Picked Over

They say that reading is food for the soul, but it doesn’t quite beat a good bacon sandwich. So while I tuck into my lunch and pretend to do all the rest of my work, you read up. You can have dessert once you finish your paragraph.

Volamel’s Viewpoint: The APEX Predators of Korea’s Challenger Scene

Esports Heaven - by Volamel

If you can draw one conclusion from Meta Athena’s run through playoffs and foreign teams’ reports from the East, it’s that APEX Challengers has a wealth of talent. Most of it is unexplored and broadly unknown to wider audiences, but Volamel is here to shine a light on some teams from Challengers with more than potential - these teams already have a predatory snap and a taste for victory.

We start with the Alpha of the pack--one who has already tasted blood. X6-Gaming has made their intentions clear; they want to be number one and they are proving they have the potential to do so. Recently at the Nexus Cup Qualifiers, they defeated Korean powerhouse Lunatic-Hai in a close set, 2-1. Pinning a beast like Lunatic-Hai is no easy feat for even the most seasoned Overwatch team, let alone a challenger team with no former league placing. X6-Gaming stands far above a majority of their pack, only losing sets to Rhinos Gaming Wings and MVP Space. Going on an absolute tear through the round robin stage, their set record stands at 8-2, with their match record reflecting the dominance at an astounding 25-10.

X6-Gaming does not ride on the back of one player in general. On the contrary, it is a team effort. Each player has the potential to have a standout performance, but it remains to be seen if they are going to need those over performances to break into the professional scene. Across the board, X6-Gaming’s Ana player, BEBE, has impressed me the most. He has shown proficiency with the hero in duels, most notably in their set against Lunatic-Hai from the Nexus Cup Qualifiers he has actually dueled EscA and Whoru a handful of times and won.

The Cautious, the Reactive & the Bloodthirsty

Winston’s Lab - by Karahol

Winston’s Lab fascinates me; it’s not only a great resource that provides a huge amount of detailed statistics for analysis, but it’s also the only way of getting any stats from Overwatch at all. While we all wait in purgatory for Blizzard to release their own figures with numbers for damage, healing, abilities, etc., it’s rewarding to have this bank of data building and people with the time and skill to sift through it.

This particular piece from Karahol has some interesting infographics for APEX S2, carried on from an article published the day before.

Janus is by far the most reactive Main Tank of all in the Semifinals, while Kaiser is by far the bloodthirstiest. The average % of kills that are attributed to him within Runaway is astonishing: 22% of his teams’ kills in the QF were made by him.

Still, Janus is playing cleverly because he has the highest (albeit by a 0.1 margin) Ulimate generation, 3 Ultimates/10 mins of playtime. So, although he’s not securing so many kills, he’s not being left behind in terms of the Ultimate Economy game.

The interesting case amidst these 4 Main Tank players is Changsik. He hasn’t impressed much on the big screen, no lingering impressions out of his play, but his stats tell a different tale.

He has managed to secure more kills than Kaiser, but he’s not carrying his team as hard as Kaiser does. This is depicted by his lower average % of total kills. His average deaths & average ultimate abilities aren’t that bad either, which means that he’s playing smart and also keeps up with the ultimate game.

Pro Tactics: The Hollywood Split

by Harsha

This video is the debut of a new series in which strategies used by professional teams are broken down and explained. Harsha takes us through a quick split seen by top teams recently in tournaments, showing why and how it’s effective.

Libero: From Hanzo Main to the Most Versatile Player in Overwatch

Gosushop

There’s no denying that Libero has been a breakthrough star in APEX Season 2. He has shown ability on a huge range of heroes, enabling Meta Athena to adapt their style with minimal changes to their wider composition.

This article takes a quick look back at what he was up to before he entered the limelight of APEX Season 2, a past unknown to most recent fans.

To many international fans, Libero came out of nowhere in APEX season 2 as one of the best versatile players in all of Overwatch, if not the most versatile.

However when Overwatch was first released, Libero was well-known in Korea as the best Hanzo player, and not much else. He played the DPS role for UW Quix, which was the original name of Meta Athena. When Libero was asked why he started Hanzo, he said that he used to play Team Fortress 2 and he used arrows while playing Sniper. He heard that there is a hero who shoots arrows in Overwatch as well, and that’s why he started playing Overwatch.

He appeared in many Korean programs such as OGN and Inven as a “Hanzo expert”, sharing tips and tricks about Hanzo for beginners, as Overwatch was still a very new game at that moment. Because of this, he got jokingly scolded for making Hanzo popular in the Korea server, because new players would start playing Hanzo after watching Libero’s highlights

Super: “I think it’s fair to say we were the best quad-tank team…”

Esports Heaven - by Volamel

A sit-down with Super, lightly picking his brains about a range of topics. LG Evil have been consistently strong recently but bested in larger tournaments - see what their Tank-cum-Tracer thinks about their performance.

If you want to read more interviews, Volamel also conducted one just beforehand with flame on his thoughts and role analysing in Overwatch.

Within that same vein, where do you put Orisa? Do you think she is strong enough to be played at the top level or does she just need some time to settle in to the meta? Any interesting ideas LG Evil as a team have come up with yet?

I think against other tanks she's great, but she gets crushed by dive comps and proper aggression so I think she will be one of those niche picks. If we have come up with any ideas though, you would have to wait to see. ;)

Staying with that same mindset, of changing a more “bland and boring” hero to become more interesting, do you think Reinhardt needs some love? If so, what changes might you make to Reinhardt? Do you secretly wish that Orisa was more of a Reinhardt replacement?

Reinhardt is strange because, I think that unless they drastically change him, he will always be good. He is the only hero in the game that has a walking shield unless you count D.va, but she has a short timer on hers, whereas Reinhardt can hold his up forever as long as it doesn't break. Not only is his shield great, but his ultimate is, in my opinion, the best ult in the game. I like playing Orisa, but I don't know if I wish she was a replacement.

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