Group A started off the action in the second season of APEX and the first match featured the defending champion, Team EnVyUs, kicking off their defense of the title against MVP Infinity. MVP put up a strong fight and EnVyUs struggled to find their footing, as the match went to all five maps. EnVyUs pulled off the series win and wiped the sweat off their brow.
The next matchup featured Meta Athena, who made it through the challenger series to be promoted for Season 2, against BK Stars who had a strong showing in the first season of APEX, where they made it to the semifinals before falling to Afreeca Freecs Blue. Meta Athena pulled off the surprising win in a 3-0 sweep.
The next match took place after the patch that changed multiple champions, heavily affecting teams that may have been weaker or stronger before the patch. MVP put up another strong fight against Meta Athena but was unable to finish off the series and lost their second match 3-2.
EnVyUs looked for a stronger showing against BK Stars and they were able to adjust to the post-patch meta in their 3-1 series win over BK Stars. BK Stars did manage to pick up a series win over MVP 3-0, leaving MVP without a win, but BK was still left in third and won’t be moving on to the next stage.
In the fight for first, EnVyUs took on Meta Athena on the final day of match play for Group A. Though both teams have had strong showings, EnVyUs was expected to win the series because they are the defending champions.
In a surprise turn of events, Meta Athena took three maps in a row to sweep EnVyUs. Despite being swept, EnVyUs kept the series close and Meta Athena edged out the boys in blue in key situations to take the three maps.
Meta Athena were able to make it through to the group stage only dropping two maps to MVP but sweeping their other two series, showing a very strong team play-style centered around their star Zarya player.
Choie “Hoon” Jae Hoon is the carry player of Meta Athena and is thought of as one of the best Zarya players in the world. His team gives him a lot of resources to carry but he warrants the investment with impressive play.
EnVyUs has long dominated much of the competitive Overwatch scene, which included a strong victory at APEX Season 1. The core group of players made Mickie a mainstay on the team after his great performance for them in other tournaments.
Though they have been the strongest team, EnVyUs did not show that much in the group stage and that may be the new patch making their style of play not as strong, as the team has not adapted to the new meta quite yet.
Both MVP and BK Stars did not have the best of showings, only managing to win four maps each. Being the last placed team in the group, MVP Infinity will have to compete in the promotion tournament in order to maintain their spot in APEX, while BK Stars will have time to relax and review their performance in the group.
Group Standings (Series record, followed by map record in parentheses)
First: Meta Athena 3-0 (9-2)
Second: Team EnVyUs 2-1 (6-6)
Third: BK Stars 1-2 (4-6)
Fourth: MVP Infinity 0-3 (4-9)
Do you think EnVyUs can recover their form from last season heading into the second stage? Tweet us your thoughts @GAMURScom