Titanic clash as NRG and Lunatic-Hai compete for a spot in the APAC finals in Shanghai

The semi finals for the APAC Premier in Shanghai had fans on their toes as giants clashed for a place in the finals.

The first match saw two favourites to win clashing head to head, with NRG from the United States facing off against Lunatic-Hai from South Korea, starting on Numbani, then moving to Nepal, Lijiang Tower and finally Ilios, ending with a victory for Lunatic-Hai three maps to one.

However, the final score didn’t accurately show how close the matches were, with NRG putting up an excellent performance against the Korean squad.

Seagull had some exceptionally strong Mei plays on Numbani, putting up ice walls to isolate fights and save one of his team mates from being dragged in by a Roadhog hook.

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NRG Gods put on a very good show as Roadhog

On the king of the hill maps, we saw Gods pull some very strong Roadhog gameplay.

It wasn’t enough. NRG managed to take back Lijiang Tower and then force Ilios into the fifth stage, but couldn’t keep Lunatic-Hai out, losing a crucial engagement where graviton surges and pulse bombs were exchanged, but NRG didn’t have a sound barrier ready to defend whereas Lunatic-Hai did, costing them the map and the series.

The second match featured Rogue from Europe against NGA Club from China.

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Rogue and NGA faced off for the opportunity to face Lunatic-Hai in the finals

Rogue put on a very strong performance, the matches appearing very one sided as the European squad almost completely shut NGA out on every map, with NGA only capturing a single point on Hollywood across all three maps.

Now all eyes are on the finals tomorrow: a rematch between Lunatic-Hai from South Korea and Rogue from Europe. Can Rogue make something happen in this third match up between the two teams?

– Lexi Taylor

APAC Premier Overwatch quarter finals conclude with a bang

The second set of quarter finals at the APAC Premier in Shanghai got off to another explosive start with one of the most anticipated matches.

The first match saw South Korea’s AF Blue up against Rogue from Europe. The first map was Watchpoint Gibraltar, with Rogue getting off to a sluggish start. AF Blue managed to roll over Rogue, claiming the first two points with relative ease, though they finally ground to a halt on the final point. Rogue found themselves struggling when they switched to attack, getting held at the first point for a long time, though they eventually managed to push through, cleaning up the second point in no time. Rogue kept up the momentum and managed to push through, finishing the map and claiming victory.

The second map was Hollywood, a good map for Rogue. They started with a solid defense, keeping AF Blue held up at the second point and forcing them into overtime. AF Blue managed to push through to the second point and then the third in overtime, but it wasn’t enough as Rogue pushed hard on attack, with Tviq taking apart AF Blue’s defense as Hanzo on the first point. Rogue managed to finish the map with four minutes left on the clock, leaving them four minutes to re-take the first point which they did handily to win the second map.

Lijiang Tower was the next map to come up, picked by AF Blue to play to their strengths. A bit of a back and forward was shown on this map, with both teams trading maps, trading points, however Rogue were unable to counter AF Blue and ended up losing the map, although the match was a fairly close one.

We then saw these two teams clash on Dorado, a fairly obvious pick from Rogue after losing Lijiang Tower. They started strong, pushing past the first point in a respectable time. AF Blue mounted a strong defense on the second and third points, however Rogue managed to push through, capturing the third point in overtime. AF Blue, on the other hand, found it difficult to push Rogue off the first point, pushing the cart within two metres of the first checkpoint, but were delayed and eventually shut down, unable to clear it and giving the map, and the series, to Rogue three maps to one.

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The play that won the match. Nano-boosted Tviq tears through AF Blue’s defence on Dorado.

The last quarter final match up was between two Chinese teams, All Strike Gaming and NGA. However,

Numbani was chosen as the second map between these two teams, but it started with a very dominant performance by NGA. All Strike’s composition was questionable, with Samsara on Genji instead of Reaper, and ended up getting walked over by NGA’s defense, not even capturing the second checkpoint. NGA’s attack was far cleaner, taking the first point in the first push and pushing through with no trouble.

Nepal was chosen as the third map, All Strike’s last chance to stay alive. The first push saw NGA continuing their dominant performance over All Strike, taking the first point quickly and keeping All Strike out with an aggressive defence. Going into the second map, All Strike’s Rain had some technical issues and disconnected from the game. In the end, the tournament organisers said that the results stood, letting NGA take the final map and winning the series three to zero.

Now we know the matches for the semi finals tomorrow at 11:00 BST. First, we will have two of the favourites clashing with NRG vs Lunatic-Hai followed by our winners from today, Rogue and NGA, facing off afterwards.

– Lexi Taylor

APAC Premier Overwatch quarter finals kick off in Shanghai

The quarter final stage of the APAC Premier in Shanghai kicked off this evening to an explosive start.

uber-and-kaplan-casting

Left to right: Mitch “@UberShouts” Leslie and Jason “@JKaplan” Kaplan have been casting this tournament for English language viewers.

The first match saw NRG from the United States against Snake e-sports from China. NRG, the favourites going into the match, dominated Snake during the first two maps, completely shutting them out of the first point on Hollywood before taking it in a long first push.

However on Watchpoint Gibraltar, the third map to be played, Snake appeared to have learned, almost pushing the cart the whole way and stalling NRG at the 2nd point. It was a decisive team wipe that gave NRG the advantage through a nano-boosted, Seagull popping dragonblade as Genji. The rest of the map proved no issue for NRG, pushing the payload all the way through to completion.

This sealed the first quarter final match up as a victory for the North American squad, NRG yet to drop a map, defeating Snake 3 – 0. The mvp for the match was NRG’s Seagull.

The second match of the quarter finals put Lunatic-Hai from South Korea against Vici Gaming from China. A very difficult match up for Vici Gaming, with Lunatic-Hai being one of the favourites to win the tournament, they definitely came out swinging. They pushed Lunatic-Hai all the way up to the third point but not quite managing to finish the map, however Lunatic-Hai pushed back just as hard, pushing through to the final point and completing the map. This performance was mirrored on the second map, Dorado.

The third map choice was Temple of Anubis, a risky map pick as one of the least played maps of the tournament. Vici Gaming were held up at the first point, trying to switch up their hero choices to no avail. They eventually took the first point, pushing to the second point and managing to capture it in overtime. However it wasn’t enough, with Lunatic-Hai pushing them back and taking the map far quicker, then taking the first point again with the time they had left at the end.

This sealed the victory for Lunatic-Hai with a score of 3 – 0. The mvp for the match was Lunatic-Hai’s Ryu Jae Hong with his incredible Ana play.

This puts both NRG and Lunatic-Hai into the semi finals. The two teams will clash on Saturday and will surely be a match to watch as both teams have put on such strong performances up until this point. The match will be at 18:00 CST (10:00 BST) and will be streamed live on Twitch.tv.

Tomorrow we will see the other two quarter finals games starting at 18:00 CST (10:00 BST) on Friday. The one to watch will be AF Blue from South Korea against Rogue from Europe, as they are the other two stronger teams remaining; Rogue is a strong team, but were cocky against Lunatic-Hai in the group phase and paid for it. However All Strike Gaming against NGA, both from China, will also be one to watch, with All Strike Gaming being the only team left that went all the way through all of the qualifying rounds.

– Lexi Taylor