Overwatch APEX Season 3: What To Look Forward To
Overwatch APEX, the largest premier Overwatch esport tournament has started its third series. The Korean tournament can be considered as aggregation of the best Overwatch players and teams especially from the Korean scene, competing head to head to win a prize pool of 200 000 Korean Won (Approximately USD 180 000)
Fresh from the APEX Challenger wildcard series, top 4 teams are invited for the main series: Mighty AOD, X6-Gaming, MVP Space and Rhinos Gaming. Meanwhile the other 10 qualified Korean teams are the ones you would expect coming from the APEX season 2, we have the incumbent Season 2 champion LunaticHai, the ironically named meta-smasher Meta Athena, first runner up RunAway and also KD Panthera and KD Uncia from the KongDoo organization. Afreeca Freecs and LuxuryWatch however just satisfied enough with their Blue teams entering the tournament, leaving their respective sister Red teams behind. Conbox Spirit, Flash Lux, and BK Stars are also challengers from the previous season, back again with hopes to redeem their losses.
Champion of Overwatch APEX Season 2, LunaticHai
From the western scene, the teams EnVyUs and Rogue are the ones to watch for their fight against the Korean teams. EnVyUs the Season 1 champion ultimately failed to hold on to their title in Season 2, only managing to last until the 2nd Group Stage double elimination. Numerous analysis discussed about failure of western team like EnVyUs and Cloud9 to perform with some of it pointed out to the structure of map choices not favoring western team playstyle. However, it can be agreed that the Korean players are generally much better and improved greatly to the point of dwarfing the whole world in terms of skill. Quoting a joke answer from the game director Jeff Kaplan from an interview with IGN:
I think it is less about nerfing South Korea, and more about buff the rest of the world
Ultimately, none of the western teams manage to get into the playoffs and consequently Cloud9 is no longer running in this series with criticism of their declining performance tainting the team.
The western team to look out for is definitely Rogue. This Las Vegas-based team of French players have been on fire lately, not with controversy of course but by their excellent performance in latest NA scene tourneys. Championing the Overwatch Rumble against EnVyUS in final, the Alienware Monthly Melee 3 times in a row and the NA champion of Overwatch PIT Championship, any Overwatch esports fan will not question their dominance right now in the NA scene with collective prize money won for 2017 amounting to USD 30 750. They appeared in the APEX Season 1 but only managed to gain 5th spot and not back in Season 2 due to roster problems. Now with a much stronger team and track record of destroying the best of NA teams like EnVyUs, compLexity and Cloud9, their performance against the Korean teams will be observed carefully to see whether they can also dominate above the best of the Korean scene.
In the side of Korean teams, Meta Athena also deserve attention with them almost walking the Royal Road to win the Season 2. Championing the Challenger series and into the main series, Meta Athena displayed very respectable performance with unbeaten winstreaks up until the playoffs losing against LunaticHai. Combination of excellent team play and their eccentric, meta-smashing team composition and strategies thanks to their star flex player “Libero”, they were in the attention of observers and analysts to unlock the secrets of more advanced play and subsequently the maturity of the competitive meta. Having obtained the first win in the Season 3 Group stage against BK Stars, this sets their road to victory once again with their unconventional and awe-inducing play.
All Overwatch esports fan, don’t miss out on this exciting tournament of the highest level of Overwatch plays. Will the western teams rise again from the ashes beating the Korean teams or will the Koreans dominate further and LunaticHai hold again to their winning? It is East vs West again and only time will tell the results. The tournament schedule and results can be obtained from GosuGamers Overwatch section here.