Settle down in your Sunday armchairs and enjoy our second episode of Picked Over. There's been a lot of focus on Korea due to the BlizzCon World Cup win and the upcoming APEX Season 1 playoffs, but there's also some other gems as well.
As always we're looking outside our own doors, and we’ve picked over all of the week’s content to give you a showcase of the best. This Picked Over feature runs every week and it’s not a comprehensive review by any means - this is just some of our favourite content that we’ve read, watched, or otherwise experienced in Overwatch from the 13th to the 19th of November.
If you've skipped over some of the following pieces or just not happened to see them, we can personally recommend them to you. Make some time in your day for these beauties.
TaiRong & ArHaN talk about Korea's OWC run, Afreeca Freecs, and the future of competitive Overwatch (INVEN)
This is a fantastic interview. TaiRong and ArHaN are eloquent and give a lot of insight into the way they think about the game and specific teams. The interview was conducted in Korean, allowing them to truly express themselves and their thoughts, making the translation into English easily the best interview we've had with Korean top players.
Their insight into the game and willingness to expand on thought processes make this an excellent read for anyone who wants to get into the head of the top pros pushing the level upward.
In addition, if you fancy reading another interview with players who have a lot of personality but are perhaps a little more shy and unwilling to discuss their in-game thoughts in depth, have a read of this interview with Zunba and Miro just beforehand.
TaiRong: Every team has their own weakness. Lunatic-Hai has a narrow hero pool, while we [Afreeca Freecs] lack the capacity to initiate fights with tanks when we have to. Our team also has a weak individual understanding of heroes, as shown in our previous matches.
Generally, teams from the West successfully utilize a wide range of DPS heroes and are capable of coming up with flexible team compositions suitable for different situations. I think that’s what really makes Rogue such a strong team.
Even when EnVyUs stormed tournaments around the world, I always thought Rogue was better because they were much more flexible. nV is also good at coping with different situations, but there are times when the team loses its teamwork and falls apart. Weak Winston play is a weak point for Rogue, but the team's versatility is more than enough to cover that up.
This site was not released in the past week so potentially should not qualify, but it was certainly the first time I've used it in any capacity and I simply had to share it here. Winston's Lab is a site that collects (presumably by hand or using some intricate hand-written code) a huge amount of data for analysis. I can only include one picture of what's available but there is so much here and it's the only site that I'm aware of filling this niche.
Each map is broken down with average and record times to finish games or cap points, as well as each team's preferences in terms of hero pick. Hero picks are not done by what a team picked at the beginning; rather they are accurately defined by exactly how much time the player used the hero. Each match is also recorded with hero usage, times taken to cap, distance pushed, etc.
It's a fantastic resource for writers, analysts, fans, and statistic junkies. I have a huge amount of respect for the people running this site and until Blizzard implement some more statistics with easy ways to use them, this site will be a necessity. Have an explore!
The Korean caster and spectator reaction really makes this one. aKm ignores the 'easier' pick of Afreeca Freecs Blue to throw down the gauntlet and challenge EnVyUs to a Quarter Finals game against Rogue. At the time it was considered a pure ballsy challenge, something that everyone present reacted to with amazement and anticipatory excitement.
It's well worth watching even if you've seen it before though, as this is now contextualised by the knowledge of EnVyUs' roster issues. Rogue were clearly aware of Talespin leaving the team and it was actually a highly calculated play to take out one of their strongest opponents before they could recover.
So in the end, this delivers on both fronts as insightful and highly entertaining!
Translator: So despite the fact that EnVyUs are considered to be the number one team in the world at the moment, why did you pick EnVy?
aKm: They were only number one in NA.
Everyone in Korea:OOOOoooOOOOoOooOooOOooOOOOOOH!!
Translator: So Taimou, a shot was fired for you, any reactions to this?
Taimout: Nah. To be completely honest, that statement is completely true. I would consider ourselves the top three team in the world, with Rogue first and then Lunatic-Hai. I don't really mind that we're gonna face Rogue in the Quarter Finals because we're gonna have to play against them anyway later in the tournament. We just have to beat everybody anyway.
With under 400 subscribers on YouTube and around the same number of average views, Kirby is an analyst who desperately deserves more attention. He has a clear and analytical approach, and his videos are supremely watchable whilst also being thought-provoking or informative.
This week, Kirby went in depth on a composition that many people had disregarded as a 'troll comp'. Rogue ran it against Flash Lux after they had already proven they were the far better team in terms of overall skill, leading most to dismiss it as a random lineup that had not been pre-meditated.
Kirby gives his perspective on why he thinks it was actually a crafted play, played against a weaker team to test it out for sure, but with a plan in mind. Whether or not it's true, it opens up a lot of thought into out of the box compositions and how to craft them.
Kirby: Today Rogue had a match vs Flash Lux in the OGN APEX tournament and they did something very odd but very interesting on King's Row on attack. As soon as I saw this, I thought - I need to do a small video about this. We're gonna jump right into a game and talk about their composition and why it's weird, of course, but why it also makes sense.
So they're on attack, they've managed to defend right after the first point when they were on defense right before, and they go for this composition...This is their composition: it is a 2-1 composition. So we have two tanks here, a single support, and this weird Junkrat coming out from KnOxXx.
GAMURS features a piece this week by RadoN, who gives us his thoughts on the best players in each role for APEX. While not all of the choices will be agreed upon by all analysts, this certainly gives you a great flavour of the best players in APEX if you missed any of the games.
The playoffs could change a lot - and they tend to be the part remembered most by fans - but this piece will sit as a nice midpoint to see how players were performing after the groups stage.
As OGN’s APEX is entering the postseason, there will be more people starting to follow the tournament closely. With 24 best-of-five series spanning over 12 days, it is understandable that less hardcore fans might skip some games. For those of you who haven’t followed as closely, and for the regulars too of course, I bring my ranking of the top players for each role in the APEX playoffs. I’m rating the players based on the impact and ability they've displayed, mostly going off of their APEX performances.
Special thanks to June Cho for designing our series banner!