Overwatch APEX, the Korean Overwatch tournament with a prize pool of around $178,000, is reaching its apex with the Semifinals over and done with. Where two of the teams in the top 4, Afreeca Freecs Blue and BK Stars, got there by defeating teams in matches where they were favorites, the other Semifinal pairing, that of Team EnVyUs and KongDoo Uncia, was born in the fires of two great upsets. KongDoo won against Lunatic-Hai, while nV managed to win against Rogue in one of the best best of fives in the short history of competitive Overwatch, despite having to use a replacement player, when their DPS, Ronnie “Talespin” DuPree shafted them just prior to the playoffs.
KongDoo Uncia vs. Team EnVyUs
The first match of the series was played on Lijiang Tower. Even though nV tried, KongDoo didn’t leave them with much hope, getting two points to 100 quite quickly and pulling ahead in the series, 1-0. After several days to get used to the new patch and their stand-in from Thailand, Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangohod, nV had their players play some unusual roles. Jonathan “HarryHook” Tejedor Rua took over from Timo “Taimou” Kettunen as hitscan DPS, Dennis “INTERNETHULK” Hawelka played Lucio, while Taimou showed that DPS is not the only thing he’s very good at, wrecking their opponents on Roadhog.
The second map of the series, King’s Row, was won won by EnVyUS. Mickie, Taimou and HarryHook provided the highlights. Up next, the teams moved to Hanamura. By all rights, KongDoo was supposed to win this map because EnVyus is notoriously bad at Control maps, however, somehow, the Western team managed to pick up the win. With their back against the wall, KongDoo had to do or die on the next map, Route 66, where you had to move a Payload. Somehow, they actually managed to win, even though EnVyUs was supposed to excel at this map and others like it. Then, the series moved to Eichenwalde, where EnVyUs didn’t leave any hope for the Koreans, moving the Payload all the way and only allowing KongDoo to get one checkpoint, stopping them just before the 2nd checkpoint in Overtime, with a timely Earthshatter by Christian “cocco” Jonsson.
Afreeca Freecs Blue vs. BK Stars
The second most interesting Semifinal, featuring the all-Korean AF Blue and BK Stars, wasn’t as contested as the matches between nV and KongDoo. After four maps, Afreeca Freecs won and moved to the Finals, where they will have to face the number 1 ranked team in the world, Team EnVyUs. With the seemingly good fit Mickie has with the rest of his temporary teammates, it’s not very likely that the Koreans will be able to stop their Western opponents from winning Overwatch APEX.
As for the maps, the first one to be played was Nepal. Afreeca Freecs won after taking the first point, losing the second, and then clinching the second one. Moving to Numbani, however, they weren’t as successful, failing to get control of any of the points and losing all three to BK Stars. With the score even, the match moved to Volskaya Industries, where AF.Blue won after taking the first point with 44s left and then successfully defending it from BK Stars until the timer ran out. The final map, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, wasn’t a stomp either AF got one checkpoint, while they managed to stop BK Stars before they could do the same, winning the map.