OGN Overwatch APEX reemerged with a bang in Seoul, South Korea Friday, and it looks slightly different -- without any foreign teams invited to compete, APEX has become a purely South Korean tournament. Kongdoo Panthera pummeled Kongdoo Uncia into the ground, and newcomers LW Red and GC Busan faced off, with the winners painting the stage bright 'Red' before the night was over. Last but not least, the new hero Doomfist affirmed his place in the meta; he was played in every single map. Whether or not this trend continues depends on how the next few weeks play out.
Kongdoo Panthera vs. Kongdoo Uncia
Map 1: Nepal (Control)
Map 2: Hollywood (Assault/Escort)
Map 3: Horizon Lunar Colony (Assault)
Map 4: Dorado (Escort)
The first day of APEX would be a Kongdoo mash up, and both teams brought a unique experience to the stage. Both Kongdoos went through roster changes, so their identities would be shown in a different color palette than previous seasons.
Nepal was extremely close between both Uncia and Panthera as they wrestled the point back and forth. Uncia took the map 2-1 by the skin of its teeth, but also through the uncoordinated synergy that newcomer Moon "Daily" Seon-ho had with the rest of Panthera. After losing Nepal, Panthera made the decision to swap him out for Kang "Void" Jun-woo. With some more familiarity to KDP's lineup, the rest of the series shifted back to the finalist of last season's side.
With a more stable tankline, KDP reared the sharpness of its offense. Or rather, the force behind its mighty Doomfist. Kim "Rascal" Dong-jun played the new hero with varying amounts of success during the set. While not particularly game-changing on Nepal or Hollywood, he illuminated excellence on the new map, Horizon Lunar Colony and finished the set with consecutive win on Dorado. With a 3-1 victory, KD Panthera take a step forward while Uncia still look strong for future matches in the group stage.
LW Red and GC Busan
Map 1: Ilios (Control)
Map 2: King's Row (Assault/Escort)
Map 3: Volskaya Industries (Assault)
Map 4: Dorado (Escort)
While both teams are new in APEX, they have a storied history amongst each other from their time in APEX Challengers. They met twice and have won one match each, so there's no setting more perfect for a third match than the premier day of APEX. LW Red took the lead in the series by winning Ilios 2-1, but GC Busan refused to go quietly by taking King's Row by full defensive hold. Both teams would also be utilizing Doomfist to varying success, but his constant presence was duly noted.
It would be apt to say that LW Red came out on top for Choi "Wekeed" Seok-woo's Doomfist was superior to GC Busan's showing, but both teams have a lot of polishing to do if either one expects to make it far in APEX. Even so, LW Red's performance on Volskaya Industries was nothing short of dominating with a massive timelead, and a similarly definitive victory on Dorado by holding GC Busan off the third point, and then moving its own payload to the finish line. LW Red's 3-1 victory puts them ahead of their challenger rival, and in a decent spot in qualifying out of the group stage.