Dreams of Royalty — APEX Season 4 grand finalists, GC Busan shock the world
“Dream the impossible, until you wake up at the top.”
Fitting quotes darts past the vision of a washed montage of recent OGN APEX matches, peppered with audio clips of South Korean casters clamoring with excitement and surprise.
“It’s time to prove everything.”
One small team from Busan managed to capture their dreams and prove everyone wrong. Toppling over Lunatic-Hai; Team Seoul of the Overwatch League, gone from OGN’s APEX Season 4 in a sharp puff of smoke, 6-0. Rolling over Cloud 9 KongDoo; rumored representatives of Team Longdon of the Overwatch League, stripped of their birthright to the South Korean throne, 4-0. Their hopes dashed by the same rookie team from Busan who has clawed their way up from the South Korean amateur scene.
In their first major tournament, in their first major final, a rookie team from Busan dreamed a little dream. GC Busan has gone straight from the challenger series directly into the grand final of OGN APEX Season 4.
In a lighthearted and comical interview before the match, serious undertones of foreshadowing are eerily apparent. Cloud 9 KongDoo’s Kim "birdring" Ji-hyuk spoke about his opponents, GC Busan as if they were nothing more than a mere nuisance, “It’s admirable that they defeated so many strong teams. I don’t think they will be equal when playing against us. We’re Cloud 9.” The confident air around birdring statement hung like morning fog; dense and cold. He considered his team to be untouchable and continued; “... this is your burial spot.”
“This is our first APEX ...” Lee “Hooreg” Dong-Eun spoke still amazed that his team had made it this far “... it doesn’t even make sense for us to be in the top four. I can’t really think of anything right now. I am [just] so happy, nothing comes to mind right now.” From GC Busan’s flex DPS player words before the match, you start to understand the sentiment of the team in general. “We defeated the defending champions, twice.”
Time seemed to dilate as the wins for GC Busan continued to rise, game after game. One blink and you may have missed Hooreg catching a double-kill or Sung “WOOHYAL” Seung-Hyun catching KongDoo off guard with a well placed D.Va Self-Destruct. Cloud 9 KongDoo’s confidence would turn into hubris as the match quickly reached its climax.
GC Busan’s coaching staff enters the booth elated after the 4-0 sweep of Cloud 9 KongDoo.
“I want to stress this again; we do not see semi-finals like this in APEX. We just do not.” Wolf Schroder, long time OGN caster, explains as the unthinkable approaches them. Upset after upset, GC Busan has now defeated both the team Seoul and the potential team London representatives, 4-0.
Two members of GC Busan stand at attention as the thorns in KongDoo’s sides, statistically speaking. Prodigal Tracer player and DPS main for GC Busan, Park “Profit” Joon-Yeong had the game of a lifetime today. Profit managed to score 11.72 kills per 10 minutes (+34% the average), 4.2 deaths per 10 minutes (-23% the average), and 23% of his team’s first kills (+78% the average). He continued his stellar performance earning 0.62 kills per ult, which is 154% above the average and the best single performance, in terms of Tracer’s kills per ultimate, in APEX Season 4.
Not to be outdone Hong “Gesture” Jae-Hee was no slouch in this series either. With 9.27 kills per 10 minutes (+39% the average), 2.87 deaths per 10 minutes (-52% the average), while still managing to secure 18% of his teams first kills and keeping himself to a astronomically low 1.5% first deaths (+103% and -83% on their respective averages).
GC Busan now walk the same road numerous South Korean esports legends have walked before.
The rookie team that dared to challenge the lions of Lunatic-Hai and the vicious wild cats in Cloud 9 KongDoo now dream of grand finals glory. GC Busan is now occupying uncharted territory when it comes to Overwatch. No team in their first entrance to the OGN APEX League has advanced to the grand final, until now.
“The only way this is one-sided is if GC Busan gets into Cloud 9 KongDoo’s head. They just got two sweeps, their match versus RunAway went to a game 5, so they’ve shown that their mentality is still strong. [GC Busan] still played very well up until the end.” Wolf discussed with fellow caster Max “Atlus” Anderson before the GC Busan Cloud 9 KongDoo upset. He continues, “I think that if there is going to be a sweep, GC Busan is the one to do it.”
… and they did it. GC Busan followed the cliche quote from the beginning of the broadcast and did what many thought impossible. Try and let that reality sink in, Lunatic-Hai is gone, Cloud 9 KongDoo is defeated, all by the hands of GC Busan.
We could actually be witnessing a royal road title run, all from the rookie team from Busan who dared to dream.
“Dream the impossible, until you wake up at the top. It’s time to prove everything.”
GC Busan, are you listening?
Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLG’s of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would like to know more or follow his thoughts on esports you can follow him at @Volamel.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment and OGN.