The first match of the day saw a clash between two of last season’s top performers; Kongdoo Uncia, and Afreeca Blue. Despite both being knocked out by the eventual league winners in season 1, the two squads took opposite off season approaches to their defeats.
After suffering an 0-4 sweep at the hands of EnvyUs in the finals, Afreeca Blue thought it best to scrap half of their roster, keeping only team captain Adam, and the star DPS duo of Recry and Arhan.
Unlike their opponents, Kongdoo Uncia were unshaken by their 2-3 loss to Envy in the semifinals, being content with the progress they’d made over the season. Due to their close series, Uncia decided only to bring in Butcher, who was a solid tank from their sister lineup.
As a result of their lack of changes, as well as better showings between seasons, Kongdoo were considered the favorites going into the match.
Map 1: Oasis
For the first time since the season started, fans were treated to an opening game on Oasis, . For the city center, both sides went for almost identical 3 tank comps. With shared picks of Roadhog, Soldier 76, D.va, Ana, and Lucio, Kongdoo went for an aggressive Winston, while Afreeca chose a more defensive Reinhardt.
Kongdoo took dominion over the point as soon as it unlocked, and managed to bring it all the way to 63%, defending against Recry’s heroic on Soldier 76. Once in control, the freecs managed to maintain their foothold until 79%, at which point Kongdoo struck back with an assault from above. The point went back and forth over several fights, ultimately leading to a decisive overtime fight, with both teams at 99%. In the end, Kongdoo pulled out an impressive win after a drawn out brawl, thanks to two swiftly charged nano boosts onto Birdring and Panker.
The second round saw nearly mirrored comps once again, in a battle for control of the University. This time around, the two squads agreed on a core of Reinhardt, Genji, Zarya, Lucio, and Ana. The two separated themselves through Kongdoo’s choice to run 3 tanks with Roadhog, compared to Afreeca’s 2-2-2 with Soldier 76.
Afreeca won the first fight this time, and held out until 38%. Kongdoo retaliated with a fully charged and nano boosted Zarya. Just before Kongdoo could achieve parity, Birdring overextended on Genji, costing his team the point at 37%. Following his blunder, Birdring decided to swap to McCree. With their newly picked McCree on flanking duty, Panker’s Reinhardt and DNCE’s Roadhog were able to rout their enemies. The duo continued to dominate for the remainder of the round, leading their team to win the map 2-0.
Map 2: King’s Row
The second map started with Kongdoo defending with a 3 tank lineup of Roadhog, Zarya, Reinhardt, Soldier 76, Mercy, and Ana, against Afreeca’s attacking 2-2-2 of Reinhardt, Zarya, Genji, Soldier 76, Ana, and Lucio.
Thanks to a swiftly charged ult combo from Donghyun’s Zarya, and Arhan’s Genji, Afreeca managed to capture the payload in just over a minute. Seeing that his Mercy wasn’t much help in Kongdoo’s initial defense, Bubbly replaced her with a more standard Lucio. Although their momentum continued to snowball for a short while after their success at point A, Afreeca started to fall apart near the end of King’s Row’s winding alleys. After almost being pushed back to the second checkpoint in under 30 seconds, Birdring and Panker finally managed to slow the bleeding. Following their initial stand, Kongdoo’s veterans continued to deny the enemy’s advances, thanks to impeccable graviton surges from their newly joined Zarya. Even with switches to both Reaper and Pharah from Recry, every one of Afreeca’s ensuing attempts were stomped out by Kongdoo’s coordinated defenses.
Both teams went for nigh-identical comps once again for Kongdoo’s turn to attack, with both running 3 tank foundations of Reinhardt, Zarya, Roadhog, Lucio, and Ana. The difference between the two comps lay in Kongdoo’s choice to run a more unorthodox McCree, versus Afreeca’s safe Soldier 76.
Kongdoo started out slightly slower than Afreeca, but managed to capture point A in a respectable time nonetheless. After 1:30 of posturing, Kongdoo broke through the standstill thanks to a flanking massacre from Birdring’s McCree. Birdring continued to terrorize Afreeca from the high ground, as the cart pushed forwards, drawing the entire team’s attention away from their looming defeat. With his teammate drawing most of the enemy’s fire, Butcherr had no trouble using his nano boosted Zarya to lead Kongdoo to a decisive 2-0 lead.
Map 3: Volskaya Industries
Blue decided to switch things up on Volskaya, by defending with an oddball team of D.va, Reinhardt, Soldier 76, Sombra, Lucio, and Ana, against Kongdoo’s more traditional 3 tank comp of Roadhog, Reinhardt, D.va, McCree, Lucio, and Ana.
After struggling to break through their opponents’ defenses, Kongdoo found a team fight victory in the last possible seconds, thanks to the threat imposed by Birdring’s nano boosted high noon. Following the last minute siege, Afreeca swapped Sombra for Soldier 76, while Uncia traded Roadhog and McCree for a Soldier of their own, as well as Tracer. Using their new composition, Birdring and his team instantaneously steamrolled point B,with 3 minutes on the clock.
It seemed that Afreeca’s swift defeat had left them with a longing for the solo queue special, which they faithfully recreated by attacking with Winston, Reinhardt, Widowmaker, Genji, Lucio, and Ana. Kongdoo, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with a similar medley of heroes, and chose to defend with a more normal comp of Roadhog, Reinhardt, D.va, Soldier 76, Lucio, and Ana.
Not wanting to be outdone, Afreeca wasted no time in taking the first point. After arriving on the point only ten seconds into the match, Adam’s Reinhardt took down four opponents, making for an easy capture on point A. Following the capture, Afreeca swapped their all-in comp for a more standard one, by trading Winston and Widowmaker for McCree and Genji. On the other side, Kongdoo decided that they’d like a Winston of their own, and brought him in to replace D.va. Afreeca’s shift immediately proved effective, as Recry’s McCree earned four quick kills and 2/3 of the control meter, before eventually being repelled. Rallied by their prior success, Afreeca took the last third of the point right after, with more than double their opponents’ time in the bank.
Both teams continued to experiment with the new meta game in the first round of time bank. Kongdoo mounted their offensive with an aggressive 2-2-2 of Winston, D.va, Widowmaker, Genji, Lucio, and Ana. On the defending side, Afreeca continued their experiments, this time running a 2-2-2 of Reinhardt, D.va, Soldier 76, Torbjorn, Lucio, and Ana.
The assault started with little success from Kongdoo, but a quick swap from Genji to Soldier seemed to do the trick. Thanks to key picks from both DNCE’s Widowmaker, and Birdring’s Soldier 76, Kongdoo managed to take A with 1:40 left on the clock. With their Widowmaker swapped for Tracer, Kongdoo set their sights on the second point. Despite their best efforts, nothing all that productive came out of the remaining time.
For the final push on Volskaya, Afreeca chose to return to a fairly normal team of Reinhardt, D.va, McCree, Genji, Ana, and Lucio. In similar fashion, Kongdoo went for a typical 3 tank team of Reinhardt, D.va, Roadhog, Genji, Ana, and Lucio.
After struggling at the hands of Butcherr’s D.va, and Birdring’s Genji for most of their assault on point A, Afreeca finally managed to grind their way to a capture. With only 1:31 remaining in their bank, Afreeca managed to funnel all six of their ultimates into a miraculous point B capture. Thanks to their last minute heroics, Afreeca narrowly avoided a clean sweep, putting themselves on the board at 1-2 in the series.
Map 4: Watchpoint: Gibraltar
Kongdoo chose Watchpoint Gibraltar as the fourth map, hoping to prevent a reverse sweep. For the first attack, Kongdoo aimed to escort the payload with Winston, Roadhog, Reinhardt, Genji, Ana and Lucio, versus Afreeca’s defending 2-2-2 of Soldier 76, Genji, Reinhardt, Zarya, Roadhog, Lucio, and Ana.
The round started with a tremendous return to form from Uncia, as they pushed the cart halfway to the second checkpoint before being repelled. The crusade continued as Kongdoo respawned, and kept the payload rolling until it was within sight of the destination. Although Afreeca managed to push their aggressors off temporarily at the choke point, it was at the cost of all six of their ultimates. This waste of cooldowns was immediately punished by Birdring and Butcherr, who had respawned as Zarya and Soldier, rather than Winston and Genji. By combining their two new picks’ ultimates with a nano boost, Kongdoo took an easy full push, with 3:33 left on the clock.
Now faced with a nigh-impossible goal,Afreeca started their attacking round with another 2-2-2 comp, this time running Reinhardt, D.va, Soldier 76, Hanzo, Lucio, and Ana. On defense, Kongdoo went for another 3 tank lineup of Reinhardt, Roadhog, D.va, Soldier, Lucio, and Ana.
Afreeca started off with an unhindered escort to the first checkpoint, off the back of several excellent picks from Recry’s newest unorthodox DPS pick. Seeing the havoc Recry’s Hanzo was causing, DNCE left his roadhog behind, in order to counter the sniper with Winston. With their counter working as intended, Uncia finally managed to find a momentary pause, just short of the second checkpoint. Seeing that he’d been countered, Recry traded his Hanzo for a more standard McCree. With their newly picked DPS joining the fray, Afreeca wasted no time in pushing the last few meters to the second checkpoint. With 3:40 to go, Kongdoo swapped Roadhog for Zarya, and managed to push Afreeca off the cart. Although they almost won fights on several occasions, Afreeca were sloppy with their ultimate usage, leading to a failed final push, and a 3-1 series victory for Kongdoo Uncia.
Oasis: Kongdoo Uncia wins 2-0
King’s Row: Kongdoo Uncia wins 2-1
Volskaya Industries: Afreeca Freecs Blue wins 4-3 in time bank
Watchpoint: Gibraltar: Kongdoo Uncia wins 3-1