The OGN Apex second regular season has come to a close, as Fnatic and Cloud9 miss the playoffs. The west only gets one team in EnvyUs. After an exhausting decision making process, the round two groups have been decided.
Based on random drawings of the first seeds, the groups were decided. Lunatic-Hai got the first pick, and not only do they get to pick their group, but also their opponent. They chose the defending champions, EnvyUs. With all the Korean teams polled, most teams wanted to face the one foreign team.
The Group of Death
For example, the challenger qualifier team, Meta Athena, beat EnvyUs 3-0 in the group stages. The top ranked team showed weaknesses and now has to play in the group of death. In the other match in group A, KongDoo Uncia will face Runaway. Uncia’s sister team, Panthera, had a strong showing against RunAway, holding them to only one point in the entire match.
Additionally, DNCE (Kim Se Yong), from Uncia said “he wanted to get it over with” referring to playing either EnvyUs or the other top Korean team Lunatic-Hai. One of the three best teams in the world will be eliminated before the bracket. The hope for foreign Overwatch all relies on the skills of Taimou (Timo Ketunnen) and HarryHook (Jonathon Tejedor Rua) who carried them to this point.
Prediction: Lunatic-Hai is the most well-rounded team in group A. The supports are possibly the best in all of Overwatch with Whoru (Lee Seunf Joon) playing the DPS role at an extremely high level. KongDoo Uncia will be the second seed. Uncia struggled against Cloud 9, but this team still has strong enough tank players to beat EnvyUs.
In group B, it will most likely come down to who can beat KongDoo Panthers. MetaAthena had a strong showing in round one by beating EnvyUs 3-0. It was the most shocking result of the regular season. MetaAthena had the best draft, avoiding three of the top four teams.
On the other hand, LW Blue and Afreeca Freecs Blue are no slouches. AFB finished second last year in Apex and LW Blue is highly regarded as one of the best teams. The prohibitive favorites will be the latter, but these teams can give them a run for their money. AFB had a rough regular season escaping out from group C by eliminating Cloud 9.
Prediction: it’s tough seeing anyone beat Panthera with their ability to adjust to compositions with excellent flex play. KongDoo Panthera wins the group. MetaAthena is clearly the second best team, Hoon (Choi Jae Hoon) is one of the best Zarya players in a sea of Korean Zarya’s.
It was a sad day for western Overwatch. Misfits, Cloud 9, and Fnatic all missed the playoffs. Misfits and Cloud 9 had their chance to recover, but lost in the last set to miss out. Cloud 9 took a strong Uncia club to game 5, but ended up getting full-held on Eichenwalde. Each team finished third in their respective groups.
Furthermore, Korean teams like BK Stars and Conbox Spirit had a letdown season. As HarryHook said early on, “it seems harder to win this season.” The level of play has clearly gone up and the rest of the teams need to play catch-up. Squads like Cloud 9 and Misfits, who barely missed the playoffs, might need a retool. The rest might need a full-rebuild.