Florida Mayhem (0-6) 1-3 Shanghai Dragons (2-2)
The Florida Mayhem have struggled to find any footing this stage. With no wins under their belt and only two matches left, they could only hope to avoid ending the stage without a single victory. This time, they had their eyes on the Shanghai Dragons as the team to take down. The Dragons have been looking better over the course of the season, but Florida have been showing signs of life, giving them a fighting chance.
To their credit, the Mayhem continued to attract attention for their slow but sure improvements over the stage. However, those efforts didn’t pan out today. The Dragons put on a dominant showing, finishing out the series with a 3-1 victory.
Lijiang Tower: Shanghai 2-1 Florida
Shanghai rolled out on Command Center with an unusual bunker composition. Still, the Mayhem claimed the point first, holding it briefly before the Dragons moved in to clean up their opponents. From there, Florida played patiently but slowly, allowing Shanghai to move into overtime. With Heyon-woo “HaGoPeun” Jo and Sang-bum “BQB” Lee leading the fight, Florida moved in and flipped the point just in time. They settled in, staving off each of the Dragons’ attacks. Shanghai couldn’t find the footing to move back in, and Florida took the round.
On Garden, Shanghai moved in quick for the first capture and held the point decisively. With Min-seong “diem” Bae on Widowmaker and Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang on Pharah, the Dragons held strong, often stopping Florida from even touching the point. In a dominant performance, they held the round from beginning to end, tying up the map.
The two teams brawled hard from the beginning on Night Market. Early picks on the Mayhem’s tank line allowed Shanghai to gain the advantage, and they came out on top each time. By the time Florida won a fight and flipped the point, overtime had already begun. This gave the Dragons plenty of time to come back and clean up the point, taking the map with a 2-1 score.
Hanamura: Florida 4-3 Shanghai
Shanghai were quick on their first attack, claiming a tick on point A before Florida engaged. From there, they made easy work of cleaning things up, and took point A with six and a half minutes for the second point. They headed straight to point B, finishing out two ticks there before Florida regrouped and pushed back. With a moment to breathe, the Mayhem strengthened their defense, whittling down Shanghai’s time bank. The Dragons played carefully, however, ultimately picking apart the defense and completing the map.
Shanghai started off with a strong defense. The Mayhem found the momentum they needed to break through claiming point A and snowballing their way through point B. Though Shanghai stalled for a while, Florida took them out one by one, leaving them with a sizable time bank for the second round.
With the smaller time bank, Shanghai moved in on their second attack. With help from Young-jin “YOUNGJIN” Jin on Doomfist, they claimed point A with ease. However, they struggled to follow through once they reached point B. With little time and a solid defense from Florida, the Dragons failed to make progress on point B.
Hoping to replicate their speed from the last round, Florida went straight to the point on their second attack. Though the Dragons stalled as long as they could, the Mayhem fought them off, leaving them with over two minutes to get a tick on point B. They headed there as a group, pushing through a scattered defense from the Dragons. Despite Shanghai’s best efforts, Florida won the map, tying the series at halftime.
Eichenwalde: Shanghai 3-1 Florida
Playing aggressively, Shanghai quickly claimed point A. They proceeded to hold Florida at a choke point, allowing the payload to move all the way through point B uncontested. The Mayhem stabilized for point C, with Jung-woo “Sayaplayer” Ha and Jae-mo “xepheR” Koo standing out in the kill feed. Despite a strong hold, Shanghai broke through, though they completed the map with less time than they may have expected.
Shanghai kept up the aggression on defense, forcing Florida back to spawn on the first attack. As they moved back in, an especially impressive EMP-Earthshatter combo stopped them once again, and they needed to regroup. Undeterred, the Mayhem stormed the point again, claiming point A just in time. From there, they moved forward slowly but surely, only to struggle against Shanghai’s defense. In the end, the Dragons’ aggression and decisiveness proved too difficult to get around, and Shanghai stopped the payload before point B, ending the map with a win.
Rialto: Shanghai 3-0 Florida
Florida’s first defense started off strong, and they stopped Shanghai from making progress past the opening bridge. However, DDing’s impeccable Sombra play gave Shanghai the edge they needed and they started forward towards point A. They went at a blistering pace, rolling over the Mayhem every time and clearing point B with little trouble. Florida regrouped for one more fight, only for diem to catch the team in a Graviton Surge. Uncontested, Shanghai completed the map with the fourth-fastest recorded time.
Hoping to match Shanghai’s time, Florida moved forward quickly, making some solid progress at first. However, Shanghai stabilized, creating a defense that was near-impossible to break through. With DDing pulling off EMP after EMP, Florida struggled to find any footing at all. Though they nearly made some progress as overtime began, they ultimately failed to reach point A, and the Dragons took the map and the series.
Looking for a Win
With their loss today, the Mayhem only have one more match in the stage. Despite their struggles, people have noticed that Florida is improving, inspiring some optimism that they can turn it around before the end of the season. However, with one more match against the ever-improving Dallas Fuel, the best they can hope for now is avoiding that dreaded 0-7 record.
The Florida Mayhem close out Stage 2 on May 2, when they take on the Dallas Fuel. Be sure to tune in to see if they can end the stage on a high note.
Follow Darby on Twitter @soundchecck! She is happy to talk about anything she’s written! You can also get in touch with her on Discord (soundchecck#7242).
Featured image courtesy of Anthony Salzarulo for the Florida Mayhem.
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