The APAC Premier produced the East vs West final that has been anticipated since Overwatch’s release. Rogue and Lunatic-Hai stepped forward as the teams to represent their regions.
The 1st place prize of $75,000 was the second largest to date. But more importantly, the APAC Premier provided the first opportunity a team could be crowned as the champion of the East and the West.
The APAC Premier is one of the first Asian tournaments to extend invitations to European and American teams. As a result, we now have a sense of how the prevalent regions – Korea, China, Japan, North America and Europe – square up each other.
One European, one North American, two South Korean and two Japanese teams were invited. Meanwhile, Chinese teams competed for the six remaining slots. Overall, the Asian regions had more participating teams than the West. This tournament serves as a reference point for international strengths, but a tournament with more relevant Western teams would provide a better representation.
Rogue boasts the most significant LAN titles out of any team in the world. They won the first post-release offline tournament at TaKeOver to claim their seat as one of the strongest teams in the game. They continued demonstrating top form throughout the Atlantic Showdown by winning the entire event. Rogue didn’t win ELEAGUE, but their performance at all of these LANs showed that they have the ability to win any competition.
In terms of playstyle they’re known for consistency, adaptability and willingness to try quirky strats in tight situations.
Lunatic-Hai’s players are known for having impressive mechanical skills and high competitive ranks. In combination with the Korean tendency to focus on team cohesion and ultimate management, Lunatic-Hai bring a potent lineup to the table.
The team displayed a relentless style as they steamrolled their path up the bracket. They’re yet to claim a major title, but their performance at the Apac Premier was an impressive introduction to the international scene.
Expectations for the Series
Lunatic-Hai beat Rogue twice during the group stage. Once in the Group B semi-finals 2-1 and later in the Grand Final of the groups 2-0. Considering past results, it would’ve been reasonable to predict the Koreans to win.
These results gave Lunatic-Hai so much confidence to the point where they claimed that they would win the Final 4-0.
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Initially, both teams looked to repeat their prior encounters in the tournament. But the tides shifted to form a different outcome.
The first game on Numbani was super close. Rogue started promisingly, but Lunatic-Hai snatched the win in the last seconds of the game. Rogue rolled over the three following maps (King’s Row, Nepal and Temple of Anubis). The final game on Hollywood seemed close, but Rogue ultimately dominated the map from the beginning by approaching the match-up with goal-based compositions.
As Kaplan said on the desk: “I could’ve asked for a better series.” Everyone can agree that the match was one-sided, yet the compositions used by Rogue produced a sense of novelty.
TviQ claimed the limelight for Rogue from beginning to end. He had a fantastic performance throughout the series to the point where they ran strategies around him such as when they ran Bastion on Nepal.
We’ve finally been given a taste of how these regions fare against each other and for now, it looks like the West takes the Crown.