RunAway displayed true grit coming back from being down three maps to win the Grand Finals of the Korean Overwatch Contenders Season 2 yesterday. Going against another team well accustomed at losing out at the last hurdle, KongDoo Panthera, it was back and forth action paired with roller-coaster of emotions as both teams who are known for their aggressive approaches went all out in hopes of breaking their hoodoo.
Known best for their pink player jerseys and sweaters, RunAway have never won a finals match prior to last night, losing OGN APEX Seasons 2 and 4 finals, and only managing third in Contenders Korea Season 1. KongDoo on the other hand were losing finalists of Season 3 before a bulk of that squad got drafted into what came to be Overwatch League’s inaugural season Grand Finals champions, London Spitfire.
First blood went to RunAway as they swept through the bewildered KongDoo on Lijiang Tower. Cleaning up house in surprisingly efficient manner, we can’t blame if the RunAway players’ confidence shot through the roof and it seemed like the day would be wrapped in four maps before long. However, the early momentum were quickly diminished as they lost three of following four maps; Eichenwalde, Gibraltar and Oasis as KongDoo rediscovered their groove. By nulling Bumper’s effect on tank thanks to effective plays by Chang-hoon “r0ar” Gye and Son “CoMa” Kyung Woo, the rest of KongDoo were able to outplay the rest of the RunAway squad to earn a commanding 3-1 lead.
Looking back at things, the draw on Temple Anubis was the key factor in keeping RunAway remaining in the fight. While RunAway only started to mount the epic comeback on the sixth map of the series (King’s Row), their refusal to surrender the only Assault Map in the map pool ensured that both teams only have six maps to win between the two of them, forcing an eighth tie-breaker map on Ilios. Having recorded better completion times on King’s Row and Route 66, RunAway won both rounds 4-3 forcing an epic conclusion to the series.
Spurred on by their manager who plays a motherly role on and off the big stage, Flowervin – who only assumed the role since her husband who was also the founder of the team, Runner is serving his national service – RunAway kept their cool even when they were facing yet another disappointing end to their long season. But fortune favors the bold (and the relentless) and RunAway lived up to the hype that made them one of the best supported pro Overwatch teams out there. Well aware that momentum clearly shifted back in their favor heading into the final match, they dug their heels and with Bumper rediscovering his swagger on Reinhardt, there was no one holding them back from making history.
We’ve seem many teams win their first titles in the past but none of those come close to RunAway’s win. It was a culmination of six seasons of multiple heartbreaks, perseverance and grit which eventually resulted in the biggest prize for their players. It is cliched but their win stay true to the saying; if you put your heart and mind to it, you will succeed.
The match was won by the much-storied team in RunAway but the clear victor of the night would surely be the viewers and fans of pro Overwatch. We wish them all the luck in upcoming tournaments, and surely would not be surprised to see two of the new Overwatch League franchises pick the whole roster up for Season 2.