OGN Apex Recap: Week 2, Day 3
The second week of the OGN Apex League concluded today with the highly anticipated Korean debut of Team EnVyUs (nV) and the much-hyped match between Team LW Blue facing a wounded Kongdoo Panthera. In case you missed any of the day’s action, we have you covered with our recap.
Mighty Storm vs. Team EnVyUs
The first match of the night was between the North American powerhouse EnVyUs and the defeated Mighty Storm, who lost 3-0 to Conbox earlier this week. nV was the favorite heading into this match, but we all had a moment of hesitation because of nV’s history of failing to finish out series at LAN events.
The King of the Hill map was set to be Nepal and right out of the gates, EnVyUs looked strong, taking the initial fight on Village. But some wasted ultimates from nV meant that they lost momentum to Mighty Storm, and conceded 75 percent of the capture. But off the back of a quad-kill from Taimou’s Reaper, they regained control and secured the first point.
When it went to Shrine, it was all about Taimou, as it often is for nV. He was on his McCree and was an absolute wrecking ball. He survived being dove by both Jack’s Tracer and Chloe’s Winston, continuing to click away. They never gave up the point, and nV took Nepal 2-0.
Mighty Storm got to pick the hybrid map, and they chose King’s Row for the second map. Here we saw nV return to one of their specialties, the Talespin Pharah. It seems Talespin took inspiration from the Korean meta and as one of the best Pharah players in the world, he excelled, easily cleaning up the first point with insane rocket accuracy.
In the streets and foundry, nV lost the ultimate advantage a couple of times, which led to some stalls. But they had ample time leftover from how quickly they took point A, and they bided their time until they had ultimates to complete the map with 56 seconds remaining.
When it came time for Mighty Storm to attack, they were not prepared to deal with the damage storm nV had prepared. In another throwback to an old nV special, Harryhook played Soldier 76 on King’s Row defense, holding the high ground solo. Talespin showed off his newly mastered Mei, creating havoc in the Mighty Storm back line. Mighty Storm was unable to capture the first point, meaning they lost King’s Row, putting nV up 2-0 in the series.
For the first time in Apex history, we went to Volskaya Industries for the assault map in the series. Mighty Storm knew they were behind and went for a cheese play, taking an aggressive map position. However, it did not pay off, as it meant they were not holding a defensive position, and their exposure allowed Taimou on a rare Widowmaker to pick up five kills, easily taking the first point. Mighty Storm put up a fight at the second point, holding nV for a couple of minutes, but nV captured both points with 3:57 remaining.
Mighty Storm had yet to even capture a single point this series, and nV was determined to keep it that way. It seemed nV was going to be able to hold the first point, but with just seconds to go, a key pick onto Taimou’s Roadhog meant that Mighty Storm was able to capture the initial point in overtime. But some poor ultimate useage meant that nV was able to hold the last four minutes, winning Volskaya to take the series in an incredibly dominant 3-0 victory.
LW Blue vs. Kongdoo Panthera
For the second match of the night, we saw LW Blue take on Kongdoo Panthera. There is a bit of history between these two teams, a history that Panthera has historically dominated. However, Panthera showed their positional weakness against Reunited earlier this week. So we would have to see if LW Blue could exploit that weakness to take this victory.
As it seems to be standard, the first map of the series was Nepal. We started out on Sanctum, and immediately, LW Blue put their foot down. They quickly took the initial fight but failed to transition their ultimate lead into control, leading to a back-and-forth struggle where the teams traded control. But Janus knocked three players into the bottomless pit with his Primal Rage to win the first point for LW Blue.
The second point was Shrine, and it played out very similarly. The control of the map was very back-and-forth as Rascal and NoName’s Reapers took turns cleaning up team fights. Evermore on Roadhog was struggling against the Discord Orb, but he still hit a couple of clutch hooks that he followed up with Whole Hogs. His plays allowed Panthera to take the second point of Nepal.
Nepal was tied 1-1, and the decider was Village. For some odd reason, Panthera willingly gave up high ground control to LW Blue and got crushed. LW used Mei walls to punish Panthera’s disjointed assaults by splitting the team in two. As such, Panthera never captured the point, meaning LW Blue took the map and went up 1-0 in the series.
Numbani was set to be the second map, and Panthera desperately needed to gain momentum back in the series, but LW had other ideas. Luna’s Ana and Saebyolbe’s McCree maintained control of the high ground and simply kept firing into the fray, never receiving any enemy attention. Once Rascal’s Mei dislodged them from their perch, it was a massive momentum swing back in Panthera's favor.
It allowed them to sweep through the streets phase and make a strong push at closing the map. But they were stalled at the final point by some excellent multi kills from the DPS players of LW Blue, but a quick switch to a Pharah and Mercy combo allowed Panthera to close out the map with 22 seconds remaining.
When it came time for LW Blue’s attack, it highlighted Panthera’s poor positioning and ultimate usage. They gave up the high ground at point A, and wasted some ultimates in the streets, meaning they lost momentum. This momentum was flipped when Panthera used the defensive map advantage given by the choke points and they were able to hold LW Blue from completing the map. The series was now tied 1-1, and for the second time tonight, we went to Volskaya for the third map.
LW Blue began on offense and after their initial sloppy offense, they succeeded in capturing the first point. A creative use of the moving platforms around the second point allowed Blue to approach the point quickly and safely, leading to a quick capture. This left Blue with two points and over four and a half minutes remaining in their time bank.
But Panthera reminded us that they have some of the most skilled players in the world. Rascal on Genji ripped apart LW Blue on both points, never allowing the supports of LW to build any ultimate charge. Panthera also took an incredibly quick two points with nearly 4:50 remaining, meaning that both teams had ample time for a second assault.
LW Blue’s second offense was methodical, waiting for Nano Boost before attacking. Luna’s Ana shut down the Genji of Rascal, which allowed LW to capture both points in just three minutes. When it came time for Panthera to attack again, they also blitzed through point A. Evermore snuck around the side of LW Blue to hook and kill the Tracer of Saebyeolbe and gave Rascal the opening he needed for another huge Dragonblade to capture the second point. This left Panthera with over three and a half minutes remaining after two assaults.
LW Blue’s third offense was a masterpiece. They won the Tracer duels to take point A and pulled out a surprise strategy at point B. Noname switched onto Bastion and set up on the moving platforms, followed up on the Graviton Surge and shredded Panthera, allowing LW to capture both points within just a couple of minutes.
Panthera managed to secure the first point, but when it came to point B, LW Blue’s aggressive defense stalled out the remaining time. In their final push, Panthera’s ultimates didn’t net enough value, and they failed to capture the point, putting LW Blue up 2-1 in the series.
For the second hybrid map of the series, we went to Watchpoint. Gibraltar and LW Blue were looking to close the series in their favor, and pull off the upset victory. They were stalled out temporarily by the aggressive hold from Panthera, but they prevailed by picking off the exposed Evermore. Panthera was punished by their aggressive hold as they were unable to defend properly once they lost control, and LW swung the momentum in their favor, easily pushing all the way through the hangar. But at the final point, the duo of Rascal’s Genji and Evermore’s Roadhog were able to hold LW from completing the map.
When it came time for Panthera’s offense, they seemed to ignore the hitscan threats of McCree and Ana sitting on the high ground firing for free. Saebyeolbe’s McCree was free to deal damage both outside and inside the hangar, stalling Panthera and preventing them from pushing through the hangar. His star performance allowed LW Blue to win the map and series 3-1, securing a massive upset win.
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