With Sideshow pursuing his dreams of becoming the top variety streamer and Admirable too depressed to write after being stood up by his cousin/date, I've stepped in to deliver this week's "Picked Over" for your fill of non-over.gg content. Last week, Rogue dashed American dreams, Team EnVyUs fell to top-ranked Lunatic-Hai, RunAway proved they were no joke, and the Carbon Series continued on as teams experimented some more with their rosters throughout the tournament. If you missed any action, fear not—we are here to provide you with some primo content.

A Fork in the Road: Continuing EnVyUs' Tale

Gamurs - Elbion

Elbion tells the tale of Team EnVyUs, the winners of the first season of OGN's APEX who currently find themselves on the brink of elimination during the second season. In this piece, Elbion explains that there are two paths that the squad can go down: to glory should they emerge victorious despite the massive odds against them, or to ruin should they fold in the face of tougher competition.

EnVyUs’ tale could go one of two ways: They could easily fall prey to their tough quarterfinal group, allowing the tale of EnVyUs' dominance and the hopes of the West to end in ruins, or they may simply write a new chapter in their legendary history book.

EnVyUs could very well once again set the new standard meta heading into the playoffs and, like last season ride the patch changes to another Apex title, overcoming their mediocre group stage performance and once again finding glory.

History has taught us that it may be too early to count EnVyUs out. The odds are certainly stacked against them, but there is a reason we play out each match.

Path of Gold: Exploring Overwatch's Potential Royal Road

Esports Heaven - Volamel

Volamel discusses the perplexing strength of rookie team Meta Athena, who displayed dominance above Team EnVyUs during APEX's group stages. In particular, he points towards their rise from nothing, comparing their ascendance to StarCraft greats and zero-to-heroes from League of Legends. As a long-time esports consumer, Volamel has seen these legends develop, and he makes his position clear at the end of the article.

These are the golden mason’s who’ve laid each and every brick along the royal road. These are teams and players whom have taken the world “talent” to a new level, transcending mediocrity and becoming more of an enigma. Player’s like; the Tyrant, Jaedong. The 5th race, Moon. The grandfather of modern esports, BoxeR. All of these old masters came from the same road that one particular team in OGN’s APEX Season 2 is taking. Meta Athena could very well be Overwatch’s first royal roader.

Overwatch Deep Dives: King of the Hill First Point Captures

Overbuff - CaptainPlanet

Resident stats man CaptainPlanet dissected a phenomenon that many have noted throughout Overwatch's existence: first point capture's effect on winning control maps. Through a statistical breakdown of data collected over more than twenty tournaments, CaptainPlanet examines the numbers behind winning and shows the entire process, using a 99% confidence interval.

Pros and casual players alike have already noticed this phenomenon, but now there’s some statistical weight behind it. The pros have already figured out how best to abuse the ultimate economy to ensure they win the point first as often as possible: pick heroes that charge their ultimates quickly and have the potential to even charge and use an ultimate during the first fight. Heroes like Tracer, Genji, and Winston fit the bill and often see higher usage on king of the hill maps for this reason. Sombra has also been played lately because her EMP can charge very quickly, provided her team uses hacked health packs at a decent rate. Even more ambitious teams will use Mei as well: her ultimate charges rapidly if you can hit your icicles, her Ice Wall is extremely effective on Nepal Village, and Blizzard is a perfect ultimate for King of the Hill maps. Due to the close-quarters nature of most sub-maps, strong Zarya players can also build enough ultimate charge to get Graviton Surge during the second fight, shutting down any hope for the attacking team stealing the point. Heroes with slower ultimate charge rates (Reaper), ultimates that charge quickly and don’t fit the map type (Symmetra, Torbjorn, Widowmaker) or ultimates take too much setup (McCree) are generally avoided.

OverSight Episode 6: It's Time to do Charity Work (feat. Bishop)

Insight on Esports

Usual hosts Thorin and MonteCristo spent several hours talking to ex-Kongdoo Panthera support player Bishop as he trialled with Cloud9 as a potential coach. During the discussion, the trio talks about western vs Korean practice habits, Cloud9's progression as a team with a new coach, and how the Korean scene looks in general. Despite Cloud9's close loss to Kongdoo Uncia during their last game at APEX, Bishop looks to have made a significant impact on the team and will remain with them when they return to America to compete once again.