Sinisa Bucan, March 3, 2017

Overwatch APEX Season 2 Group Stage 2 – Everything You Need to Know

After a very eventful Group Stage 1, it’s time for the continuation of the Overwatch APEX Season 2 tournament. There has been no shortage of upsets and surprises thus far. Misfits, Cloud9, and Fnatic were on the shortlist of favorites to win the whole thing, but they’re out of the tournament. Team EnVyUs is the only Western team that has qualified for Group Stage 2.

Before we get into specifics about the remaining teams, let’s take a look at the format of this stage of the tournament. Overwatch APEX Season 2 Group Stage 2 will feature a double elimination format with 8 teams trying to make it to the playoffs. Winners will be determined in best-of-5 matches. Only 4 teams will make it to the single elimination playoffs, which will once again be determined in best-of-5 matches. Only the grand finals will be determined through best-of-7 matches.

It’s worth noting that the overall prize pool amounts to approximately $180,000, with the winning team of the tournament taking home almost $90,000.

State of the Meta

It would seem that the three-tank meta is finally over. The pro scene now mostly revolves around 2/2/2 team compositions, with teams like Cloud9 taking it a step further and sometimes going with a triple DPS team composition, as we've seen during the first stage of the Overwatch APEX tournament. Reinhardt, Lucio, and Ana are essential picks, as always. Soldier: 76 is still a popular pick, but Tracer and Genji are well-represented, too. And that’s precisely why McCree is a key pick in a lot of situations. Considering that the meta has been so much faster lately, Winston has also become a lot more useful. His ability to dive in and cause chaos by breaking up the enemy team’s formation is sometimes invaluable.

Group A

The match between Lunatic Hai and EnVyUs is probably the most exciting match-up in this stage of the tournament. Team EnVyUs did fairly well in Group Stage 1 by beating MVP Infinity (3-2) and BK Stars (3-1). However, these weren’t exactly convincing wins and they lost the final match against Meta Athena 3-0. They finished in second place with 9 points.

On the other hand, Lunatic Hai rolled through Group B (which we labeled the group of death) with relative ease. They beat Afreeca Freecs Red 3-0 and Luxury Watch Blue 3-1. Not even Misfits caused them much problems as they took them out 3-0. Not only did Lunatic Hai finish first with a convincing 17 points, but they also took Misfits out of the tournament. Based on both teams’ performance during Group Stage 1, we have to give LunaticHai the slight edge here.

Team EnVyUs
Team EnVyUs

The second match in this group is between KongDoo Uncia and RunAway. This is a very interesting match-up because you could say that both teams were responsible for major upsets in their respective groups. Not a lot of people would have predicted that KongDoo Uncia would take Cloud9 out of the tournament, but that’s exactly what happened in the final match of Group C. Uncia finished Group Stage 1 as the clear winner of its group with 15 points.

Things started off well for RunAway in Group D when they managed to beat Flash Lux 3-0. However, they lost the next match to KongDoo Panthera with the same result. It all came down to the final match. Fnatic weren’t exactly setting the world on fire with their performance at this tournament, but they were still the favorites. That didn’t exactly help them much as RunAway ran away with a 3-0 win. This is going to be close, but we have to give KongDoo Uncia the advantage.

Group B

We have to admit that Group B is looking less exciting. Meta Athena looks to be the clear favorite against Afreeca Freecs Blue. Meta Athena swept through Group A in Stage 1 by beating BK Stars 3-0 and MVP Infinity 3-2. They even pummeled Team EnVyUs 3-0 and finished at the top of the group with 16 points.

On the flipside, Afreeca Freecs Blue barely made it out of Group C. They lost to both KongDoo Uncia (3-0) and CONBOX Spirit (3-2). They finished with 5 points, just like Cloud9, but their win against the Americans (3-1) meant that they were the ones going through to the next stage of the tournament.

KongDoo Panthera
KongDoo Panthera

The match between KongDoo Panthera and Luxury Watch Blue is going to be fairly close as both teams demonstrated good form in Group Stage 1. There’s no doubt that KongDoo Panthera was more convincing, though. They beat everyone in Group D (RunAway, Fnatic, and Flash Lux) with the same score (3-0) and finished with the most points out of any team in the tournament (18).

But Luxury Watch Blue did have a tougher group. Even though they lost to Lunatic Hai 3-1, they played very well, which payed off against Misfits and Afreeca Freecs Red. Luxury Watch Blue finished second in Group B with 11 points. KongDoo Panthera may be the slight favorite here, but it won’t be a huge surprise if Luxury Watch Blue wins it after all.

Overwatch APEX Season 2 Group Stage 2 kicks off tomorrow, March 3, so get your bets in as soon as possible.

Sinisa Bucan

Siniša is a writer and translator from Croatia, a small European country on the Adriatic coast. Apart from being a passionate Hearthstone player, he enjoys all kinds of video games, including strategy, role-playing, adventure, and action. Other interests include listening to indie rock and travelling. You can follow him @SinisaBucan.