Week 3 hit right after the latest 1.7 patch, so teams weren’t hesitant to try out new team compositions. We saw a two sniper composition out of Meta Athena. The standard three tank, one DPS, and two support made its return, but in limited showing. The 2-2-2 balance also made a return, as Genji is prominently back in the center of the meta-game.
This week also displayed the newest control point map in Oasis. Teams had interesting strategies, mostly trying to push teams into the smaller choke points. It should be featured in more Overwatch tournaments and events in the future. Now let’s talk about this week’s matchups.
Meta Athena vs. MVP Infinity
Meta Athena moves to 2-0 (+4) in the group of death (Group A), taking out MVP Infinity 3-2. MVP moves to 0-2 (-2) and is now in need of a miracle to make it out of the group one stages. The win for Meta sets up a group A finals between them and the current number one ranked team in the world, EnvyUs, in a couple weeks.
The match from last night provided plenty of highlight reel plays from both sides, but especially out of the main DPS players from Meta Athena in Sayaplayer (Ha Jeong Woo), Libero (Kim Hye Sung), and the aggressive Zarya play out of Hoon (Choi Jae Hoon). The aggressive style on maps like Illios and Hanamura gave Meta the edge, allowing for strong team pushes while Sayaplayer flanked primarily with his Tracer.
MVP prepared more set plays and specific setups and that ultimately backfired as they weren’t able to adjust to Meta’s constant character swapping. For example, the Torbjorn pick from Undine (Son Yeong Woo) on Hanamura was sound on first point, but once Meta was able to power through first and move on to second with better ultimate economy, the Torbjorn became useless.
The set plays on Numbani and the tough defense on Route 66 kept MVP in it until game five. The turning point was the double sniper composition from Meta. Libero on the Hanzo and Sayaplayer on Widowmaker. The unexpected picks and skill from both players showed through as they were able to get 11 combined final blows on first point Kings Row to eventually take the map and the game. The overall decision making on team compositions, ultimate strategies, and positioning favored Meta Athena.
Runaway vs FlashLux
In a week of back-and-forth sets, Runaway did exactly what their name sake implies: runaway with the victory. The amateur, pink jacket wearing Korean squad showed they are to be taken seriously regardless of the attire they wear. Runaway took out FlashLux 3-0 and is now tied with KongDoo Panthera at the top of group D.
The synergy and team skill clearly showed. The heavy use of Genji out of Haksal (Kim Hyo Jong) played a huge factor in the team’s win. He carried the team in damage and had plenty of instances where he’d pull out a four-kill team fight. The clever use of dragon blade and his unique ability to get great angles by Genji’s wall-climbing seemed to be the difference in this one. FlashLux had no answer.
On top of Haksal, Kaiser’s (Ryu Sang Hoon) damage output and shield pressure on Reinhardt was impressive. He kept the front line secure and safe. This allowed for players like Haksal and BUMPER (Park Sang Beom) to be more aggressive against the FlashLux supports players.
The positioning was key in RunAway’s win, as they kept pinning Flash Lux in small corridors and finishing them with either graviton surges or earth shatters; this allowed Stitch (Lee Choong Hui) and Haksal to do plenty of damage on Tracer and Genji. With a strong focus on the DPS players, RunAway has a chance to take group D.
KongDoo Uncia vs. Afreeca Freecs Blue
KD Uncia showed up in their win over Afreeca Freecs Blue and moved themselves closer to taking group C. The steady play from one of the top Korean teams on some of the more underplayed maps was impressive. Winning on Oasis, Kings Row, and Watchpoint: Gibralter while sticking primarily with the current meta in terms of team composition.
Lunatic Hai vs. LW Blue
Lunatic Hai essentially sealed up their group B victory with a 3-1 win over LW Blue. The excellent play of their top DPS player Whoru (Lee Seung Joon), who’s arguably been the APEX MVP through the first three weeks, and Miro (Gong Jin-Hyuk) on the Reinhardt has been a major part of this teams’ 2-0 record. Top that with some of the most consistent support plays from Tobi (Yang Jin-mo) and Ryujehong (Ryu Je-Hong) and it’s one of the strongest teams in the entire league.