The second week of the inaugural Apex Overwatch league continued today. The matches featured the debut of two new teams, offered a chance for BK Stars to continue their winning ways, and gave Reunited a shot at redemption after their disappointing Apex debut. In case you missed any of the day’s action, we have you covered with our recap.
MVP Space vs. BK Stars
MVP is certainly not a new organization when it comes to Korean esports, but today marked their official entry into Overwatch. Unfortunately for them, it was against the red hot BK Stars, who have already shown themselves to be one of the better coordinated teams in Korean Overwatch.
The first map as always was a control map, and it was to be Nepal. Initially on Village, MVP Space found some entry kills and captured the point. But it was the tanks of BK Stars, Bernar on Zarya and Alarm on Winston, who used their ultimates to recapture the point. Once BK had control, it was the McCree play of Dohyeon who pulled out an insane quad-kill to win his team the first point.
As he showed over the course of the series, Sylph of MVP Space is one of the best Ana players we’ve seen in Korea. But it was extremely apparent on the second round of Nepal, where he repeatedly won duels against Bunny’s Tracer. This forced Dohyeon off of his McCree onto Genji so that the DPS players could dive together to eliminate Sylph’s Ana.
This repeated elimination of MVP Space’s Ana meant that they were constantly at a Nano Boost disadvantage and lost every major teamfight. As such, BK Stars closed out Nepal in a quick 2-0 and took the series lead.
BK Stars could sense they had momentum, and they decided to push their advantage with a unique strategy. On the second map of King’s Row, they opened up with an offensive Bastion, who was boosted onto the high ground by a Mei wall.
MVP Space wasn’t ready to deal with the Bastion, who had high ground advantage and was protected by a Reinhardt shield. Especially when Dohyeon on the Bastion received a Nano Boost, the damage was too high, and MVP fell apart, allowing BK to take point A.
In the streets phase, Bernar and Bunny executed their trademark Big Bang combo to decisively take the momentum for BK Stars, and pushed their lead all the way through the map, finishing King’s Row with 2:29 remaining.
When it came time for MVP Space to attack, they hit a strong resistance from BK Stars. The dive composition MVP attempted was shut down repeatedly as they lost individual duels, and they lost several key fights when they seemingly were oblivious of their enemy’s ultimate advantage.
In the end, they were unable to complete the map because in overtime, Bunny switched to Tracer and Dohyeon to Bastion and caught them off guard. They were not ready to deal with the new picks and fell to BK Stars, now down 2-0 on match point.
For only the second time in Apex history, we went to Hanamura, and BK Stars was ready to show their prowess on Assault maps. They played an incredibly dive heavy composition with Winston, Dva, Genji, Tracer, and Lucio. This composition allowed them to take individual duels, turning the fight into an extended skirmish.
It was in this playstyle where BK Stars clearly dominated MVP Space. On their offense, they completely destroyed MVP, taking the first point in under one minute. They then properly transitioned their ultimate advantage to the second point, finishing out the entire map in just over two minutes, despite MVP’s best effort at stalling.
When it came time for MVP to attack, they struggled to capture the first point. Only when Sylph on Ana won his duel with Bunny’s Tracer was MVP able to win the fight. But upon reaching the second point, they stalled out. Incredible individual outplays by the DPS players of BK repeatedly held MVP from pushing. And if they failed, their tanks, Alarm and Bernar, stepped up to the plate, using their ultimates to close out the map, giving BK Stars an easy 3-0 victory over MVP Space.
Kongdoo Panthera vs Reunited
The second match of the night seemed like the outcome would be obvious. Reunited suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Runaway and Haksal’s Genji, where they hardly looked to be talking together. Meanwhile, Kongdoo’s A team Panthera has the three highest skill rated players in the world and an average skill rating of 4300.
Right off the bat, it seemed like our suspicions were confirmed. On the first point of Nepal, Panthera crushed through Reunited. They lost control of the point but waited to build all of their ultimates before pushing in as a unit to secure Shrine.
But after this initial battle, it became the Unfixed show. The Reunited DPS player showcased his world class Mei, consistently splitting Panthera’s players and disrupting their rhythm. His Mei helped Reunited take the second point of Village, and once again on the third point of Sanctum, Unfixed led Reunited to victory, this time on Genji, giving them a 1-0 lead in the series.
To start off the second map of King’s Row, we finally got to see Evermore’s famous Roadhog. He started off strong, holding the back alley solo and found some initial success hitting hooks. But Unfixed on his Mei used the wall to cut him off so that all of Reunited could focus him. From that point on, Reunited held momentum.
Panthera was able to combo their tank ultimates to win a few fights to stall the momentum of Reunited. On the final push, a key Sleep Dart from Bishop shut down the Beyblade combination of Reunited, holding them from completing the foundry phase of the map.
When it came time for Panthera to attack, they struggled. Consistently stalled out, it was only when Evermore found a pick with his hook that they were able to decisively win fights. But when they reached the foundry, that is where their issues really began.
Rascal switched onto a Pharah to try and clean up fights, but both ultimates he was able to cast were completely wasted. This lack of impact from Rascal meant that Panthera was unable to close out the map, and lost to Reunited, falling down 0-2 in the series.
With Panthera only a single map away from an upsetting loss, they chose Temple of Anubis for map three. It seemed like a wise decision as they crushed Reunited at point A off the back of Rascal’s Mei, but they failed to transition their ultimate advantage onto point B.
Onigod stepped up and was a massive threat that Panthera was unable to deal with. His Reaper consistently found multikills and threatened the supports of Panthera. It was only once Evermore found a hook onto Onigod that the Korean squad was able to secure the point, with only 36 seconds to spare.
When Reunited came to attack, it seemed like they were going to close the series. They cleanly took point A, and methodically built all six ultimates before they assaulted the second point. But Evermore was the hero for this entire map. His hooks and ultimates shut down each push from Reunited and Panthera just worked to set him up to carry, giving him Nano Boosts to be the damage threat, and placing Mei walls to narrow the gap his foes had to dodge.
His heroics allowed Panthera to prevent Reunited from capturing the second point, giving them the map and bringing the series to a 2-1 score. So for the first time this week, we went to a map four, and it was to be Route 66.
Panthera started to show some potential mindset issues, because after losing the initial fight to Reunited, they began to come in one at a time, bleeding kills and staggering their death timers. The ultimate advantage they gave up meant that Reunited firmly took momentum and steadily pushed through the map. There was no stopping Vallutaja on Reaper, and he led his team to finish the map with 2:30 remaining.
Panthera did not find the momentum Reunited had when it was their turn to attack. Each point went into overtime, and was only saved by heroic plays. The first point was saved by R2der’s Lucio with a well timed sound Barrier. On the second point, Wakawaka on Reaper managed to clean up the fight for Panthera. And finally, in the last section, Evermore on Zarya hit a four man Graviton Surge to set up his team to finish the map.
The map wasn’t over yet, as Panthera had one minute left due to the time bank system, which gave Reunited 3:30 to attack. Panthera found no traction on their assault and only pushed 40 meters. But when it was Reunited’s turn to attack, Panthera did something odd. Despite how little the European team had to push, they held on top of Big Earl’s. This meant that Panthera was so far back from the point they needed to defend, and allowed Reunited to push uncontested.
Reunited took the map, winning the series 3-1 in an important match that was both an upset victory and a redemption match for them.
Who do you think will win their matches this Friday? Comment below or tweet your answer to us @GAMURScom.
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Image Credit: OGNGlobal