Two hundred and sixteen days.
The showdown between Afreeca Freecs Blue and EnVyUs is a fated rematch from OGN Overwatch APEX Season 1 finals. The last time these two met, EnVyUs crushed AF Blue with a 4-0 sweep. They have yet have a single match against each other since then.
It's been 216 days.
Why such a large gap? They weren't in the same group stages in Season 2, and both were subsequently eliminated in the quarterfinals group stages. Even the current season they did not come face to face with each other during the quarterfinals groupstage -- AF Blue breezed through the winner's bracket, and EnVyUs went through the loser's bracket.
Both of these teams were dismantled in the semifinals 0-4. This fated rematch between Afreeca Freecs Blue and EnVyUs has been 216 days in the making.
Map Type Order
Map 1: Control
Map 2: Assault/Escort
Map 3: Assault
Map 4: Escort
Map 5: Assault
Map 6: Escort
Map 7: Assault/Escort
The third place match is a best of seven, forcing both teams to address more map types than usual. This was an important element in the first semifinal between Afreeca Freecs Blue and Lunatic-Hai, as AF Blue's win streak (every game went 3-0 in its favor) made sure that no team would be able to have official tournament data as to how AF Blue played on a straight escort map this season. AF Blue lost on Route 66, an escort map, to Lunatic-Hai, so this season it has a 0 percent win rate on Escort maps compared to EnVyUs's 33 percent win rate over three games. In the end, that makes it difficult to tell how each team will perform on the fourth map of the set, making the fourth map an interesting one to watch.
Under normal circumstances, AF Blue's superior win percentage in APEX puts them likely to win, but the story at hand hinges on peculiar circumstances. This season, no one has yet to examine a situation in which AF Blue would break. Now that they've finally loss, how they bounce back as a team is instrumental to how they can win the third place match against a team like EnVyUs.
nV didn't have a flawless record this season like AF Blue did, but it is used to adapting. It won Season 1 of APEX after the acquisition of Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod, and then exuded strength in Season 3 after picking up Kim "EFFECT" Hyeon. The team is forced to face its flaw and make the necessary adjustments to survive.
Comparing the two team rosters, EnVyUs may have the edge when it comes to personal highs. While EFFECT and Jeong "ArHaN" Weon-hyeop are both incredible players, EFFECT's Tracer is sharper, and Timo "Taimou" Kettunen's highs as a top level hitscan player barely outshines AF Blue's Jeong "Recry" Taek-hyun. In general this is a reoccurring theme when comparing players on these two teams -- EnVyUs players have shown extraordinarily high skill ceilings compared to the AF Blue players, but have shown to be uncoordinated, being their big weakness. In many matches EnVyUs have abandoned their talented support players instead of protecting them.
AF Blue has the tools, but is tasked with proving that they can stand back up. EnVyUs on the other hand is dynamic, a little rougher around the edges, but with a lot to prove as the western team who made it the furthest.