APEX is hotting up as we approach the playoffs and begin eliminating teams left, right, and centre. Meanwhile in North America, Rogue have come in to spoil the party - though are not competing in the Carbon Series.
While our own Harsha has written two pieces on the competitive vs. casual debate rampaging through reddit and the necessity for a tournament client within Overwatch, here's what was being written this week in the rest of the scene.
By Johnathan “Reinforce” Larsson
Reinforce again gives us unparalleled insight into the workings of a world-class team, and his mind as a player. Misfits have been eliminated from APEX Season 2 after losing to potentially the two best teams in the world currently, LW Blue and Lunatic-Hai, despite looking strong themselves.
The heart-breaking loss for this team has been broken down in detail along with the steps they took to improve since forming. It is, like his last blog post with Rogue, fascinating.
I had dropped off severely after the tank meta was released during the last season of APEX. Internal issues in Rogue had caused my Swedish fear of confrontation to lead me down a spiral of lack in self-confidence. The tank player of the best team in the world was now scared of getting hooked by a Roadhog, scared of making the wrong charge, and scared of earthshattering shields. Scared of getting called out for rightfully so, bad performance.
I came home from Korea following last season and I’d jump into pro player PUG’s feeling like I had to perform, after all I was Reinforce of Rogue? I was one of the most successful Overwatch players to date? I NEEDED to perform. I ended up getting run over by no-namer Reinhardt’s, because I just stood still, passively, thinking twice too many times. It was a really difficult time for me, having mentally dug myself a hole so deep of which I didn’t feel I could get out of.
After my poor performance vs. LW Blue, I started grinding. Hard.
OGN have made a highlight out of Taimou’s insane Widowmaker plays against BK Stars, using team communication and player cams. It paints a cute, whimsical picture of EnVyUs’ approach to their strategies and team atmosphere.
Esports Heaven by Volamel
Volamel picks apart the style of Afreeca Freecs Blue in this feature piece, analysing how their team components fit into the aggressive manner in which they play. AF Blue is a team slipping steadily from relevance with the rise of other excellent Korean teams; much can be gained from looking at how they play, the viability of aggressive carry-focused play in Overwatch, and which pieces are holding them back from success.
It seems that they have given free reign to Jeong "ArHaN" Weon Hyeop, Areeca Freecs Blue’s star Genji player. Leading with his brute force assault, they play a very in-your-face style of Overwatch. This has lead to a very sloppy and disjointed team dynamic. The constant overextension by ArHan startles most teams and forces their hand, creating space for fellow teammates; Bae “DongHyuN“ Dong Hyun and Jeong “Recry” Taek Hyun to clean up his bloodtrail. His unruly dives also pull apart his team, if he doesn’t have huge impact with his dive, ArHaN can be a large glaring flaw on Afreeca Freecs Blue.
The current roster seems at witts end. While some players fit perfectly within ArHaN’s narrative that he has instilled in the team, namely Recry and DongHyuN. Others just seem to be lack some fundamental knowledge of teamfighting and macro play. Playoff season is hot on Afreeca’s tails, and with that ArHaN may need to be benched. Without large changes or the addition of some serious support staff, Afreeca Freecs Blue is lost.
What can be done? I have a few idea’s and changes in mind. We travel east to find Afreeca. First, an unexpected detour; China.
GosuGamers by Pesto_Enthusiast
Our favourite Overwatch basil aficionado has written up a profile of the teams competing in the Carbon Series. He outlines the storylines and circumstances affecting Immortals, Hammers Esports, Luminosity, compLexity, Renegades, and Liquid; if you’re following the North American competition over the next couple of months then check out his guide to the action.
In order to help you prepare for what will be one of the biggest NA Overwatch leagues to date, Pesto Enthusiast has taken the time to write down the following profiles of all six participating teams. All of these teams deserve to be here on their own right, but many are currently affected by issues such as recent roster changes, disappointing results and role swaps. Learn about whom to keep your eye on during the weeks to come, below: