It’s official: we now have our OGN Overwatch Apex Season 3 finalists. Come the 29th of July, Lunatic-Hai will face off against KongDoo Panthera to determine this season’s winners.
Can reigning champions Lunatic-Hai retain their glory, or will KDP maintain the strong performance they’ve been showing and clinch that first place?
Unfortunately for European fans, Team EnVyUs has been halted from progressing further. High fives all round? Maybe not.
We’ll find out this week exactly what position they’ll end up after their match against fellow runners-up AF.Blue.
But now the spotlight is firmly on our two finalists. To help you judge which could emerge victorious, we’ve put together a round-up of both sides’ journeys through the competition.
As the winners of last season’s OGN Apex tournament, expectations are high for LH to run away with the title again this year. Their form has remained strong since then. and they continue to perform at a level few other teams can.
The group stages saw some of Lunatic-Hai’s strongest performances. The opening game of the tournament against KongDoo Panthera was particularly eye-opening. The team found themselves on the backfoot as KDP took the first two rounds with minimal opposition, only to turn it around for a clutch reverse sweep.
It was clear LH would have preferred not to face such a stern test, especially so early on in the tournament. But if there’s one team that you can rely on to pull together when it comes to the crunch, it’s Lunatic-Hai.
A lot of this is down to the sheer amount of talent the team has. Ryujehong, for example, is widely regarded as one of the best support players in Overwatch, and a near-unstoppable threat in the hands of Ana or Zenyatta (among others).
Team captain EscA might not be the one taking the kills – that glory usually goes to Whoru on Genji – but he’s typically the shotcaller. Take a look at this play on Sombra, where he utilises that EMP to block any further gains for D.Va and Zenyatta – the latter of which is only 6% away from what could’ve been a game changing Transcendance.
Gido offered up an example of his incredible Tracer skills, too, zipping about this way and that to ensure he’s not hit. While the clip we’ll show does sadly fail to make the most of Tracer’s ultimate, Gido still manages to pressure the right enemies at the right time, following along with his team as and when he’s needed.
Tracer makes frequent appearances in Overwatch esports, but it’s this hit-and-run strategy that really highlights how well she can be played by the top-tier players.
For our last clip, we’d like to draw attention to Ryujehong, perhaps the player we’d pick if we had to give one reason as to why Lunatic-Hai can compete at such a consistently high level. Typically in charge of Ana or Zenyatta, he’s made a name for himself with his incredible accuracy and intuitive ability to read the game.
Here, we see him tearing it up with Zenyatta for the POTG.
Where Lunatic-Hai seems to play effortlessly as a unit, KDP’s value lies instead in its individual members’ ability to look for opportunities to maximise damage. As a result, a lot of our clips for KDP’s semi-final match revolve around the team’s ability to stun not only the audience but its opposition too.
This has been a common trend over the course of OGN Apex Season 3, with KDP coming out all-guns-blazing in the opening match against Lunatic-Hai (which they ultimately lost), but still managing to maintain a considerable record ever since.
As a matter of fact, that game was the only one that KongDoo Panthera has lost throughout the tournament, even managing to switch the odds with a rather comfortable rematch against LH in the second group phase.
And in their semi-final game against Team EnVyUs, KDP barely even broke a sweat as they comfortably dispatched the European side. 9 rounds versus 3 was the ultimate score, and there were quite a number of standout moments to help KDP maintain that strong lead.
Take, for example, this clip on Oasis. NV has claimed the first round, and with the objective at 99% it’s ready to take the second. KongDoo Panthera just isn’t able to get a grasp on the objective point. But this neat play by Void with an over-the-wall D.Va self-destruct is just beautiful.
While a lot of EnVyUs manages to evade the blast, two of the core members of the squad – particularly Effect – are brought down, enough to give KDP the opportunity to roll in, take the objective and – ultimately – go on to win the round.
KongDoo Panthera’s players also have the ability to take control in a split second – as you’ll see in this next clip of Birdring on Tracer.
You can see here that, in contrast to LH’s symbiotic approach, KDP’s style is far more individualistic. This play is all about Birdring, who bides his time for what could well be a perfect execution of Tracer’s ult and timewarp combo.
It’s going to be hard to pick a favourite between KongDoo Panthera and Lunatic-Hai, but it’s the precision demonstrated by the previous clip that leads us to favour KDP in the finals. And not just that – KDP have proven that they can handle pressure just as well as as LH.
Which is where our next clip comes in. Again, an incredible display from Birdring – but focus instead on the general composure of the team.
With EnVyUs’s Chipshajen – a great player in anyone’s eyes – having activated Transcendance, and with Effect dashing in to plant Tracer’s ultimate, it should’ve been an easy team fight for nV.
Instead, KDP turn it around. They consume the damage of the supernova bomb, activate their own Transcendance and claim four kills – all without losing a single man. This is the play of a team ready for the finals.