Those were the words tweeted out by Joon-young ‘Profit’ Park of the London Spitfire after his team won the inaugural Overwatch League Championships. In a different circumstance, or with a different player, those words could have come off as hyperbole, but here and now, what Profit said was simply the truth.
The Korean teenager was a force to be reckoned with for the entire playoffs, regularly completing insane kill streaks and wrecking havoc on enemy supports. According to statistics calculated by Overwatch stat site Winston’s Lab, Profit had the top playoff player rating on Hanzo, Brigitte, Pharah and Junkrat. These stats are even more impressive when you take into account the fact that those heroes were among the most played and most impactful in the playoff meta.
Earlier in the playoffs, his DPS Counterpart Ji-hyeok ‘Birdring’ Kim singled out Profit’s proficiency on Hanzo as a key to the Spitfire’s playoff success.
“The current meta revolves completely around the tank play plus the Hanzo, and I think that Profit’s form on Hanzo has risen a lot recently and he’s been playing super well. So I think that’s why we have been successful so far in the playoffs,” he explained.
But how did Profit get to this point? And where is there left to go for the talented teenager? For that answer, it’s important to start at the beginning. Profit was born on November 19, 1999 in Jinju, South Korea and made his Overwatch professional debut in April of 2017. Back then he was only 17 years old, and yet he found his way onto a starting spot for GC Busan of the Korean Apex League.
For those unaware, Apex was the largest professional Overwatch tournament, prior to the formation of the Overwatch League, and most of the Overwatch League’s star players played in Apex.
On GC Busan, Profit combined with fellow London Spitfire teammate, Jae-hee ‘Gesture’ Hong as they helped their team win the Apex Season 4 Championships. Fittingly, Profit also won the MVP honours in that final, and the victory very much marked the beginning of his uncanny ability to dominate when it matters most.
When the Overwatch League was announced, Profit and the rest of his GC Busan teammates were signed by the London Spitfire. The six GC Busan players were joined by six players from another Apex team, Cloud9 KongDoo and together they combined to make up the London Spitfire roster.
By the time Profit joined the Spitfire for their inaugural season, the 18-year-old DPS sensation was already well known by many Overwatch fans. In the Stage 1 finals, he made himself even more known by pulling off a clutch Rip Tire play to give the Spitfire the win. Profit and the Spitfire made the playoffs in Stage 2 as well, and it seemed like nothing could stop their momentum.
Then, they hit some unexpected turbulence. The team struggled out of the gate in Stage 3, and finished the stage in sixth place, with a record of 5-wins and 5-losses. There were a number of factors for their disappointing play, including a wrist injury that sidelined their other main DPS threat Birdring, and some cohesion issues due to the team’s massive roster. That being said, the team struggled mostly with burnout, and Profit said that he definitely felt overwhelmed during that period.
“I think that every player goes through that sort of mental boon, that time of burnout and hardship. For me I think it was Stage 3 or 4 where I faced that myself, and it was at the time when the team was asking me to play a gajillion different heroes. I had to learn a bunch of new strategies and it was very hard for me,” he explained.
It was also very hard for his team, as the Spitfire ended up doing even worse in Stage 4, finishing with a record of 4 wins and 6 losses, while barely squeaking their way into the end of season playoffs.
In the quarterfinals, the Spitfire faced off against the L.A. Gladiators and were blown out of the skies in their first match, by a score of 3-0. Facing elimination, and given their play in the last two Stages, the Spitfire were largely expected to lose the series and end their inaugural season on a tragic note.
However, Profit and his Spitfire teammates weren’t going down without a fight as they managed to dig deep and defeat the Gladiators in the next two matches, recapturing their swagger along the way. After the match, Profit said that changing their momentum was a matter of changing his team’s perspective.
“I mean it’s playoffs and so all of the team members realized that this is the last chance, this is the last bid and put in a lot of effort. That’s what led us to regain our old form,” he said.
From there the Spitfire looked simply unstoppable. They defeated the L.A. Valiant by a score of 3 to 1 and 3 to 0 in a match that showed off Profit’s ability to play multiple heroes at an extremely high level. When asked after the game, Profit said that his Stage 3 and 4 burnout was something that he turned around and made positive.
“I thought to myself that if I get to learn all of this then it just makes me a better player and so I just worked very hard and beat through it,” he said.
And work hard he did. On the biggest Overwatch League Stage ever, in front of 18,000-plus fans, and against the Philadelphia Fusion, a team that had defeated the Spitfire numerous times throughout the season, Profit put on a showcase of his skills.
Yesterday, we witnessed what “Day 1” @PROFIT_OWL is like. #OWL2018
The showcase included a number of multi-kill extravaganza’s that helped take the life out of the Fusion. The Spitfire became the first ever Overwatch League Champions, and Profit became the first ever playoff MVP.
The scary and exciting part of it all is that Profit is still only 18 years of age, and with a core as great as the Spitfire have, the best could very well be yet to come. The offseason will also be extremely important, as many teams will be working hard to improve themselves and build themselves up to the level of the current Spitfire. As for Profit when asked about his plans now that the season is over, he kept it short and sweet.
“I’m looking forward to going back home to Korea and just playing and just being,” he said.
The best DPS player in the world has certainly earned his time of rest.