Overview of OGN’s APEX Ro8, day 2:Rogue vs EnVyUS & Lunatic-Hai vs Kongdoo Uncia

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With the Ro16 finally over we are entering the bracket play phase of the tournament. For the first big Korean Overwatch tournament’s postseason we have 3 of the top western teams (Rogue, EnVyUS and Reunited) battling 5 of Korea’s best for first place prize of $90.000.

For the first Bo5 tonight we had the western powerhouse teams Rogue and nV battling the spot in the semi-finals.
In the second series Lunatic-Hai were looking to defeat Kongdoo Uncia and possibly take revenge on Rogue for the APAC finals.

For the playoffs I will be retiring the “teams to watch” section of the summaries, instead I’ll be leaving comments for the teams, if I have any in the end of their match’s summary. I’m also renaming ‘map and players to watch’ to ‘map and players of the day’. As always you can find those at the bottom of the article. In them I’ll be listing the players performing best, in my opinion, the map I enjoyed watching most and some extra words on the picks.

Match-up 1: Rogue vs EnVyUS

Coming into tonight Rogue were the huge favourites, thanks to superior recent performances and nV making player swap late last week. As Talespin left they substituted in the Thai player that showed great play in the BlizzCon Championship — Mickie.
For more detailed context and expectations you can check out ‘s predictions.

The match-up began on Ruins, Ilios. EnVyUS started with Lucio for INTERNETHULK, Ana, Reinhardt, Mickie on D.va, Taimou’s Roadhog and Harryhook’s famed Soldier 76. Afainst that Rogue brought Ana, Lucio, Winston, Zarya, Tracer and TviQ on yet another hero — Soldier 76.On the back of their captain starting the Bo5 with great performance Rogue took control of the point. As nV failed two times at claiming the point for themselves Taimou switched to McCree, but that failed as well, thanks to aKm and Reinforce constantly terrorizing their backline.

For Lighthouse we saw Rogue take a page off of AF Blue’s page, as they started with the Pharah, Genji duo for their DPSs, otherwise keeping same composition. nV on the other hand went back to the 2–3–1, only difference being Harryhook playing McCree instead of Soldier 76. As nV claimed initial control TviQ traded the Genji for Soldier 76. That was enough for the French-Swedish roster to quickly reclaim the point. As they were closing the 90% mark however, nV retook it off of a fight, initiated by a good Whole Hog. Taimou and co. were looking to win the match on that hold, but after a huge teamfight, with almost everyone having their ultimates Rogue reclaimed the point for themselves and managed to hold for 100–99 win and 1–0 lead in the series.

For map two, nV selected King’s Row — one of their best maps. Thay attacked on Ana, Lucio, Reinhardt, D.va, Harryhook on Roadhog and Reaper against Rogue’s surprising composition of Ana, Reinhardt, Winston, Zarya, D.va, Roadhog. As the Reaper rolled over them KnOxXx, TviQ and aKm swapped respectively to Lucio, Soldier, Pharah. Paying for the major switches and loss of ultimates, they lost the second point as well and nV had more than 5:30 to deliver the payload. Despite strong initial hold by the fully European roster, 5:30 proved too much and nV delivered the cart, having 3:21 on the clock.

aKm, seemingly not happy with nV’s time.

After switching side nV opened on Ana, Zenyatta, Reinhardt, D.va, Roadhog, McCree against Rogue’s incoming Mercy, Lucio, Winston, Zarya, Genji, Pharah. With their support and tank players on fire, Rogue started pushing the cart, having 4:30 on the clock. As aKm’s rockets kept decimating nV, him remaining almost untouched by opponents’ bullets his team was on the final alley, having 3 minutes in the bank. However that’s where Taimou’s crew put up the strongest defense and burned down Rogue’s timer to 0 before the payload delivery happened.

Looking to hold for 3:21 on point A TviQ picked Pharah, backed by Ana, Lucio, Reinhardt, Zarya and aKm on the Roadhog. nV pushed against that, using 2–3–1 of their own — Ana, Lucio, Reinhardt, D.va, Roadhog and Taimou on Hanzo. Rogue held initially, on the back of double kill at sub-40 HP by their captain. After that they continued impressing and thanks to superior coordination and TviQ’s play executed full hold, forcing CP map tiebreaker.

The point was Lijiang Tower’s Control Center. For it nV went back to the 2–3–1 they used earlier, playing around Harryhook’s McCree, whereas the French-Swedish roster picked Ana, Lucio, Winston, Zarya, Tracer and TviQ’s Pharah. Off of Reinforce finding the first frag on McCree and favourable trades Rogue took initial control of the CP and Taimou swapped to Reaper. They were looking like they are going to execute another 100–0 until nV claimed control for themselves on the back of well coordinated Sound Barrier and nanoboosted cocco wrecking havoc. As Rogue kept challenging at ultimates disadvantage and using theirs instead of saving them for 6 ults push, taking advantage of the less coordinated opponents, nV managed to hold for a 100–82. That equalized the map score in the series to 1–1.

Looking to reclaim the lead in the series, Rogue selected Hanamura for third map — one of their best maps. Starting on the defense, nV returned to the 2–3–1 as Rogue attacked using the mobile dive composition of Ana, Lucio, Winston, Zarya, Tracer, Genji. Despite two great picks by Taimous stumping the first and second push, Rogue took over A, having more than 6:30 in the bank. For point B Taimou continued landing crucial hooks and delaying multiple pushes by Rogue. That and Harryhook’s impecible Soldier 76 play let nV execute full hold on point B.

After switching sides Rogue returned to what we used to see from them on the last patch: Ana, Lucio, Reinhardt, Zarya, Mei, McCree. nV on the other hand, happy with the results so far continued using the 2–3–1, only difference being Harryhook on Reaper. Despite initial success on the defense a good Whole Hog and Chipshajen picking off uNKOE were enough for nV to claim the point and start pushing toward B, having 5 minutes on the clock. For the second CP Taimou traded the hugely successful Roadhog for Widowmaker. He got shut down and switched to Tracer after one pick on KnOxXx, but that created enough of havoc for Harrohook’s Soldier 76 to get on the point. Off of that they got two ticks, before getting repelled and had 3 minutes to secure the last one. With the timer down to a minute Winz switched to the most popular tank after the patch, D.va. It helped Rogue execute full hold as well and the teams headed to another single CP map tiebreaker.

The point was again Control Center, Lijiang Tower. Both squads played the same compositions as the previous time and again, Rogue claimed the initial control. This time however nV retook it much more quickly and defended the following attack, despite being at ultimate disadvantage. As Taimou and co. were getting close to 90% nanoboosted TviQ did enough damage to reclaim the point for the French-Swedish team. nV however returned with 4 to 2 ultimate advantage to retake the point, only to lose it after prolonged overtime. For the final fight of the point the Rogue’s Swedish captain shone once again as he cleared the point, using nanoboosted Tactical Visor, reclaiming the lead in the series for his team once again.

As fourth map, looking to equalize again, nV picked Watchpoint: Gibraltar. Rogue started on the defense, mirroring nV’s 2–3–1 composition of Ana, Lucio, Reinhardt, D.va, Roadhog, Soldier 76. As Taimou and co. were less than a meter away from delivering to the first point nanoboosted TviQ, came up huge again, repelling the enemies. Maintaining ultimate advantage, Rogue kept pushing back nV, until key picks by Taimou allowed his team to push past the first point. After slow push they got to 79 past it, but that’s where they got stopped.

cocco being true Swede by not showing any emotion after winning the map.

After switching sides INTERNETHULK traded the Lucio for Winston for 1–4–1 from his team, where as Rogue switched to 2–2–2 with aKm taking over the Soldier 76 so TviQ can play Genji. nV’s unconventional set-up seemed to work well, as they were holding strong, keeping the cart from getting out of the trough, before the first point. As Rogue, surprisingly, didn’t try out the Reaper nV executed defense before the first point, once again equalizing the series.

For the fifth and final map, Rogue picked Eichenwald. They started on the attack, attempting the two projectile DPS heroes combination again versus nV’s 2–3–1 defense. After TviQ found several picks they took one tick, but got repelled by nV’s tanks. For their next push they committed three ultimates and that secured them A. They started pushing the payload, having 3:20 on the clock, with TviQ switching to Soldier 76 and everyone’s ultimate except winz being below 10%. Taking advantage of that nV put up another impressive hold, running down the clock with the cart being 122 meters past the first point.

For the defense the French-Swedish roster started on Mercy, Lucio, Reinhardt, Zarya, Roadhog, Pharah, as nV defended on 2–3–1, this time the DPS being Harryhook’s Reaper. Despite having favourable composition and TviQ constantly raining rockets, INTERNETHULK’s men took control of A quickly. After prolonged fight, in which Taimou switched to Tracer, they secured the point and started pushing the cart with 4:50 on the clock. As Rogue were looking much more disorganized than we are used to, nV reached the French-Swedish roster’s distance and took the series within 2 minutes of that for a huge upset.

Match-up 2: Lunatic-Hai vs Kongdoo Uncia

Lunatic-Hai came into this as a huge favourite in most’s opinion, but as we were immediately informed by OGN’s English commentators, DoA and MonteCristo, Uncia had been been hugely successful in scrims against everybody. They were not also favoured by the changes from the new patch and have the superior DPS duo, at least according to my ranking.

The Bo5 started on Control Center, Lijiang Tower and we immediately saw Miro on D.va, backed by Ana, Lucio, Reinhardt, Roadhog and McCree. Kongdoo Uncia put Dnce on Soldier 76, otherwise using same composition as Korea’s darlings. After frags by Dnce and Biirdring their team secured the point, but not for long as Miro returned with two kills for him and EscA had switched to Soldier 76. In series of good plays by both teams, they traded multiple frags and control of the point, but eventually after second overtime Kongdoo Uncia took the point stage 100–99.

For Night Market both teams kept using same composition, but this time Miro’s play secured his team control of the point right from the start. However after misused Nanoboost Birdring and co. claimed control for themselves and after this the stage continued in similarly exciting manner the first, ending with Kongdoo victorious again, for 1–0 lead in the series.

For second map the crowd-favourites selected Numbani. Starting on the offense, they put Miro on Winston, as Dean took over the D.va and taejun traded Roadhog for Genji. Kongdoo picked composition, similar to their previous one, only change being Bubbly on Mercy. Birdring and Dnce continued delivering for Kongdoo as they kept stifling LH’s attempts to take over A until overtime in which Miro’s crew finally succeeded after EscA traded Soldier 76 for McCree. 
For the escort portion of the map Bubbly switched to Lucio, despite having fully charged ultimate on Mercy. LH changed their set-up as well, Miro took over D.va, Dean switched to Reinhardt, and taejun returned to Roadhog. Kongdoo, with ultimate advantage, defended well, but in another overtime LH reached the second point as Miro came up big again. After a third overtime LH finally got wiped and their offensive run ended at just under 65m past the second point.

Lunatic-Hai and Kongdoo Uncia facing the crowd before the match began.

After switching sides, both teams continued using similar set-ups, only difference being Dnce on Hanzo as EscA returned to Soldier 76. As Kongdoo couldn’t achieve anything in the first two minutes Dnce mirrored EscA’s pick and that finally got them on the point, but Miro and co. repelled them before securing even a single tick. That was followed by overtime in which they got A and started pushing the cart. They didn’t need another one to reach the second point though and started pushing towards the third, having 3 minutes in the bank. Here however LH wiped them on the back of 5 people Earthshatter by Dean. Despite the setback Uncia came back and delivered the payload on the back of great hooks by Birdring, increasing their lead to 2–0.

In the face of tournament elimination and huge upset, Miro and co. selected Temple of Anubis as third map of the series. Starting on the offense they switched-up things again by picking a dive compositions of Ana, Lucio, Winston, EscA on D.va, Zarya and Genji. Kongdoo’s set-up remained the same and after losing A within a minute of the map Dnce changed to Pharah, losing fully charged tactical visor. That seemed like the right choice in retrospect as they held strong. Eventually, having 4 minutes left, Miro, taejun and EscA switched to Reinhardt, Roadhog and Mei. That didn’t amount to much until the last minute when they finally got on the point and claimed it for themselves, having only 6 seconds in the time bank.

After switching sides Kongdoo’s only change was Dnce, as the crowd favourites picked Ana, Lucio, Zarya, D.va, Roadhog, Mei to defend with. Despite the Widowmaker not doing much they managed to take point A and after Dnce switched to Tracer, headed toward B with 4:50 on the clock. As the tracer didn’t find success either he ditched it for Pharah and that finally helped Uncia get on the point. After doing that they won the fight quickly and claimed B, having 54 seconds in the time bank, that got bumped up to 1:48, as Lunatic-Hai had only 6 seconds in theirs.

Having only 1 minute for the attack LH picked Ana, Lucio, Reinhardt, Zarya for Miro, Roadhog and Mei. Kongdoo continued using the same 2–3–1 composition with Dnce on Soldier 76. As Tobi got shut down in the last 10 seconds he took Tracer and that was enough for them to secure A, but 30 seconds wasn’t enough for B.

After switching sides Tobi returned to the Lucio and both teams stuck to 2–3–1, LH keeping EscA on Mei and Uncia playing Soldier 76. As that didn’t work out for Kongdoo, Dnce traded the rifler for Widowmaker and that secured them A. 50 seconds left, they pushed into the temple and after prolonged overtime took B, for a 3–0 win over Korea’s golden boys.

Birdring on the left, bubbling in the middle

Players of the day:
Taimou & Mickie — as always Taimou was great in all the games today. However he stuck mostly to Roadhog and kept giving his team pick after pick. Mickie is worth mentioning as not only did he fit well in the team for only several days practice, but also displayed great D.va. The glaring question for me though is, both for him and nV, how versatile this squad is? They showed interesting 1–4–1 and good play on 2–3–1, but are they coordinated enough to play 3 DPSs like the old nV was. It is important as Birdring’s Reaper could make a quick work out of their tanks in the Ro4, should they fail to play less than 3 tanks.
Birdring & Dnce — to completely go against what I said about him being lackluster in terms of playmaking, Birdring landed some incredible hooks today. Dnce did a similar thing as he took his consistent performance versus NRG and performed at similar level versus the best tank player in the world. At this point I’ll have to consider crediting BK Stars for his mixed effectiveness versus them, rather than it being a takeaway from him.
Miro & Ryujehong — despite the 0–3 loss both had some great moments today and kept their team in contention all the time. In my opinion Miro was the best player on the server and jehong was certainly up there with Birdring&Dnce. Some would put it to DPS having more impact, however it’s not as easy for me to put it down to that, especially when both of LH’s carries had poor showing outside of some EscA clutch shots. 
TviQ — continued showcasing great play on variety of heroes today. However he also got tons of resources today and his team didn’t get a win for it. Definitely was the best performing player on his team, but the loss here might be sigh that Rogue need to rethink their philosophy of play. Especially when they couldn’t take a win against nV with a stand-in, even if it is a very good D.va player.

Honorable mentions: cocco, Reinforce, Harryhook.

Map of the day: Lunatic-Hai vs Kongdoo Uncia: Lijiang Tower— despite being 2–0 it was extremely close and well played by both teams. Ton of great plays, 4 overtimes and Miro, Ryujehong, Birdring and Dnce all going ham! One of the rare instances where a CP map provided really good action, rather than a stomp or close, but messy affair. Definitely a might that will go down as a classic in my opinion

About the author:
Hello readers! I go by the ID RadoN and probably similarly to many of you, I’ve been playing video games for years. My introduction to esports happened in 2009 and ever since, I’ve been following different titles within the industry. Other games I currently follow are LoL, CS:GO, QL with the occasional SFV, DOTA2, SC2 and HotS. If you wish to provide feedback, support and follow future content, or simply know more about my thoughts on gaming and esports,@RadoNonFire on twitter.

Photo credits: OGN.