At long last, OGN APEX Season 4 has reached the last mile of the season. The four teams that have endured through the round robin and the quarterfinal stages are now ready to grab their team’s banners and carry them to the ever coveted trophy.
The final week of the quarterfinal stage saw the last two teams qualify for the semifinals. NC Foxes defeated LuxuryWatch Red once again, while GC Busan did the same to Lunatic-Hai. With the APEX Season 2 & 3 champions no longer the kings of Korea, the end of next week will have a new team bear the crown and wave their banner high across the world.
For the viewers and analysts alike, the storylines couldn’t be better. RunAway and Cloud9 Kongdoo, two teams that came incredibly close to grasping their hands onto the trophy in APEX Season 2 & 3 respectively, have a shot at claiming one for their own. On the other side, NC Foxes and GC Busan climbed all the way from Challengers to the top four of APEX in their very first seasons. After seeing what GC Busan can do to top tier teams, no one plans to let their guard down in the final leg.
The rest of the matches in APEX are now best-of-sevens instead of best-of-fives, which not only tests a team’s skill and strategy, but their mental fortitude throughout a potential two hour long match.
CommanderX, TISrobin311, and myself, Snivy, are back for this week’s semifinal predictions. Also joining us this week is Overwatch writer Elbion, who is recognizable for his work on Dot Esports.
Tuesday 10th October, 6:00 EDT / 12:00 CEST / 19:00 KST
The Kongdoo squad sliced through their quarterfinal group, defeating down CONBOX and NC Foxes in the process. Their hurdle before they can reach the finals is GC Busan, the squad that dethroned Lunatic-Hai twice in their group.
Cloud9 Kongdoo got through their previous competition with ease, and with Lunatic-Hai out, they’re now the top favorites to win the whole season. This time I won’t underestimate GC Busan, as we saw them beat Lunatic-Hai twice and take RunAway to their limits, making them a serious threat to deal with.
Their rosters all around are versatile and don’t have any major weak points, but Kongdoo does have an edge with their skill and expertise, especially with birdring and Rascal. With all that said, I don’t see Kongdoo stopping their momentum anytime soon, but GC Busan will make them work for it.
GC Busan knocked out Lunatic-Hai last week in emphatic style, beating them 3-0 for the second time in less than a month. The whole of GC Busan did an excellent job of neutralising the Lunatic-Hai DPS, then overpowering what was left. It was the kind of performance you don’t expect anyone to be able to achieve against a side of Lunatic-Hai’s quality, but they certainly did it.
The difference in their semifinal match is that Cloud9 Kongdoo have much more accomplished DPS players. I cannot see Rascal and birdring making the same mistakes as WhoRU and Gido, and this should allow C9 Kongdoo to overpower GC Busan. It will be the toughest game yet for C9 Kongdoo, but I still fully expect them to walk away with the title, especially now Lunatic-Hai are out of the picture.
People may doubt my prediction, but I’m a person who believes in the Royal Roader that Meta Athena couldn’t complete in Season 2. GC Busan has showed an unbelievable performance by taking down the reigning champions twice without losing a single map, and they have also improved on their weaknesses after losing in a close series against Runaway.
Meanwhile, C9 Kongdoo are also comprised of seasoned players, but Bdosin’s positioning sometimes shows a shaky form in some teamfights. GC Busan has what it takes to take down C9 Kongdoo, and of course, it won’t be easy. The match will be extremely close, but I’m hopeful for the underdogs to reach success. APEX Season 4 Finals will be a match of Amateur team vs Challengers Royal Roader.
Out of the two semifinal matches, this one is the most cut-and-dry. GC Busan have been looking strong, but they only preyed on a floundering Lunatic-Hai and the weaknesses they exploited are not present on Cloud9 Kongdoo. Kongdoo’s DPS are the strongest in the tournament, their versatility is not in question, and Fissure is not as over-aggressive as Miro. If GC Busan is to take any map it would be control, the mode where Kongdoo has lost twice, but realistically there is no chance of an upset here.
Friday 13th October, 6:00 EDT / 12:00 CEST / 19:00 KST
RunAway's turnaround from last season has netted them a spot in the semifinals. Mirroring the other semifinal match, NC Foxes climbed their way from the foxhole to the top of APEX, and they and their opponents stand in each other's way to the finals.
RunAway are back in their top form, with Stitch and Haksal in contention for the second best DPS duo in the tournament, along with superb support from the rest of the crew. While we won’t get to see Lunatic-Hai rematch against either of the previous APEX runner-ups, we could possibly see the two-runner ups going against each other in the finals. NC Foxes meanwhile took advantage of LW Red’s tires deflating, and now stand at the helm against the pink sweaters. If the Foxes want to get leverage in the series, E1kiNo and SASIN need to go ham, and have the rest of their team back them up. As long as RunAway keeps their heads straight (and not bump into each other), they can make it to the finals.
RunAway’s return to form has been one of the most delightful storylines in APEX this season. They now find themselves with what should be a relatively straightforward semifinal against an NC Foxes side that only just beat an out of form LW Red. I fully expect RunAway to make it hard for themselves, as they always do, dropping a couple of maps in the process but they should still come out on top here.
RunAway have proven themselves that they have the best DPS duo in terms of Genji and Tracer. Haksal and Stitch’s teamwork in focusing on healers, along with KoX’s support, render the opposition’s strategy useless, and this is what makes Runaway unique. NC Foxes may have made it to the semifinals, but RunAway has the better experience and better teamwork. They may even have a bigger desire since they once lost the trophy right in front of their eyes. RunAway will prove themselves to be one of the best teams in the world by once more going to the finals.
This series will be much closer. While I anticipate it to go the way of RunAway, I wouldn’t be surprised if the NC Foxes upset RunAway here. I think the most interesting maps will be the two assault maps, where both rosters have been fairly strong. I think RunAway’s versatility is going to be king here as their role swaps make them a nightmare to prepare against. If the series does go to a full seven games, I’d guess the Foxes would take it as they’ve looked very strong on hybrid maps.