After both suffering losses in their debut games, Misfits and Afreeca Red both came in to this match up hungry for a win. Considering the immense level of skill on display from both Lunatic Hai and LuxuryWatch Blue, a win here was vital for both sides. For the victor, a difficult final match would likely mean the difference between advancing to the next stage, or finishing third. On the other hand, a loss would virtually guarantee a failure to advance, and would likely spell relegation from the league.

Misfits started out shaky in game 1 on Nepal, but quickly showed that they were the more experienced team. Although Jeong “Tydolla” Seung Min’s aggressive dives on Genji earned Afreeca the first round, Misfits came back with a vengeance in round 2. In their second round, Afreeca’s players seemed uncoordinated and reckless compared to their opponents. While aggressive bets from Tydolla did occasionally pay off for his team, he and his teammates seemed dead set on throwing every ultimate into every fight, while Misfits used their ultimates more sparingly. Due to their advantageous discipline, Misfits managed to outlast their opponents’ barrages of ultimates, and strike back using only what was necessary. As a result of  their superior composure, the second two rounds were both slow and steady wins for the Swedish squad.

The difference in self-restraint was only further accentuated on King’s row, as their attack phase performances were night and day. For Afreeca’s turn on attack, individual members continued to show promise, but team play continued to be disjointed. On several occasions, Tydolla would activate his dragon blade, only to realize that his Ana was 5% short of the nano boost that would go with it. On the infrequent occasions that Red’s ult timers did happen to coincide, Kevyn “TviQ” Lindström saved his Mei ult in anticipation, and was able to nip the offensives at their bud. After failing to make enough of an impact in the streets phase, Afreeca were stopped with only a single point.

Where the Freecs went wrong in their offensive, Misfits managed to succeed. While Tydolla’s offensives felt  haphazard, TviQ’s assaults on Pharah were perfectly calculated. By working with Sebastian “Zebbosai” Olsson’s Zarya, and Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson’s Ana, TviQ was able to soar through the skies unhindered, picking off his prey. Thanks to their nearly unkillable Pharah, Misfits had no trouble reaching the necessary second checkpoint.

Afreeca continued to be outclassed on Temple of Anubis, despite flashes  of brilliance. Although they did manage to take control of both points, many of Red’s assaults relied on brute force, rather than coordination. As a result of their haphazard style, the Korean underdogs barely managed to take point B in overtime. In contrast to their opponents’ drawn out attack, Misfits steamrolled through both points, leaving them with 6:30 in their time bank. Unsurprisingly, six minutes were more than enough for the Swedish titans to take both point A, and the third game.

With their second game in the books, Misfits look much stronger than in their debut, and are still in the running to advance. As for Afreeca Red, this loss means that their final game in the group will be a fight to avoid relegation, against LuxuryWatch’s imposing lineup.

Cover photo via OGN GLOBAL (twitch.tv/ognglobal)

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