Eight teams, three months of play and 112 matches have all boiled down to this: playoffs time! Three of APAC's finest rosters have their eyes on the grand prize of the Overwatch Pacific Championship, a smooth $100,000. This bounty is matched only by the $100,000 Misfits claimed for their victory at the Overwatch Open last year. The tournament's lengthy regular season saw teams from Taiwan, Australia, Thailand and Japan compete in four round robins, housed in Blizzard's new eStadium in Taipei, Taiwan. The top three teams at the end of the regular season secured a place in the playoffs.
The playoff teams are listed below in order of seeding, accompanied by a recap of their regular season performance.
Flash Wolves 25W-3L
- Lu "Zonda" Zhongda(DPS)
- Luo "Baconjack" Zihuan (DPS)
- JI "Jongie" Zicheng (Flex)
- Syu "KMoMo" Maojyun (Tank)
- Huang "Realment" Huang (Support)
- Li "S1nkler" Jiahao (Support)
Flash Wolves finished the regular season on a nineteen game win-streak. Incredibly, the Wolves' opposition have not claimed a single map against the team during this ongoing streak. A small stumble against AHQ and Machi Esports in week 4 is but a distant memory for the Wolves, who secured a spot in the grand final as a result of their first place finish.
The team's play is characterized by its strong 2/2/2 line-up, relying heavily on the meta heroes Winston, D.Va, Soldier 76 and Tracer. Baconjack was the clear MVP for Flash Wolves all season long, his Tracer play befitting greatly from the team's solid support and tank players. Fellow DPS player Zonda also starred for the team on Soldier 76 and Pharah, despite occasional struggles.
Heavy reliance on Baconjack and Zonda's preferred heroes developed over the course of the regular season due to the lack of a confident Genji player on the team, preventing the Wolves from running triple DPS dive effectively. Zonda has found success on the hero on occasion but often finds himself waiting in the re-spawn queue early in team fights when trying his hand at the cyborg ninja. Nevertheless, Flash Wolves are the clear favorites going into the playoffs off the back of their assertive regular season.
Blank Esports 22W-6L
- Jason "ieatuup" Ho (DPS)
- Ajay "Aetar" Umasankar (DPS)
- Marcus "Kiki" Jacob (Flex)
- Ashley "Trill" Powell (Tank)
- Jordan "Gnb" Graham (Support)
- Andrew "Rqt" Haws (Support)
The Pacific Championship has been a tournament of ups and downs for Blank Esports. The Aussies were widely considered the favorites at the commencement of the event, riding high on a 59 game win-streak. Blank didn't disappoint in the opening stages, setting the pace with nine straight wins off the bat.
Blank's performance petered off after their hot start as the team struggled with hero-pool issues. Main-tank Trill was increasingly relied upon for DPS duties, moving flex player Kiki over to Reinhardt and Winston. Flash Wolves and AHQ were scouting Blank's play during these struggles, better adapting to their back-line being dived. 3-0 losses began to pile up for Blank when facing the top Taiwanese teams, as the Australians constantly experimented with line-ups.
The team experienced something of a revival at the end of the season, taking down AHQ 3-0. At their best, Blank Esports are a dynamic team, harnessing ieatuup's star tracer play to rock their opposition. However, poor performance on Assault maps in combination with hero-pool issues leads to the team being noticeably vulnerable at times. A home-team advantage in games one and three of the semifinal will give Blank a significant advantage over AHQ.
AHQ eSports Club 21W-7L
- Fang "c0wman" Te-Ming (DPS)
- Lin "DizZy" Ruo-Hao (DPS)
- Wan " LazyTitan" Wei-Kai (Flex)
- Tsai "EricEn" En-Wei (Tank)
- Liao "Krapy" Hsien-Ting (Support)
- Yang "Keres" Jun-Yi (Support)
AHQ have consistently been second best to rival Taiwanese team Flash Wolves since week 4. C0wman and DizZy make up one of the tournament's most flexible DPS duos but sometimes lack the punch needed to compete with the rival duos of Flash Wolves and Blank.
AHQ did show vast improvement over the course of the season and will hope to continue to adapt in the playoffs. Flex player LazyTitan formed great synergy with EricEn when the pair were running D.Va and Winston. This synergy was key in repelling Blank's dives in AHQ's two victories over the Australians, punishing players for overextending whilst providing maximum protection for Krapy, Keres and DizZy in the back-line.
AHQ's inconsistencies cost them the second seed, falling to Hong Kong Attitude late in the regular season when a win would have likely secured them the superior home-team advantage in the semifinal. Whilst by no means out of the fight, AHQ will have to battle to overcome their disadvantaged position as the last team to qualify for playoffs.
Schedule and Format
Playoffs span two weeks, the semifinal taking place in the first week and the grand final in the second. Each series will have a possible three best-of-seven matches played, with a team requiring two match victories to advance. Flash Wolves first place finish in the regular season has secured them a spot grand final automatically, as per the bubble race format. Blank Esports hold the home-team advantage for matches one and three against fellow semifinalists AHQ eSports Club, due to Blank's second place finish in the regular season. A home-team advantage grants a team the right to pick the first, third, fifth and seventh maps of a match.
A fixture for the matches can be found below:
- June 23, 19:00-23:00 GMT+8 - Semifinal Match One - Blank Esports vs. AHQ eSports Club
- June 24, 19:00-23:00 GMT+8 - Semifinal Match Two - Blank Esports vs. AHQ eSports Club
- June 25, 19:00-23:00 GMT+8 - Semifinal Match Three (If needed) - Blank Esports vs. AHQ eSports Club
- June 30, 19:00-23:00 GMT+8 - Grand Final Match One - Flash Wolves vs. TBD
- July 01, 19:00-23:00 GMT+8 - Grand Final Match Two - Flash Wolves vs. TBD
- July 02, 19:00-23:00 GMT+8 - Grand Final Match Three (If needed) - Flash Wolves vs. TBD