There were many positives that came from this match that it was hard to boil it down to only five. Here are the top five takeaways from the Lunatic-Hai vs Runaway Match.
5. The Fan Engagement
The fan hype and engagement that came from this match showed that Overwatch is far from dead. OGN integrated the fans into the broadcast, making them feel as if they were an essential part of the match. Fans sent in signs that were shown on-screen just as if they were in the crowd like production did in the APEX days. There was a discord that fans could apply to be in that was for Lunatic-Hai and Runaway that had the link for a massive fan Zoom.
The OGN production even allowed for fan chants that are a part of the fabric of Korean Overwatch to be in the broadcast. Fans on social media were cheering, making content, tweeting out about the match. It was amazing to see how the old APEX community seamlessly integrated with the Overwatch League Fans who had never experienced the APEX matches. All of the over streams on Twitch were streaming the match and to have over 85,000 people watching just in Korea is massive. This doesn’t even count the numbers on Afreeca that puts the number over 100,000.
4. The History
The pure nostalgia of the whole match brought many fans to tears. The list of top five aspects that came from this matchup, history was the first to be put on. It seems to be the hardest to write, as how does one put 4 seasons of APEX Overwatch into words? To see the players walk out, cheer before the match, production using their APEX photos, and sit in the same booths was a time capsule. It transported the fans to when they fell in love with these players. Eichenwalde was the end map, which is iconic for both teams. The Korean casters said that both teams agreed that they wanted to play that map and play it properly. Everything about the stream pulls on the emotions of the fans.
3. The Plays
The fans got to see massive plays from both sides. Sanghoon ‘Kaiser’ Ryu and his shatters were on point the whole series. Sangbeom ‘Bumper’ Park had a 4k on Lijiang Tower Control Center. The highlight had to be the Genji battles. Since APEX it was as if Hyojong ‘Haksal’ Kim and Seungjun ‘Whoru’ Lee were in a constant battle vying for the best Genji. Here it played out with both sides getting huge kills while nano-ed. Was the argument settled of who is the best? No, but it reminds the fans why these two were so hyped up to join the Overwatch League.
When talking about Genji, there has to be talk of Ana. Jehong ‘Ryujehong’ Ryu popped off. He showed his prowess on Ana was not tarnished. He slept Haksal who was nano-blading multiple times, which was a huge throwback to the APEX community.
Jehong sleep on haksal this was the last component that was needed for this pic.twitter.com/5zHp02vg3b
— daebakowl (@daebakowl) May 31, 2020
2. The Production
Everything about the production reeked of the past, but in a good way. They had the same maps, set up, caster booth, music, introductions, fan chants. The observers were on point the whole match, though not observing for a while, didn’t show any rust. It might not seem like much, but with the issues on both the Korean Overwatch League broadcast and NA Overwatch League broadcast. For OGN to be able to pull out a flawless performance shows what Overwatch League should aspire to be.
Not only was the match put on without any glitches, but afterward the interview is what the Overwatch League needs. It gave the community the smack talk, emotion, and closure that is needed. Wolf ‘Wolf’ Schröder and Seth ‘Achilios’ King on the spot translated (mostly Wolf) the post-match information for the international fans, something that hasn’t been seen before in Season 3 of the Overwatch League. The production of the Korean broadcast and passion that Wolf and Achilios gave made the series even more entertaining.
1. The Players
The best aspect of this whole show match was the players. Both sides were war-torn and battered from the Overwatch League. These two teams were such great friends that this was a perfect show match to show the history of Overwatch to how they have grown.
Lunatic-Hai have been split, with Whoru struggling on the NYXL, Jehong, Jinhyuk ‘Miro’ Gong, and Joonhyuk ‘Zunba’ Kim currently teamless they showed that they all have the capabilities to play at a high level. The relaxedness of the players with laughs and smiles were refreshing to see as that has been missing in the Overwatch League.
Runaway have always been a family. To see them all together again with Runner at the helm was overwhelmingly emotional. All the were laughing and smiling even when they had lost a map. At the end when the two teams shook hands after Runaway’s win it was clear to see that everyone had had a good time.
This might not have been the highest tier of Overwatch, but the way it brought the community together. This is the core of Overwatch. This felt like how Overwatch is supposed to feel.
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