Rogue’s Overwatch has been on fire ever since emerging victorious at the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown, the biggest tournament at the time that ends with a LAN finals. Their next streak in a huge tournament was the $300,000 Overwatch Open, where Rogue succumbed to a hard-fought defeat in an excellent and nail-biting best of five against eventual champion Misfits in the EU Finals. That loss has not stopped them from establishing themselves as one of the teams to watch in Overwatch, as they are invited to China’s APAC Premier, along with NRG eSports and several established teams from Korea and Japan to compete with the best teams China has to offer.
Suffice to say, Rogue’s first match against an Eastern team did not go well. Lunatic Hai bested them to finish 2-1 in the group stage, which used a double elimination bracket. Rogue fought through the lower brackets only to beaten again by Lunatic Hai at the group finals 2-0. The other Western team in the tournament, NRG, managed to have better luck and emerged the group winners.
The quarter finals see six of the best two teams of the three groups, along with the two best 3rd-placing teams. Rogue had to face another Korean team, Afreeca Freecs Blue, which they eventually defeated. Rogue then defeated NGA Club, the best placing Chinese team in APAC Premier to reach the finals.
On the other side of the brackets, NRG seems to be doing fine until they faced Lunatic Hai. Lunatic Hai managed to get the win, which leads to the best of 7 Grand Finals match to be the third game of Rogue versus Lunatic Hai.
The first map at Numbani did not go well for Rogue, as Lunatic Hai managed grasped a better defence against them, stopping the game to a draw, which according to the tournament rules, forced them to replay the set again. Lunatic Hai managed to best them here.
But Rogue had a few tricks up their sleeves, which caught the Korean side off-guard. On the second map of King’s Row, Rouge’s TVIQ pulled out a Mercy-less Pharah. Pun entirely intended, as even without playing the Pharmercy combo, TVIQ managed to do a lot of work getting team wipes on both the offence and defence, netting them the win here.
Nepal was a closer call. Rogue pulled out the “El Presidente” trick, which just means “keep the President (Bastion) alive” on Village, but Lunatic Hai made some moves with their plays from Tracer and Roadhog keeping the Europeans at bay. It had to go all 5 maps before Rogue managed to get the best of them and thus the win.
The next map to play was Temple Of Anubis. While Lunatic Hai managed to secure first point swiftly on the first push, Rogue stabilized with a proper defence, with some Mei walls being used to good measure. on Rogue’s turn to attack, it was a hard-fought battle before they can secure both points and take the win.
And the steamroll keeps on going to the last map at Hollywood. (Not the Halloween-themed one featured in the new update, which is possibly disabled for tournament reasons) Rogue again was on the defence first and managed to stop the payload from reaching the second point. This positions Rogue in a good way to take the series here and there and they delivered, ending the match 4 to 1.
Rogue will be happy to finally get the better of Lunatic Hai, but the Korean lads are no joke for sure. The intense support plays by Tobi’s Lucio and Ryujehong’s Ana, dean the main tank, Miro the playmaking flex alongside Esca and Leetaejun are not to be messed with. But it seems Rouge’s ability to adapt and change strategies overtime are the ones that ensure the European powerhouse to clinch the trophy here.
But this is not the last time we see the two sides with the potential of another rematch. Rogue, Lunatic Hai as well as Afreeca Freecs Blue and NRG are in the OGN Ovewatch APEX Season 1 league in Korea. So expect to see some more Asian teams establishing themselves a name in the global audience by taking down the Western teams that are in play there.
As for Rogue, the squad of Reinforce, TVIQ, AKM, Winz, Unkoe and Knoxxx will be happy with this result after missing the win in the Overwatch Open.
Standings for the APAC Premier are as follows:
2nd: Lunatic Hai
3rd-4th: NRG eSports, NGA Club
5-8th: Snake eSports, Vici Gaming, Afreeca Freecs Blue, All Strike Gaming
9-12th: iG.Fire, DeToNator, Unsold Stuff Gaming, SKG