Last weekend played host to the finals of OGN Overwatch Apex, the premier Korean Overwatch tournament that has been rumbling on for some months now.
As perhaps the most significant Overwatch tournament in Eastern esports, OGN Apex is one of the key events to keep an eye on. But it’s been rolling on since January and understandably harder to follow like that.
So we’re going to take a look at OGN Overwatch Apex, how it fared as a tournament, the key teams that took part and some of the very best moments.
The finalists of OGN Overwatch Apex
We’d be remiss to admit that any tournament’s key competitors cannot be rounded down to just the four finalists, but it’s a good way of getting an understanding of which are the major players in any esport.
For OGN Overwatch Apex, the four finalists of the tournament were Lunatic-Hai, RunAway, LW Blue and Meta Athena – expect to see these teams competing in global competitions this year.
- Kim “EscA” In-jae – DPS
- Lee “Whoru” Seung Joon – DPS
- Kim “zunba” Joon Hyuk – Flex
- Gong “Miro” Jin-hyuk – Tank
- Ryu “Ryujehong” Je-hong – Support/Flex
- Yang “tobi” Jin-mo – Support
This is the team that won the OGN Overwatch Apex, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it was a cakewalk for the team. While they are the champions of this premier, they had opposition every step of the way.
As a team, LH has a considerable amount of skill, but their play is rather predictable. It’s planned, it’s organised and while they’re tough to beat on teamfights their biggest weakness is their they can be countered through unexpected strategies – of which Overwatch still has many to discover.
It’s this reason that, despite being one of the most dominant teams in the Korean Overwatch scene, it’s only now that they managed to score a trophy. Despite a 3-0 lead in the first group stage of OGN Apex Season 2 – with only a single round loss – they were shaky in the following stage, coming in second to underdogs RunAway and in the knockout stage that followed, in both cases having to fight hard to prevent them getting knocked out.
But LH is easily one of the most popular teams in Overwatch esports, and their sheer skill – some of the plays they’re capable of are incredible – certainly makes them a standout name to remember.
- Kim “Shine” Min Hyuk – Support
- Kim “Haksal” Hyo Jong – DPS
- Ryu “Kaiser” Sang Hoon – Tank
- Son “CoMa” Kyeong Woo – Support
- Park “Bumper ” Sang Beom – Tank
- Kim “KoX” Min Soo – Flex
- Lee “Stitch” Choong Hui – DPS
- Yoon “Runner” Dae Hoon – Support
The second place runner-ups at OGN certainly made a case to be worthy of the title, but what is most surprising is the situation surrounding team team: no sponsor, no org, and yet here they were competing at the highest level.
They’re the epitome of underdogs, amateurs playing in a professional league. As a result their play can be scrappy and uncoordinated, which makes their second place position OGN Apex something of a surprise.
But it’s largely down to their key players Haksal and Kaiser, the former deadly with Genji the latter a well-rounded tank player who often gets the team into a position in needs to standout.
Unsurprisingly they’ve earned some fans since its performance in Season 2, but it’s questionable just how often they’ll be able to repeat this success. It’ll be harder for RunAway than any other team to stay ahead, but as an unsponsored underdog there are many that would like to see it happen.
- Hwang “Fl0w3R” Yeon-oh – DPS
- Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong-ryeol – DPS
- Kim “Mek0” Tae-hong – Tank
- Song “janus” Jun-hwa – Tank
- Jang “Luna” Gyeong-ho – Support
- Heo “Gambler” Jin-woo – Support
LW Red and LW Blue are both solid competitors in the Korean Overwatch scene, though for the majority of the first season of OGN Apex it was LW Red that was the stronger side.
Roles have switched this time around, with LW Red not even attending the group stage for Season 2. LW Blue played confident games, but it was a surprise when RunAway got the better of it in the playoffs.
LW Blue is the sort of team that has outstandingly strong rounds, dominating from the start and giving no sign of let up. The problem is that it can find the opposite to be true a round later, a fact that actually led to RunAway pushing further into the round.
Usually it’s all down to how well Saebyeolbe performs: if he has a good round on his favorite Tracer, then LW Blue follows suit. It’s just often too dependant on that.
- Kim “Libero” Hye Sung – DPS
- Ha “Sayaplayer” Jeong Woo – DPS
- Choi “Hoon” Jae Hoon – Flex
- Sin “Alpha” Jae Hyeon – Tank
- Moon “ChangSik” Chang Sik – Tank
- Choi “Kris” Jun Soo – Support
- Kim “NUS” Jong Seok – Support
Meta Athena is easily one of the most creative teams in the Overwatch scene, and continues to show it at any opportunity. This is something that has built up quite a following for them, since while their unique plays don’t often play out they’re enough to make every match they play in exciting.
Sadly they did come in fourth in the knockout stage, but they certainly made their play for it. In fact, in the quarter-final, MA managed to claw back a 2-0 lead by Lunatic-Hai to really give them the opportunity to take out the favourites and go on to the finals.
That never happened, but Meta Athena knew when to leverage its unique strategies, and while they didn’t always pay off it gave an unpredictability that was hard to be certain of the would-be winner in the quarter-final.
The best plays of OGN Overwatch
The last few weeks of OGN Apex Season 2 have been especially incredible as the best teams of the region have risen to the top and fought against one another for a place in the finals. Here are some of the best moments that stood out:
Meta Athena gets creative
There are a number of examples of Meta Athena utilising their renowned creativity when it comes to strategies, and while they didn’t all work out there are some exceptional ideas that really need to be seen – so we’ve included a couple that you should see.
The first is perhaps the most famous from OGN Apex Season 2, where MA found a sneaky route over the rooftops of Dorado. The second, while less shocking, nonetheless proved to be a powerful strategy as they switched higher ground for lower.
Kaiser proves his Reinhardt skill
Kaiser, RunAway’s main tank player, was making a name for himself during OGN Apex Season two. He earned the glory of two of our favourite clips.
In the first it’s his game-winning Earthshatter, which strikes the full team and gives RunAway the opportunity to follow up with a Nano Boost that allows Kaiser to hammer is way through an ace. The second clip is just fun to watch, literally snatching WhoRU’s Genji out of the air with his Charge and pinning him.
WhoRU’s incredible D.Va ult dodge
Speaking of WhoRU, the star Genji player for Lunatic-Hai makes a ridiculously well-timed save as he hops out of bounds to survive a D.Va ult with split-second timing on his blade dash.
The perfect sleep dart from RyuJeHong
In another round between Lunatic-Hai and RunAway, WhoRU claims a Nano Boost and begins to unleash his Dragonstrike for some guaranteed disaster. Until Ryu taps him with the perfectly timed clutch Sleep Dart, immobilising him and wasting both ultimates. Beautiful.
Hack from above with Libero
Another fun one here, with Meta Athena’s Libero playing Sombra and translocating behind the wall – and the enemy team – to land directly behind them. Hacking Kongdoo Panthera’s Evermore on Zarya mid-air to open an opportunity for MA to make their strike.
OGN Overwatch Apex Season 3 will be kicking off at the end of the month on April 28 2017. We’ll of course be covering the events as they unfold, and alongside the teams above we’ll see returns from Afreeca Freecs Blue, Kongdoo Panthera and Uncia, BK Stars and MVP Space.
OGN Apex is one of the biggest tournaments in Overwatch esports, with Season two offering up roughly $200,000 in prize winnings. It’s definitely one of the biggest events on the Overwatch calendar, so keep your eyes peeled.