The long, arduous Apex season is drawing to a close with the best possible matchup remaining in the Grand Finals. Thirty-two teams have been leveled down to the upstart GC Busan, who’s having a coming out party in Season Four versus a team that was once in their position: RunAway, who’s now in a role reversal as the experienced team.
In terms of talent, no one is surprised to see either of these teams reach the final. GC Busan qualified as a challenger team heading into this season, but it was clear early on that this team belonged in Apex. After a clean 4-0 sweep of Cloud9 Kongdoo (formerly Kongdoo Panthera), this team has arrived. It wasn’t just a sweep, but a complete and total annihilation of a more experienced and favored team.
Flip to RunAway, a team who had their hearts broken against the juggernaut Lunatic-Hai in the Season Two finals. RunAway got out to a 3-1 lead only to blow three straight games in a gut wrenching loss that stuck with them heading into Season Three. Amid that loss and a losing Kaiser midway through the season made it tough for the team to adjust. A season later, RunAway is back to their perch and once again four wins away from an Apex title.
It’s a fantastic matchup for Overwatch fans, and after both teams pummeled their opponents in the Apex semifinals, both teams enter these finals playing at their best. It’s also a chance to see a Lunatic-Hai-less Apex Finals for the first time since Season One. Let’s break down each aspect of the matchup.
DPS is where this series is going to be won and lost. No question about it, both these teams thrive in their playmakers. On one side, GC Busan can rely on Park “Profit” Joon-Yeong on Tracer and Lee “Hooreg”Dong-Eun picking heroes based on matchups (as he did against Kongdoo). Those two make up maybe the second best DPS duo in all of Apex.
However, RunAway sports the best DPS-duo with Lee “Sitch” Choong-Hui on Tracer and Kim “Haksal” Hyo-Jong as the best Genji main in the world. It’s not a good reason RunAway has managed to get this far but it is the main reason. Stitch’s ability to get to the back line on offense and Haksal’s constant ultimate charge for endless Dragon Blades makes them this effective.
Whilst, on paper it might favor RunAway’s dynamic combination and use of the dive-heavy compositions with Genji. GC Busan has some of the most effective game planning, and as we saw against C9 Kongdoo, Hooreg has the ability to shut them down. Neutralizing Haksal’s Dragon Blade damage and capitalizing on better ultimate economy is key.
The tank line in this matchup doesn’t feel as important as the DPS-matchup, but in some ways, players like RunAway’s Hwang “TiZi” Jang-Hyeon and GC Busan’s Hong “Gesture” Jae-Hee have helped decide some matchups this year. In my eyes, it’s extra important for GC Busan to outplay RunAway in this area as a dive-counter.
In a sense, this area of the game should be a push. TiZi and Gesture separated themselves as two of the best Winston mains. It’s a big reason why these two teams find each other here. The advantage for RunAway is in Choo “JJANU” Hyeon-Woo on D.Va. In the semifinals, he displayed the ability to play a support D.Va and was a big reason the two DPS-mains were able to live forever and take chances.
Essentially, the two Winston’s will cancel each other out. Sung “WOOHYAL” Seung-Hyun is the wildcard here. In a flex position, he’s been playing more tank and has come on at the end of the season. He’s a major reason this team has even made it to this point and could spoil Ruxaway’s day if he plays his best.
Despite RunAway having the advantage in all three areas, the margins here are razor thin. But unlike the other two, RunAway has the biggest matchup advantage at support. Kim “KoX” Min-Soo is the main reason for that. Park “Bumper” Sang-Beom has been unbelievably reliable as the RunAway Lucio, but there aren’t many players with the sort of game changing effectiveness that KoX has on all his characters.
For GC Busan, it was a revolving door for their supports to start the season. The addition of Jun “Closer” Won-Sik gave them some stability with a Lucio-main. However, the ultimate coordination has not been as strong as RunAway’s this season. That could be the difference for GC Busan when trying to defend against Haksal’s Sound Barrier-Dragon Blade.
Back to KoX, RunAway is not afraid to flex him out toReaper or another tank. The moving compositions make it really tough for opposing teams to game plan against. That’s why KoX will be such a major factor in this matchup. Other than that, KoX has a great sense of when to use Transcendence with Zenyatta.
In the one time they faced off this season, it was as close as it gets. GC Busan not only won on control point and the escort map Route 66, but fairly dominated. Unfortunately for them, RunAway’s strongest on hybrid maps and has a pension for assault maps. As it stands now, the set winner is most likely going to come down to who wins the two escort maps (games four and six).
Whatever the result, it should be a great show and a great preview of the worlds best players before the Overwatch League kicks off. If I had to make a pick, it feels as if RunAway is due for a title. GC Busan will do whatever necessary to make sure that doesn’t happen. Series should go six or seven games.
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