have a storyline no one could have written. They started their Overwatch League run with a 0-42 record, but quickly improved until they were crowned the Stage 3 champions in Season 2.
Now, Young-jin "Gamsu" Noh looks back on Stage 3 with WIN.gg, recalling the momentous win over San Francisco Shock, the rise of the triple DPS composition, and what it took to overcome their weaknesses.
How did it feel to make it to the playoffs after such a rocky start as a team?
Gamsu: When I entered the team, I had a hard time synergizing and getting coordination. But when Stage 3 came, that improved. Our schedules were far more doable than before. I thought that if we could play better, we could make it to playoffs.
We also qualified for Stage 2 playoffs, but we fell short during the first set. When we qualified for Stage 3, we didn’t want that to happn again.
Why do you think the team improved so much in Stage 3?
I think that during Stages 1 and 2, we adapted to the current meta. We played a lot of GOATS, and GOATS with Sombra. But Stage 3, we were very convinced that our DPS lineup was our greatest strength. We insisted on practicing our now well-known triple DPS composition. And our teamwork improved. As a result, our performance skyrocketed in Stage 3.
How were you feeling going into the playoffs versus New York Excelsior?
We expected that it would be all or nothing. If triple DPS worked, we would have a chance to make it to the finals. If it didn’t work, we knew we had no chance. It was quite a gamble for the team.
What were the strategies going into the finals with San Francisco Shock? Did you feel the same strategies would work as they did against NYXL and the Vancouver Titans?
Stylistically, the teams we played against were very similar in terms of comp preferences. When we saw our DPS strategy was working against comps with three or four tanks, we had a very good idea what the Shock would be doing against us. As a result, those two games gave us valabuble information for the finals.
Why do you think DPS heroes like Pharah and Doomfist were able to cause so many issues for the Shock?
I think they were aiming to play Baptiste with GOATS. Frankly, we were ready to punish that.
At the same time, Pharah and Doomfist are good counters to GOATS. Combined together, that’s why the Shock had such a hard time against us.
What was the strategy behind using Doomfist on the second map in that series?
Doomfist's right click is a very powerful ability overall. But its flaw is that it’s difficult to land if everybody is scattered. But with GOATS, the entire thing is they stick together as a unit. Doomfist's Rocket Punch is way easier to land against that comp.
Why we emphasized Doomfist is that YOUNGJIN was a famous Doomfist palyer before he joined the team. We were willing to experiment with his expertise.
How did you feel when you won? How does it feel to be the Stage 3 champions?
It’s obvious to say I was very pleased. But the main reason for me was the narrative of the Shanghai Dragons. Last season, it was a winless team. It was without a doubt the worst team in the league. With our performances in Stage 3, winning the championship, that type of branding has now disappeared.
Now we’re looked upon with respect. That made me very happy.
How did you all celebrate?
We just went to Korean BBQ right after the match. We ate endlessly.
Were there any moments in Stage 3 that particularly surprised you?
I remember when we had to play against the Valiant twice. The first time we beat them quite convincingly. The second match came, and they were very well prepared to play against us. I was quite shocked at how we lost that.
Were there any games you're particularly proud of?
Vancouver, as everybody knows, is a formidable teams. They have consistently been performing well. When we were able to deliver with our comp to beat their unstoppable GOATS comp, that was a moment I was very proud of.
What do you think the Dragons strengths are?
I think if I have to pick specific heroes, I think DDing’s Pharah and Diem’s Widowmaker are arguably the best in the league. As a result, those two heroes are our team’s greatest strengths.
What are your goals going into Stage 4?
My goal is to get the Season 2 finals playoffs locked in. That’s my foremost priority.
How do you plan on reaching that goal?
Since there’s now a 2-2-2 role lock, the first thing we should do is get the most ideal meta comp established. We also want to prioritize our strengths and create our own unique strategy. That’s the most pivotal thing to do to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Do you think the 2-2-2 comp will help or hurt the Dragons?
Of course, it’s true that a lot of high performing teams playing 3-3 will be affected. Since we focused on triple DPS, won’t be able to do that anymore with role lock. The change is detrimental to the team.
Do you think you'll be able to adapt?
Our DPS skills aren’t going anywhere, despite being one less. We’ll still have that as a major strength. The only task is to integrate our off-role tank into our comp and coordination. If we do that, I have faith we’ll remain a very strong team.
What do you most like about being a part of the Shanghai Dragons organization?
The best part about being on the Dragons is how respectful and caring the staff is to the players. They go out of their way to make sure we’re comfortable and perform at our best.
What do you enjoy the most about being in the Overwatch League as a whole?
The OWL is targeted towards a global audience. Someobdy from the other side of planet can become my fan. It's very fascinating and very exciting.