After suffering narrow losses at the hands of RunAway and Lunatic-Hai, LuxuryWatch Blue and Meta Athena were left to fight for third place.
Due to a collapsed lung, Song “Janus” Jun-Hwa wasn’t able to play the match. In order to fill their primary tank’s spot, LW Blue fielded Red’s Gye “R0ar” Chang Hoon as a temporary stand-in.
Although there wasn’t any need on their end, Meta Athena also chose to replace their tank. Rather than field Moon “ChangSik” Chang Sik, who had been playing since the quarterfinals, the rookie squad chose to give Sin “Alpha” Jae Hyeon more on-stage experience.
The first game was a drawn out brawl on Oasis, which lasted the full three rounds.
Garden was a showdown between Pharah players, which Meta Athena took 100-0. Although LW blue managed to contest the point for most of the round, they were ultimately sunk by an insistance on running Mercy instead of Ana. Without an opposing Ana to keep him in check, Kim “Libero” Hye Sung was nearly unkillable. As a result, LW Blue failed to flip the point, and were eventually pushed off of it.
LuxuryWatch bounced back in round two, thanks to patient use of their ultimates. After ceding control to Libero’s Pharah early on, LW slowly regained their ground, using a sturdy three tank lineup. The squad’s patience eventually paid off, as they secured the point without using an ultimate ability. The round was smooth sailing from there, as LW Blue used their stockpiled ultimates to repel every attack.
LW got off to an early lead on City Center, off the back of Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong Yeo’s deadly Tracer. The tables eventually turned against Saebyeolbe’s squad however, after Meta Athena flipped the point in overtime. After taking control of the point, the DPS duo of Libero and Ha “SayaPlayer” Jeong Woo outperformed their counterparts on Genji and Tracer, in order to secure the final round.
Game two was another nail-biter, as both teams showed stellar defensive play.
Meta Athena were the first to defend, and achieved a rarely seen defense in the streets phase. LW Blue took the first point using a triple DPS/single support lineup, but found themselves overwhelmed immediately after. Meta Athena responded to their lost point by staying on their previous dive comp, in order to massacre LW Blue’s members as they swapped heroes. Thanks to their impressive first hold, Choi “Hoon” Jae Hoon and friends earned time to set up for a single ideal fight, which they used to end the round.
Unfortunately for Meta Athena, their opponents had an even stronger defense in store. After failing an initial flank from the low ground, the attackers were at a loss for ideas. Instead of trying their usual strategy of swapping between surprising flank routes, the usually eclectic squad stuck to their guns. In the end, Meta’s comp failed to overcome LW’s all-star defenders’ individual skill, and ended the round with zero points.
LW Blue took the lead on Temple of Anubis, in a neck and neck exhibition of the map’s defender advantage.
Meta were scattered in their assault onto point A, but eventually secured it thanks to SayaPlayer’s sharp shooting with Widowmaker. Unfortunately for them, assaulting B proved much harder. The attackers repeatedly tried to approach from flanks, but were always met with a team-wiping ultimate from one of the defenders. By staggering their ultimates, LuxuryWatch built a surplus, which allowed for an easy point B defense.
LW’s went through an equally arduous assault onto B, but managed to barely pull through in overtime. After failing to make in impact in the allotted six minutes, Flow3r made the difference by respawning as his rarely played Mei. Thanks to Flow3r’s ice walls, LW Blue managed to stall the respawning defenders, in order to grind out an overtime win.
LuxuryWatch ended their tour de force with another stellar defense, on Route 66.
Meta Athena’s attack got off to a stellar start, thanks to the triple threat of Libero’s Mei, Hoon’s Zarya and Sayaplayer’s McCree. In spite of an unstoppable onslaught through to the hangar, Libero’s squad fell apart after their first lost fight. Even with three minutes to work with, the attackers couldn’t break through LW Blue’s seemingly impenetrable defenses, and were stopped with two points.
LuxuryWatch responded with a dominant attack of their own. The all-stars used an aggressive dive comp to dismantle Meta Athena’s static defenses, allowing them to steamroll through to the hangar. Once there, the attackers struck an efficient final blow, by taking advantage of a missed graviton surge.
With Route 66 in the bag, LW Blue and their substitute tank earned a 3-1 win, and third place in the season.
Images via Ongamenet (twitch.tv/ognglobal)