A methodical dispatching by a more experienced team
The 2nd semifinal from OGN’s APex season 2 saw a creatively rampaging Meta Athena come up against a strategically aggressive Lunatic-Hai. Meta Athena was looking to push their undefeated streak into the finals while Lunatic-Hai was looking to finally secure the number one spot after coming so close in previous tournaments.
Right from the get go this was going to be a semifinal with some hard fought and aggressive battles. The first control map on Nepal set the tone for this with both teams reluctant to back down however Lunatic-Hai was looking the more controlled and took the early advantage. The Lunatic-Hai players were looking upbeat and confident and this was translating across to their game play as they were getting the edge in the team fights, in the end shutting out Meta Athena 2–0 to take the first set.
Set 2 on Eichenwalde was where Lunatic-Hai began to unravel Meta Athena, exploiting and harassing their back line. Lunatic-Hai was sticking to their guns and game plan while Meta Athena, used to having opposing teams on the back foot, was struggling dealing with the dive tactics exposing their key weakness. WhoRU was constantly in their lines and causing major problems for Meta Athena who had no answer to this onslaught. Lunatic-Hai was able to roll thru Meta Athena putting them up 2–0 and meaning every map from now on would be do or die for Meta Athena.
Set 3 took us to Hanamura where Meta Athena finally managed to set into some kind of groove. Facing elimination with every set from now on puts a lot of extra stress on players but Meta Athena was handling it for now and off to a good start. They managed to steam roll Lunatic-Hai to easily get 2 points and lift their morale. Some great plays from Sayaplayer saw him finally get some stops on WhoRU, limiting Lunatci-Hai’s back line and dive damage, allowing Meta Athena to shut out Lunatic-Hai from the second point to finally take a set. But still down 2–1, they had their work cut out for them.
Lunatic-Hai took a tactical pause at this point, still looking confident and rightfully so, it always looked like they had Meta Athena’s number and just had to bide their time to strike.
Dorado on set 4 is where we finally got to see some more of that Meta magic by use of a great wall boost to impressively flank Lunatic-Hai on the first point. Even thou Lunatic-Hai was waiting for something like this, they weren’t able to counter it. The rest of the set was a tight back and forth struggle and a key match up between EscA and Sayaplayer was beginning to determine the outcome of this semi final. With Lunatic-Hai chasing after the last point, Sayaplayer scored a critical kill on EscA helping set up the winning team fight for the match giving the second map narrowly to Meta Athena who were on the verge of causing a big upset with the score now 2–2.
Lunatic-Hai didn’t look phased and even thou they lost their last 2 sets, they were looking confident coming into the final set. Their wins on the first 2 sets showed that they clearly knew how to rattle Meta Athena and the 4th set was a tight back and forth affair, even thou they lost, it still seemed like they had the edge over Meta Athena and they proved this decisively in the final set.
The final set on Hollywood saw Meta Athena struggle to make any headway at all against a cool, calm and collected Lunatic-Hai who held them shy of the second point. With not much room to manoeuvre with, Meta Athena was up against the wall and Lunatic-Hai just steam rolled their way thru them to shut out the match and taking the semi final 3–2
As exciting as it is to watch Meta Athena play, they had no answer for the control and talent of Lunatic-Hai. Lunatic-Hai also exposed Meta Athena’s inability to deal with a dive composition. While their creative play and tactics work well during round play, finals are a different beast and it never looked like Luantic-Hai was in danger of losing. In the future we are bound to see more strategies and creative game play that Meta Athena has shown us but unfortunately the players themselves just didn’t have enough experience under their belts to be able to take it to the next level during this semi final. Well played Lunatic-Hai. The final is going to be an epic battle!