I think somebody pushed the "on" button at Esports Heaven this week. Three out of four of our Picked Over pieces are from the site, which hasn't been featured before. There were a lot of pieces to choose from over the last seven or so days, so this is the real crème de la crème.
If you're not familiar with Picked Over yet, this is our little way of bringing you great Overwatch content from outside our doors.
Esports Heaven - By Volamel
This article by Volamel is a fantastic dive into the concept of sister teams and how they are mutually beneficial. Using the specific example of the fiercely powerful Kongdoo teams of Uncia and Panthera in APEX, he looks at why organisations set-up two top teams under the same roof - and why the dynasty is more than the sum of its parts.
Having an in house rival to push you to your limits is something that has been very common in Korean esports. Whether it is League of Legends or Starcraft 2, the “sister team” format creates monsters. This theory has held its weight against the test of time.
Two teams with relatively equal skill, training against one another allows player skill to be filtered down, distilling their skill down until they lack impurities. Having so many skilled players in such a compact and dense environment, it creates a pseudo-echo chamber effect, where information is quickly passed around and strategies are derived from. Leaving you with two fantastic teams that consistently challenge, push, and reconstruct players into something more.
A two team system is a spawning pool for talent.
Esports Heaven - By RadoN
This piece is less for the avid fan of APEX and more for those who only watch to see the foreign teams compete. You're missing out. The Korean teams are often a joy to watch and possess some incredible talent, if that wasn't evident from their performance in global events already.
If you haven't watched most of the APEX games and followed their storylines, you may be unfamiliar with the top teams in Korea. This piece gives you a fairly detailed run-down of the home teams at APEX, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they've performed so far.
...Having two wins in the group stage means that the worst case scenario for them is a three-way tie with Cloud 9 and Afreeca Freecs Blue if their form disappear when facing the North American squad (C9). It is much more likely though, that they grab the win over Mendokusaii and co. and finish the group stage as a first seed team and enter the Ro8 as favorites for making the semifinals.
The transfer of Butcherr to Uncia from their sister-team Panthera seems to have made the team that was touted as the best from Korea during APEX S1 even more dangerous. As him and birdring have taken on a more proactive playstyle, DNCE has curbed his recklessness, but surprisingly has been able to continue delivering high impact plays. While the squad is definitely not the most stacked in terms of individual ability, they make up for it with cohesion, smart play and versatility. In addition Burcherr joining has increased the overall skill level and made them one of the most well rounded teams, as now they have four players that can carry a game.
That, coupled with seemingly being able to play almost any map makes them an incredibly dangerous opponent to face, for anyone in the tournament.
Coach Roflgator: "Your job [as coach] is to be the voice of reason, and to make those six players play to their max potential."
Esports Heaven - by Volamel
Roflgator has been one of the Western coaches with the most observable impact on his team, pushing Fnatic to be a disciplined squad. This interview explores his role and how he views the game, as well as discussing some team experiences in Korea.
Volamel was pounding out the content this week and also conducted another interview with Shake from compLexity if you can't get enough.
Monte gave you the accolade as one of the more organized and disciplined teams in the scene. How much do you attribute this to Fnatic’s success?
It has helped tremendously, we did a lot of research before every game, and we are really good strategists. A lot of people give me props for our map draft versus Ninja’s in Pyjamas (NiP) in dreamhack in particular. I don't think they noticed that we just picked maps that allowed us to have high ground and abuse their 4 tank comp. It was our strongest point, that we are trying to re-accomplish with our new playstyle.
It’s always nice to talk with a coach or an analyst because they have varying opinions on the meta and what is and is not viable. Would you rather the meta be more fixed or do you, and the boys, enjoy the creativity of the current state of the game?
I think the meta right now is probably the most versatile it’s ever been. Teams are running triple tank, double dps, dive comps, and even sniper comps. I do think that CP is horrible, and I would fix it by fixing the absolutely horrible contesting mechanic. I think if offense has more players on the point than defense, then the defenders should slow the progress on the cap, but not completely hold it back. The point should take longer to get in order to adjust the gameplay and makes the games not end too soon. This way, a mei can slow down the other team from taking the point, but not completely stop the other team for making progress for so long, it’s absolutely ridiculous.
GAMURS - By Elbion
At the beginning of the week, Elbion penned us a reminder of the factors that go into building and structuring rosters within Overwatch, especially at this delicate time in its life. From roles, through personality, to the financial decisions, he touches on variables that make constructing a team more intricate than simply smashing six big names together.
With Saturday’s announcement of André "iddqd" Dahlström joining NRG, both Reddit and Twitter were abuzz with rampant speculation on what the remainder of the roster may look like.
The speculation and excitement from the community is only natural given the high profile of both the organization and the players being signed...
...Overwatch brings its own unique difficulties to building a successful roster. As the teams learn the game, the process will be refined. For now, we’ll have to live with that, however, we can still maintain logical discussions and conceptualizations about hypothetical rosters.