Before the latest season of the big APEX Overwatch tournament series started, few knew the name Meta Athena. Now people are watching their matches with balled fists and clenched jaws, wondering what sort of diabolical trick they will come up with next.
Meta Athena is a pro Overwatch team made up mostly of high-school aged Korean kids. They were not part of the first APEX season and, in a crowd composed of the best Overwatch teams on the planet, they're a wildcard. This particular tournament has already chewed up and spat out the team many consider to be the absolute best, EnVyUs, as well as another top-15 team in KongDoo Uncia. We're not talking about scrubs here, is what I'm saying. Despite this, Meta Athena is currently undefeated in the tournament, and they're actually one of the teams that managed to beat EnVyUs.
At first glance, Meta Athena is aggression embodied, and that's definitely a part of what makes them so successful. They dole out DPS like the other team stole their lunch money, sometimes employing three snipers on offence. You'd think that would leave them helplessly feeble in terms of defence, but you can't deny the results. Check out this artful point take on King's Row, as broken down by OGN caster ggMonteCristo (via Dot Esports):
Meta Athena made their biggest waves yet earlier this week, when they broke Mei out of cold storage to play castle map Eichenwalde like nobody's played it before. Watch how they used Mei's ice wall to take a super sneaky route onto the first point:
That shit is bonkers. They boosted the entire team over into territory that offence rarely touches until it's time to take the second point. Then they ran in at an angle that basically negated all traditional defensive setups for that point. It was a brilliant play, easily one of the cleverest to come out of Overwatch's nascent esports scene. The other team, Afreeca Freecs, reacted well, but they were clearly rattled and ultimately gave up the point.
As Dot Esports points out, this wild Mei play wasn't just for show. It emphasised Meta Athena's best quality: Unrelenting aggression. Despite the sniper love, they do some of their best work up close, so they turned Eichenwalde's first point — one that traditionally takes some serious pushing to reach — into a down 'n' dirty corridor battle.
What this says is, Meta Athena is not just some rampaging bull of a team. They take risks, but they combine their blitzes with cool calculation. That's a good reason for other teams in APEX to be afraid, or at least very wary.
At 9PM AEDT tonight, Meta Athena plays their next APEX quarterfinal match, this time against another top-tier Korean team, Kongdoo Panthera. Meta Athena is, as they have been for pretty much this entire season, the underdog here. Clearly, though, they're a threat, and Kongdoo Panthera won't take them lightly. What will Meta Athena do? I have no idea, and what's why I'm so excited to watch.