With OGN Overwatch Apex currently being the preeminent league in the world, it’s only natural for the competition to draw lots of attention. Featuring many of the best teams in the world, it has provided us with many thrilling series and hours of highlight reel plays.
The league is heading into a two week break for BlizzCon and now we’ve been able to see each team play in the booth at least once, in addition to any previous footage of them. Sometimes it’s difficult to evaluate teams, so both as an exercise for me and in order to spark some discussion, I’ve created these power rankings in order to explain the four tiers of teams I see forming in the league.
Please note that within each tier, the teams are listed in no particular order unless otherwise mentioned.
D Tier: Disastrous
These are the teams who never seemed to show up. They have all failed to win a series yet, and have few to no redeeming factors in their play. These teams have no chance of making playoffs, and would not surprise me if they were relegated to the challenger league at the end of the season.
MVP Space: 0-3 (0-9)
Unfortunately for the players of MVP, they lost every match they played, failing to take even a single map. It’s unfortunate for them because the rest of their group all made it into my B tier, so it seems they were destined to have a hard time.
MVP Space seems disjointed as a unit, notably lacking the ability to defend their backline, often leaving Sylph to defend himself. The DPS duo of June and Poro is often able to find kills, but the lack of coordination from this squad leaves them unable to turn those kills into any momentum, so they fall into the lowest tier.
Mighty Storm: 0-2 (0-6)
Another team who failed to take even a single map so far is Mighty Storm. In all fairness, they were placed into an incredibly difficult group with both EnVyUs and Lunatic-Hai, but their individual play was quite lacking.
As a unit, they operated better than the other D tier teams, but they actually failed to have any star talent to carry them. As I stated in my “Players to Watch” series, Jack was their lone bright spot. His Roadhog was quite good, especially his ultimate usage. But with all the burden on him, Jack was unable to carry Mighty Storm.
Rhinos Gaming Titan 0-2 (2-6)
The only team in this tier to take map wins was Rhinos Gaming Titan (RGT). They played a close but sloppy series against Flash Lux, but when it came time to face Rogue, it was clear how far behind they were.
Claris showed himself to be an excellent Pharah, and perhaps if this tournament was taking place a few patches ago, RGT would find series wins. But on this current patch, their DPS players don’t have the same level of help from their tanks and supports, so sadly they sit in the D tier.
C Tier: Competent
These teams had mixed performances. Most have taken maps, even series against weaker opponents. Even in the maps and series they lost, there were redeeming qualities to their play. I would expect that all of these teams could hold their spot in Apex if they were to play in the relegation tournament, unless they had to face LW Red. These teams are most likely not playoffs teams, and in most of their situations, would require some upsets to make it out of groups.
Kongdoo Panthera 0-2 (2-6)
This is a weird team. They were one of the most hyped teams coming into the season because of how stacked their roster was with talent. Boasting the top-three ranked players in the world. it sounded like they would just outskill their opponents.
But, as we’ve seen, they have only found a couple of map wins, and both of those were narrow victories. They have incredible star players, like Evermore, but seem to have almost zero coordination. Frequently starting fights with just a few players, they seem too used to just pubstomping.
I have them in C tier because I believe they are unlikely to get relegated as they will be able to outskill challenger teams. I hope that with time, and proper coaching, Panthera will turn into the team we all know they can be.
Flash Lux 1-0 (3-2)
It may seem odd to have an undefeated team in C tier, but in the case of Flash Lux, it’s justified. E1kino led this team with his awesome McCree play and even a Widowmaker pocket pick to a win over RGT.
They only won in narrow fashion 3-2 and I’m unconvinced they are massively better than their defeated foes. I think the team could make B tier, but they will need to prove themselves by defeating Afreeca and keeping their series with Rogue closer than others have managed.
Afreeca Freecs Blue 0-1 (0-3)
Afreeca made it all the way up into C tier without winning even a single map. They were unlucky enough to face Rogue for their first match of the season, and naturally they lost 3-0. However, I put them into C tier because they were the team that has put up the best showing against the European powerhouse.
Their DPS player Recry nearly single-handedly defeated Rogue’s defense with his Hanzo, picking off players left and right, even winning duels against Tviq’s Genji. How well Recry and all of Afreeca handled playing Rogue makes me put them up into C tier. They could quite easily make it into B tier, but for now, I have to keep them here.
LW Blue 1-0 (3-1)
This is a team that still has a lot left to prove. So far, they haven’t really proved themselves yet, only taking down the dysfunctional Kongdoo Panthera.
Led by their incredible tank player Janus and the former LoL pro Luna, they showed their teamwork was able to overcome the skill level of Panthera. If this team wants to jump up in the standings, we need to see them take wins against RunAway and the reinvigorated Reunited, neither of which will be easy. Because of how unlikely it is for them to make the playoffs, I have to hold them in my C tier.
B Tier: Bona-fide
These teams have had great debuts, often winning series. Even in the series and maps they lost, it was close and the good qualities of their play were obvious. These teams are very likely to make the playoffs, but I would be surprised to see any of them in the final, let alone taking the title.
Reunited 1-1 (3-4)
The first EU team to be mentioned in these power rankings, Reunited got off to a shaky start. They came into the season with fresh roster swaps and initially they looked rough with Onigod on the roster. In all fairness, it is difficult at the best of times to defeat a Genji like Haksal, and they quickly fell to him and the rest of RunAway.
However, in their second series against Panthera, the progression they had made was obvious. Their ultimate coordination was much better, and Onigod showed he was quickly developing as a Zarya player. Their upcoming match against LW Blue will be an important one, as they need to win to clinch their playoff spot.
NRG Esports 1-0 (3-0)
The only true North America team in the tournament takes form in NRG. They had a solid debut, easily crushing MVP Space 3-0. But, that victory doesn’t mean all that much because of how weak MVP is as a unit.
However, judging their play from APAC, it’s obvious this team is in good form, and nets them a spot in the B tier. Seagull’s flexibility and the improving play of Milo bode well for the squad and will be necessary in their upcoming match versus Kongdoo Uncia, which is a must win for them to make the playoffs.
Conbox T6 1-1 (4-3)
When any former LoL fans hear Conbox T6 mentioned, it’s hard to not think of Gamsu. The top laner turned tank main is now heading an Overwatch team, and is proving himself an excellent Reinhardt. But their DPS player Myunghoon has also shown off some incredible Mei play.
The predicament of Conbox is that this is sadly the only B tier team who most likely won’t make playoffs. Already falling to nV, they will likely also lose to Lunatic-Hai. But this is a good team; even in their loss to nV, it was clear that their communication about when to use ultimates was strong. However, as fate would have it, they got placed into the group of death and likely won’t be making the playoffs.
Kongdoo Uncia 1-1 (5-3)
Perhaps fittingly, the Kongdoo B team is the one to make B tier. This team had lower expectations, and perhaps it was the lack of pressure that allowed them to succeed. Either way, this team has shown well above average ultimate usage, backed up with some star players in Panker and Birdring.
They easily defeated MVP Space, as did everyone, and they held a close series with BK Stars that went the full five games. They sit in B tier, but definitely behind BK Stars, who they did lose to. Uncia’s upcoming match against NRG is crucial for them to make the playoffs, and will be a deciding factor in their season.
BK Stars 2-0 (6-2)
BK Stars is sitting in B tier, but on the verge of making it into A tier. They have won both their series, benefiting from some excellent Zarya play by Bernar, which is frequently followed up by Bunny’s Tracer to execute their now famous Big Bang combo.
They don’t quite make the cut for A tier for a couple of reasons. For one, their victory over Uncia was not very clear cut as it was a close series. Secondly, one of their two wins was over MVP Space, which means very little. If they take their series against NRG in convincing fashion, then I’ll have to reconsider if they belong in A tier or not.
RunAway 1-0 (3-0)
Once again, we have a team just on the brink of making it into A tier. RunAway is already notorious for the incredible play of Haksal and his Genji. The community wondered how RunAway defeated LW Red, and after seeing their play, we know why; Haksal happened.
Their series was incredibly dominant against Reunited, as they knew their win condition was Haksal, and they properly supported their carry to allow him to do his job. However, the fact they’ve only played a single series is holding me back from putting them into the A tier. They haven’t proved their consistency yet and the Haksal strategy may not be viable against higher tier teams.
A Tier: Awesome
These teams had incredible debuts, only dropping series to each other. They have an excellent combination of star talent and team coordination. Their strengths are obvious, and their weaknesses are a bit harder to distinguish. These teams are almost guaranteed a playoff spot, and are all likely finalists with strong arguments to be made for them to be the ones hoisting the trophy.
Rogue 2-0 (6-0)
What to say about Rogue? They dominated the APAC Premiere and carried that momentum to Apex. They look unbeatable and are making a strong case for the title of best team in the world. Their teamwork is unparalleled and they follow up on each others’ plays without hesitation.
Tviq and AKM are on a mission to prove they are the most versatile and effective DPS duo in the world, and Reinforce is putting his name on the list of best Reinhardt players in the world. As long as they continue this form, they are very likely to make the finals, and seem to be the tournament favorites.
Team EnVyUs 2-1 (7-4)
EnVyUs (nV) is so difficult to characterize. They hit incredible highs, but at critical moments find their valleys. Taimou is as good as ever. They still have the best support duo in the world in Harryhook and Chipshajen, while Cocco is still a solid tank. But right now, Talespin continues to be suffering without Pharah and Internethulk’s impact on their matches is less than it used to be.
Regardless of their individual troubles, nV’s teamwork is still world class. That alone is allowing them to continue their run as a top team. Because they won’t face Lunatic-Hai in the playoffs due to being in the same group, they have a good chance at making the finals, but I would expect them to lose to either Rogue or Lunatic-Hai.
Lunatic-Hai 1-0 (3-1)
Easily a top-three team in the world, Lunatic-Hai came into the season with high expectations of being the best Korean team. So far, I would easily agree with that. Their coordination of ultimates is very clean, and their team is stacked with star talent. Their incredibly aggressive play is enabled by Tobi’s Lucio, who is putting his ticket in for the most effective Lucio in the world.
They made it into A tier with only a single series played, but this is because of their run at APAC. They cleanly made it all the way to the finals, where they finally fell to Rogue in a 4-1 defeat. Don’t be surprised to see this team in the finals. I’m expecting the winner of Apex season one to be whoever comes out on top in the Rogue vs. Lunatic-Hai matchup, regardless if it’s in the finals or not.
Who do you think will impress in the second half of the season? Comment below or tweet your answer to us @GAMURScom.
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