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Lunatic-Hai wins APEX Season 3

Posted by Peggy "Moirai" Forde at 29 July 2017 12:45

The reigning champs keep their crown a bit longer in this four-plus-hour slugfest of a Grand Final.

It was as much a test of skill as it was a test of discipline in a best-of-seven Grand Final that went the distance, but in the end Lunatic-Hai was able to overpower KongDoo Panthera in a 4-3 scoreline.

Kongdoo Panthera had the upper hand early due to stronger performances on Control maps. A quick and decisive 2-0 win on Nepal put them ahead in the series before Lunatic-Hai struck back to even the set on Eichenwalde. Games 3 on Temple of Anubis and 5 on Volskaya were extremely close coming down to a best-of-one Control tiebreaker on LiJang Tower.  Twice, Lunatic-Hai's well-known aggresive style wasn't quick enough to keep KDP from clinching both maps.

In the end, KDP couldn't pull it off. Esca's Soldier: 76 and Sombra were constantly harrassing Wakawaka and Luffy while ryuJeong consistently kept birdring's Reaper down for the count. A few clutch sleep darts from the Lunatic-Hai Ana limited Rascal's Genji Dragon Blades, exactly what the team needed to recover on Watchpoint: Gibraltar in Game 4 and Dorado in Game 6, keeping them in the series and their hopes of back-to-back titles alive.

Numbani proved to be the final battleground for the series. Lunatic-Hai completed the map with 1:48 on the clock and had KongDoo Panthera against the wall throughout most of their attack run. While on defense, however, LH made an almost-match-ending mistake: in their bloodlust, they looked for team fights instead of actively defending the objective; LH pushed into the museum to take the fight to spawn. This allowed Void and Birdring - both of whom had managed to push past that aggresive front line - to take the payload all the way to the finish, forcing Overtime and giving KDP an opening that shouldn't have been there.

KDP, however, couldn't capitalize on the blessing they'd been given, unable to capture even 33% of the first point in the Overtime replay. Lunatic-Hai didn't look back. Thanks to a double-kill from Miro's Winston on KDP's supports, Esca's Sombra and Ryujehong's Soldier: 76 were able to clean up the rest of KDP, wiping the team for the the last time. Despite some fantastic stall play from Rascal and Birdring, it simply wasn't enough to take down the kings of APEX, giving Lunatic-Hai the back-to-back Championship title.

Lunatic-Hai has a lot to celebrate, but not that much time: APEX Season 4 starts up again in early August. With EnVyUs and all Western teams out of the tournament thanks to Overwatch League preperations, it'll be Lunatic-Hai once again up against KongDoo Panthera, RunAway, Afreeca Freecs Blue and others to see if the back-to-back champions can take home the title for a third season in a row.

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