Panthera Roll Through the Group: APEX Season 2 Group D Recap
Group D was the unknown group in the first stage. It featured four teams that are strong but does not have the star team like the other groups do. Kongdoo Panthera and Fnatic played the first match of the group where Kongdoo won 3-0. The maps were not very close and Kongdoo easily took the series.
The next series was also a stomp as RunAway ran away with the lead against Flash Lux. Flash Lux was not expected to perform well and they got off to a horrendous start when they got swept 3-0 by RunAway.
Next came a series between the two teams that went 3-0 in their first series. It was Kongdoo that continued their trend winning 3-0 over RunAway. They had full holds on both Numbani and Hanamura showing their complete dominance over RunAway with the teams on completely different levels.
Fnatic earned their first map wins against Flash Lux in their second series. The first and fourth map were stomps for Fnatic but they struggled in the middle games against Flash Lux and Korean team was able to take a map against Fnatic. Fnatic did finally win 3-1.
Kongdoo Panthera finished their perfect run through the group stage with a strong 3-0 sweep over Flash Lux. Though it was a sweep, Flash Lux did make the series, and the games, close and did not allow Kongdoo to just run all over them.
In the most important series of the group, Fnatic took on RunAway to decide who would make it out of the group with Kongdoo Panthera. RunAway showed why they deserved to join Panthera with a 3-0 sweep over the Western teams. The maps were dominant and convincing for RunAway and Fnatic had no players step up to carry.
Kongdoo Panthera controlled this group from start to finish without dropping a map. While the teams may not have been as strong as other groups, Panthera still showed a great amount of strength and skill winning every map they played. The team plays great on both offense and defense showing their versatility and adaptability.
RunAway is another team with a top genji player that is the focal point of the team. Though Kim "Haksal" Hyo Jong is the main carry, Lee "Stitch" Choong Hui is a great supplemental DPS player to give Haksal the space he needs to carry. The team made it out of the group despite making a few roster changes that flipped certain roles around.
Fnatic brought in new player Hafþór "Hafficool" Hákonarsonto help them at APEX but he was not enough to help bring the team out of the group. Fnatic did not look like a star team, looking like the worst Western team at the tournament. Fnatic will now go back to North America with many questions about how to improve as a team.
Not much was expected from Flash Lux and they lived up to that. The team was only able to win one map against Fnatic and fell quickly to all three teams. Fleta is a talented player to keep an eye out for but this roster of players will not accomplish much in large tournaments.
As the last group to close out the first stage of APEX Season 2, Kongdoo Panthera demolished their group to make it out with RunAway joining them in the next stage. Fnatic will be going to North America with the hopes of finding their form again while Flash Lux has to battle in the promotion tournament.
Group Standings (series record followed by map record in parenthesis)
1st) Kongdoo Panthera 3-0 (9-0)
2nd) RunAway 2-1 (6-3)
3rd) Fnatic 1-2 (3-7)
4th) Flash Lux 0-3 (1-9)