After both losing to EnvyUS and Meta Athena, BK Stars and MVP Infinity were left without a single point, going in to their third and final match. Although the two squads’  shared 0-2 records meant that neither could qualify for playoffs, they didn’t make the games any less meaningful for either side. Since the upcoming games would determine third and fourth place in group  A, the winners  would be safe to enter the next season, while the losers would need to play in the promotion tournament.

Even though both teams were coming in to the match with 0-2 match scores, their map scores showed a clear difference in seasons. For the newly introduced MVP crew, two map wins in both prior series showed that they came close to wins, even if they ultimately fell short. As for the former semifinalists of BK Stars, a single map win against EnvyUS showed a worrying state of play, and a fall from grace between seasons.

Considering the stark contrast in previous performances, MVP were predicted to take the day.

Bk Stars made their improvement clear in game 1, as they took an assertive win on Oasis. The team’s strategy revolved around a 3 DPS comp focused on flanking from all angles for both rounds. At the composition’s core, Shin “BERNAR” Se Won rained down damage  as Pharah, while Chae “Bunny” Joon Hyuk  and Lee “Carpe” Jae Hyeok flanked their enemies from all angles. The DPS trio were ruthless throughout the rounds, as they blocked off all avenues of escape.

MVP made a strong comeback on Hollywood, by using a 3 tank comp to protect Choi “easybro” Hee Seong… until a computer broke and the game was reset. After the restart, Bk Stars adapted their strategy, in order to better defend against MVP’s. The defenders’ adaptation illustrated just  how effective a change in heroes could be, as a promising attack was replaced by a full hold.

With the goal of capturing the first point in their attack, BK returned to their 3 DPS comp that won Oasis. Bunny continued to impress on Tracer, as he feinted between shots, while getting in constant head  shots of his own. Although Bunny’s play was almost enough to secure a game 2 victory, his team’s final push was denied by Son “Brek” Yong Ha’s nanoboosted Reinhardt.

Since neither team managed to earn a point on Hollywood, the second game came down to a tiebreaker on Nepal. Both teams opted for 2/2/2 comps for the tiebreaker, which turned out to be a close back and forth. Control of the point changed hands throughout the round, as both sides took turns engaging with big bang combos. In the end, Bunny’s team won the tiebreaker, thanks to his cunning assaults from flanks.

Knowing that their opponents’ only prior win had been on Volskaya industries, MVP chose Temple of Anubis as the third map. Even with the change in locale, BK Stars put on another dominant performance, reinforcing their strength on assault maps.

MVP Infinity’s attack started out strong, but was shut down by one of BK Stars’ wheelhouse big bang combos. After their first hold, Bunny’s team held complete control over the game. By dismantling their opponents’ backline at every opportunity, Carpe and Bunny’s Genji and Tracer picks didn’t give up an inch, stopping their opponents at 1 point.

With Carpe’s Genji swapped for McCree, Bk Stars’ flanking duo kept their momentum  during their turn on offense. After taking point A in the blink of an eye, a quadra kill using Carpe’s high noon allowed his team to take B in similar fashion.

After looking shaky all season, today’s victory made it seem that BK Stars have finally made a return to form. Although their resurgence too late in the season to contest a playoff berth, BK Stars’ win today will assure their place in Apex season 3.

As for MVP Infinity, today’s uncharacteristic 0-3 loss will send them back to the promotion tournament. Having just qualified for this season of play through season 2’s challenger super week, the newcomer squad will have to overcome the tournament yet again, if they hope to get revenge in season 3.

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

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