Korean organisation Luxury Watch has decided to fuse its two rosters, LW Blue and LW Red, to form the best team possible out of their joint talents. This new lineup will be fielded for IEM Gyeonggi as Luxury Watch Red, but the original LW Red roster must be used straight afterward for APEX Season 2: Super Week due to the APEX roster rules.

LW Red & Blue

LW Red & Blue were sister teams going into the first season of APEX, with Red proving themselves as the better of the two. They were widely considered one of the best teams in Korea in the months before APEX and shocked fans with their inability to qualify for the inaugural season. LW Red lost twice to the completely unknown team RunAway, who we now know have star players on their roster and were strong on that particular patch. LW Blue flipped the sister team dynamic on its head by being the side to qualify for Korea’s largest tournament.

That version of LW Red saw starky and Arcane on support, the captain Beom on tank, aWesomeGuy on flex/offtank, and nanohana and Pine as the star dps combo. This is the team that has been plowing through the APEX Challenger Seasons and must compete in the APEX Super Week for promotion.

Since failing to qualify for APEX Season 1, LW Red have played a number of online tournaments. They qualified and then placed 2nd in the Nexus Halloween Cup, beating Mighty AOD, KongDoo Uncia, and VICI Gaming but losing twice without taking a map against KongDoo Panthera. In APEX Challenger Season 1, they beat everybody to take 1st with a 33-3 map record and then took 2nd in APEX Challenger Season 2 having only lost to unbeaten The Meta. They have an excellent record in the past two months with very few losses but have had little opportunity to play against and beat the top Korean or Western teams.

LW Blue on the other hand (Gambler, Luna, janus, Mek0, NoName, and Saebyeolbe) were able to qualify for APEX, but then have been a middling top team in future showings. At APEX they narrowly made 2nd in their group ahead of KongDoo Panthera and RunAway but were easily knocked out in the quarter-finals by BK Stars. At MSI MGA's Asian qualifiers they lost 1-2 to KongDoo Uncia very early on to be eliminated, and in the recent Nexus Cup Grand Final qualifiers they beat The Meta 2-1 and then lost to KongDoo Uncia 0-2.

In terms of star talent on these rosters, the most notable are the dps players from LW Red. nanohana and Pine are an incredibly gifted pair mechanically and could be reasonably put in contention for the best dps duo in Korea. The structure and flexibility of the LW Red team was always a weaker point and Luxury Watch have aimed to fix that by providing nanohana and Pine with a support structure in which they can shine.

Luxury Watch R...B...New

The new LW Red team sees four players from LW Blue join that dps duo. While the roles for the new IEM Gyeonggi roster are not yet fully known, it appears that Gambler and Luna will reprise their roles as hard and flex support respectively with janus joining them on his usual role as main tank. The team then has three former dps players, Saebyeolbe (former flex dps of LW Blue) along with nanohana and Pine. It seems likely that Saebyeolbe will be playing flex/offtank to allow the usual dps duo to perform to maximum capacity.

Luxury Watch have also registered former LW Blue flex/offtank Mek0 as their sub for IEM Gyeonggi, as nanohana has been out of action until recently with tenosynovitis, an inflammatory injury of the wrist. If this should flare up again, Saebyeolbe will likely take over as flex dps with Mek0 on flex/offtank.

It is unknown as yet what will happen to the LW Blue team; the rebuilding of this roster could reasonably come in the form of direct transfers from the old LW Red but the management may look elsewhere.

The reason for this shuffle was to win championships; the management believed they could create a world-beating team by combining resources from the two lineups. This is a move inspired by ambition rather than the shuffles due to personality conflicts we have seen overwhelmingly in the West.

LW Red will compete first with their new roster in IEM Gyeonggi on the 16th December before reuniting to play APEX Season 2: Super Week immediately afterwards. They face KongDoo Panthera in the first round of IEM Gyeonggi, a team that both Red & Blue have history against recently.

The management then intends for the new roster to play in APEX Season 2, should everything work out; if the original LW Red roster places in the top two of their group in Super Week and gets a place in APEX, Luxury Watch plans to field both LW Red & Blue for APEX Season 2, with a direct hierarchy in their teams. The rosters may also be altered slightly before the beginning of the league, which is expected to begin some time in January.

APEX Season 2: Super Week

By finishing first overall after two seasons of APEX Challenger, LW Red was given their choice of one opponent in their group for Super Week. The GSL style bracket would see them and their chosen opposition - from RunAway, MVP Space, Rhino Gaming TITAN, and MVP Infinity - joined by two others, with the top two at the end qualifying. In an interesting turn, LW Red directly picked RunAway to match up against - the very team that had beaten them twice in the original qualifiers and forced them down to Challengers.

Luxury Watch tweeted the draw out, branding it a rematch. nanohana shed a little more light on the decision afterwards and indicated that his team wanted to get revenge, despite his personal desire to select MVP Infinity as an opponent.

Alongside RunAway, they are in a group with MVP Space and Afreeca Freecs Red.

Luxury Watch Red's roster for IEM Gyeonggi (with presumed roles) is:

  • Heo "Gambler" Jin-woo (hard support)
  • Jang "Luna" Gyeong-ho (flex support)
  • Song "janus" Jun-hwa (tank)
  • Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-ryeol (flex)
  • Hwang "nanohana" Yeon-oh (flex dps)
  • Kim "Pine" Do-hyun (dps)
  • Kim "Mek0" Tae-hong (flex sub)

Luxury Watch Red's roster in APEX Season 2: Super Week will be:

  • Park "Arcane" Sung-jin (hard support)
  • Kim "starky" Beung-joo (flex support)
  • Lee "Beom" Gee-beom (tank)
  • Kim "aWesomeGuy" Seong-hun (flex)
  • Hwang "nanohana" Yeon-oh (flex dps)
  • Kim "Pine" Do-hyun (dps)