RunAway vs Lunatic-Hai, April 8, 18:00 KST (10:00 BST) on Ginx Esports TV.
Almost three months after the tournament started, we’ve finally reached the grand finals of the Overwatch APEX Season 2. Korean teams RunAway and Lunatic-Hai will square off in a best of seven to decide who walks away with the grand prize of £140,000.
Surprisingly, this is the second time the two teams will meet in Apex Season 2. Lunatic-Hai’s only defeat in the tournament so far has come at the hands of RunAway, who beat them 3-2 in Group Stage A. It was a huge shock – Lunatic-Hai were one of the APEX Season 2 favourites, while Runaway were considered one of the underdogs.
Can RunAway pull off another upset and win APEX Season 2?
Who Are RunAway?
It’s RunAway’s fairy tale run to the final that’s been the talk of the tournament.
The side doesn’t even have a team house and has been fairly quiet in the Overwatch scene so far. But RunAway’s 3-0 stomping of Afreeca Freecs Red to qualify for APEX Season 2 was a sign of things to come. Led by the emotional Runner, their clutch plays, emotional celebrations, and pink team apparel has made them the team to watch.
Two players are crucial to RunAway’s success. Haksal is a big fan of Genji, and when RunAway blitzes their opponents by diving in on them, it’s Haksal who is at the heart of the action. He likes to dart in and out of the mayhem, using Swift Strike to safely cut through the team and build Ultimate, while also providing a distraction for his team-mates to make their own plays.
But it’s Kaiser who has emerged as the player of the tournament. His Reinhardt has been almost flawless through to the grand final. There’s no other Reinhardt in the world who play as aggressively as Kaiser does while also keeping himself safe. He also uses his Earthshatters as a weapon to secure kills rather than a defensive tool to counter Ultimates, and it was his clutch Earthshatter that secured RunAway’s place in the grand finals.
RunAway feed off the emotions of Runner, who screams and shouts during each match, urging his team to fight harder at crucial moments. It can also work against them though, as they find their heads dropping when they’re struggling. RunAway will need to keep their emotions under control if they want to shock the Overwatch world by winning APEX Season 2.
Who Are Lunatic-Hai?
Considered one of the world’s strongest Overwatch teams, Lunatic-Hai has always been a contender and yet have never won a major Overwatch tournament. This is clearly their best chance to do that.
Lunatic-Hai has star quality up and down their line-up but it’s their Genji, Winston and Tracer combination that gives their opposition nightmares. WhoRU is the player who gets most viewers salivating, his Genji dancing and slicing his way through opposing teams and playing extremely aggressively, giving the other team almost no room to breath. Team captain Esca is Lunatic-Hai’s Tracer player, zipping straight to the back lines and harassing the support. They’re a deadly combination and a stern test for any Overwatch defence.
But one of the secret weapons for Lunatic-Hai is Miro’s Winston. Although Miro uses Reinhardt for some maps, Lunatic-Hai is clearly at their best when Miro plays Winston on a map where the layout allows him to freely leap around. Miro will dive at the other team’s support and attack them, his harassment driving the support away and forcing the enemy team to fight without being healed. Miro also gets a surprising amount of mileage from Winston’s Ultimate, Primal Rage. It’s considered one of the weaker Ultimates in the game but he uses it to cause chaos and confusion, allowing his team-mates to mop up panicked opponents.
Lunatic-Hai undoubtedly the most skilled team in Overwatch right now but their weakness comes from the mental side of the game. They make some strange individual errors, the most recent one being Esca falling to his death with McCree in the semi-final against Meta Athena. Esca hasn’t played particularly well this tournament either, only really coming to life in the semi-finals.
They’re a formidable force but cracks have shown under pressure during APEX Season 2. It’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the pressure of being the favourites in the grand final.
How Will The APEX Season 2 Final Play Out?
If the first match is any indication, encounters will be fast and furious, with both teams saving their Ultimates for huge group pushes.
Both teams like diving on their opponents and causing panic, and neither team has shown that they’re prepared to slow things down and grind it out if results don’t go their way. Haksal will be key for RunAway with his Genji and D’va, while Lunatic-Hai will rely on their dreaded Genji, Tracer, Winston combo.
In their first match, it was interesting to see Lunatic-Hai trying unconventional characters as they felt the match slipping away from them, Esca switching to Mei and Pharah at different points of the final game. Was this a one-off or a sign of a team that’s vulnerable under pressure?
Keep an eye on Lunatic-Hai’s Ryujehong. As their Ana, his deadly accuracy means he can use sleep darts to shut down Ultimates as soon as they’re started. One of the key battles will be Ryujehong versus Haksal. RunAway targeted Ryujehong early and often in their first match because when Ryujehong is eliminated, that gives Haksal freedom to do damage with Genji, as there are no sleep darts to worry about.
Who’s The Favourite?
Even though RunAway won the first encounter between the two teams, Lunatic-Hai are still the favourites for this rematch. After securing their place in the final, RunAway’s Runner admitted that they wanted to face Meta Athena rather than Lunatic-Hai, mentioning that he’s “sick of being tortured by Miro’s Winston.”
RunAway also squeezed into the final by the narrowest of margins. During match point in their semi-final against Luxury Watch Blue, RunAway took their foot off the gas too early and allowed their opponents to stage a comeback, almost throwing away their place in the final. Lunatic-Hai won’t be so generous if given an opportunity like that.
RunAway’s best chance will come from taking the first few rounds and putting early pressure on Lunatic-Hai. Lunatic-Hai will know they’re the favourites heading into this match and that will only add to the pressure they’ll feel under to live up to their reputation.