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What Went Wrong in the First APAC Playoff Game?

The two series of the final round of single-elimination playoff competition in the Overwatch League’s APAC region did not disappoint. One was a sensational back-and-forth affair while the other was a rout.

The first match saw the third-seeded New York Excelsior (16-8) endure the sixth-seeded Chengdu Hunters (8-14) in a 3-2 series win. Both teams played well around each other, adapting with composition and frequent roster changes. Chengdu’s unique style nearly overcame New York’s sheer star power, but the veteran experience of the Excelsior won out in the end.

The Excelsior fielded the DPS lineup of Jong-Ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park and Hyojong “Haksal” Kim throughout the series. This stacked up well against the Hunters’ consistent pressure. New York started with a 2-1 win on Busan, but then heroic Wrecking Ball play from Chengdu tank Ding “Ameng” Menghan gave the Hunters a 5-4 win on King’s Row to tie the series up at 1-1.

Post halftime, both teams continued to trade blows. The Excelsior dominated Temple of Anubis for a 2-0 win. This was followed by the Hunters taking Havana 3-1 to tie the series at two games each. Chengdu had done well fighting their way to map five, but New York’s superior fragging power was too much.

NY fired on all cylinders while Chengdu floundered. This took Oasis 2-0 for the series win. Chengdu’s playoff run after a middling year should be a good sign for the team going forward. New York will look to break the franchise’s poor postseason reputation against the top-seeded Shanghai Dragons (27-2) in the next round.

In Saturday’s other series, the fifth-seeded Seoul Dynasty (12-12) dominated the fourth-ranked Hangzhou Spark (12-11) in a 3-0 sweep. The biggest difference in this one was both teams’ approaches to the meta. The Dynasty opted for the Roadhog compositions.

Apparently, if the Roadhog can delete your counter pick, you don’t stand much of a chance. Seoul blasted through Hangzhou on the back of Gesture and DPS Junyoung “Profit” Park. The latter played Pharah to great success. The Dynasty took Lijiang Tower 2-1, Hollywood 3-1, and capped off the series with a 2-1 win on Temple of Anubis.

 

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