Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Jong-yeol ‘Saebyeolbe’ Park is no stranger to the spotlight as he’s enjoyed success with LW Blue, the Korean National Team for OW and most recently with New York Excelsior. As the Team Captain of one of the most solid rosters in the Overwatch League, SBB has the character traits and upbringing of a world-class competitor and his proficiency on several heroes has only strengthened his case.
Pressure makes diamonds
SBB didn’t always have it easy growing up as an embattled youth in Korea. From a very young age he was put under rigorous training as a professional bowler for four years where he was beaten on a weekly basis by his coaches. In his introduction interview for the NYXL’s ‘Origins’ series, SBB mentioned that this punishment inflicted by his coaches was just a part of life as a professional bowler as that kind of behavior was normalized in Korea.
At the age of 17, SBB fell in love with Counter-Strike as he almost turned pro. He started developing a knack for aiming on FPS shooters as he clocked over 5000 hours on the game, but his talent was short-lived as CS was simply not a big enough game in his region. Forgoing college in his years after high school, SBB worked as a barista until he was called up for his mandatory military service for his country where he suffered a knee injury that shortened his stay.
In his recovery from the knee injury, SBB picked up Overwatch and started to develop his skills on the Blizzard title. Within a few months of starting the game, SBB met Pine and the players started to develop synergy as a DPS duo. At the time, Pine was regarded as the almighty DPS of Korea but Saebyeolbe always believed he was the better player. While that self-image of his play didn’t come true at LW Blue, the switch to New York Excel has made SBB a complete menace as his leadership and ability as the main damage dealer on his team has helped them to a first-place standing.
Watch the Tracer!
When it comes to his highlight reels, it’s hard not to acknowledge the smoothness of SBB’s mesmerizing Tracer play. When Saebyeolbe first played the game on release, he was fascinated by Tracer as a hero and willed himself to put plenty of hours into it as his legend as one of the most elite Tracer’s in competitive play grew by the season. His prowess on Counter Strike crossed over to the aiming and agility needed to succeed with the OW staple character.
In any meta of Overwatch, having a player that can adequately perform on Tracer is imperative to any team’s success. There’s no shortage of plays being made from SBB’s perspective as he constantly finds ways to get his team intelligent picks. His aiming on most hit-scan champions is not to be trifled with as SBB has developed strong playstyles on all styles of heroes like McCree, Widowmaker and Sombra.
But it’s not just his prowess on stage that makes SBB the heartbeat of this top-tier New York roster. His maturity and team spirit behind the scenes has been the anchor to a team that can be volatile with the young personalities on the roster. Last stage as Pine struggled with personal issues, SBB became the standard of consistency for NYXL as his ability to remain cool under pressure and bring his team a much-needed boost of confidence became the difference maker over the course of the stage.
In Korean, Saebyeolbe means ‘morning star rain’ and SBB’s presence on NYXL adds a layer of tranquility to a roster already saturated with high level players at every position. Not many elite players can harness the role of team leader when the stakes are as high as the Overwatch League, but SBB continues to wear that title with pride and is a shining example of what it means to be a franchise player through and through.