On the first day of IEM Gyeonggi's $100,000 Overwatch Invitational, four out of the six teams from Europe and South Korea competed to determine who would advance to face Afreeca Freecs Blue and Rogue in the semifinals.
The Friday series both turned out to be 3-0 sweeps, but they did not lack action.
Overwatch quarterfinal No. 1: Misfits vs. Lunatic-Hai
With Europe's Misfits and South Korea's Lunatic-Hai squads having changed their all-star lineups before the event, it was difficult to predict which team would have the edge. In Map 1 on Hollywood, both teams pushed each other to their limits, securing regulation full captures with zero seconds left, followed by full holds during overtime. Lunatic-Hai was able to win the tiebreaker on Nepal thanks to an impressive performance by Ryu "Ryujehong" Je Hong's Roadhog, taking a 1-0 lead.
Game 2 was more of the same on Volskaya Industries, with both teams surrendering Point A before turtling up and holding Point B. In another Nepal tiebreaker, Kim "EscA" In Jae cut a swath of destruction through Misfits with Reaper, increasing Lunatic-Hai's lead to 2-0.
Game 3 on Lijiang Tower began with a bang for Lunatic-Hai. Lee "Leetaejun" Tae Jun had a strong performance on Reaper, and EscA played a somewhat unconventional Mei to great success on Night Market. While Misfits would take the point after initially giving it up and allowing Lunatic-Hai to hit 99 percent, Lunatic-Hai quickly won the ensuing teamfight to pick up a convincing win.
With both teams mirroring each other with quad-tank double-support team comps on Command Center, Lunatic-Hai's superior execution gave them the hard-fought 100-99 win and the series sweep.
Although Misfits were able to force overtime in all of their maps, Jonathan "Reinforce" Larsson's frequent deaths, plus Kevyn "TviQ" Lindström's inability to shut down EscA in the DPS battle, ensured that Misfits would be leaving the tournament early and empty-handed. Lunatic-Hai advances to play APEX Season 1 runner-up Afreeca Freecs Blue on Saturday.
Overwatch quarterfinal No. 2: LuxuryWatch Red vs. KongDoo Panthera
While both of these South Korean squads were hungry for their first LAN win, LuxuryWatch Red managed to outplay KongDoo Panthera throughout the series.
In Game 1, LuxuryWatch pushed the cart all the way to the end of Eichenwalde, thanks to heroics from Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong Yeol. While KongDoo managed to take the first point, Hwang "Nanohana" Yeon Oh's Mei wasted a lot of time, to the point where KongDoo were unable to get the cart to the first checkpoint, securing LuxuryWatch's first win.
Game 2 on Hanamura was a slaughter for LuxuryWatch, as they managed to easily hold Point A thanks to incredible work from Nanohana's Mei. When it came time for LuxuryWatch to attack, their aggressive dive comp and Nanohana's Genji sliced through KongDoo to take the point and the game on their initial push.
Game 3 was close and hard-fought until the end, with teams trading decisive wins on Ilios. While Kim "Rascal" Dong Jun did a decent job of pressuring LuxuryWatch's backline as Tracer, Saebyeolbe's Tracer was able to convert kills with ease, dominating the game as LuxuryWatch took a 100-0 first round. In response, KongDoo made composition changes, putting EVERMORE on Zarya and using Rascal's Tracer to dominate Ruins, giving KongDoo the edge to take the second round 100-99.
In the final round on Lighthouse, KongDoo got off to a hot start thanks to EVERMORE's Roadhog and An "wakawaka" Jee Ho's D.Va. Just when KongDoo had reached 94 percent, however, LuxuryWatch took over the point thanks to ultimates from Nanohana's Mei and Saebyeolbe's Tracer. After that, KongDoo was in disarray, trickling onto the point and staggering themselves until LuxuryWatch was able to secure the 100-94 round win to move on in the playoffs.
LuxuryWatch will face off against European powerhouse Rogue on Saturday.