Hangzhou Spark (2-1) 3-2 Guangzhou Charge (0-5)
The battle of the electric Chinese teams hit the Overwatch League stage, as the Hangzhou Spark faced off against the Guangzhou Charge. After surprising many fans with a win over the Boston Uprising, the Spark hoped to put another game in the win column before a much harder match against the San Francisco Shock. The Charge, meanwhile, desperately needed a victory, as they hadn’t picked up a single map win in Stage 2. With plenty on the line, it went without saying that the two teams would brawl it out.
Sure enough, the resulting match came down to the wire. The Charge broke their map loss streak early in the series, setting the stage for a comeback. However, the Spark still managed to come out on top, taking the win in a five-map series.
Busan: Guangzhou 2-0 Hangzhou
Starting out on MEKA Base, the two teams took the fight to high ground. Even after the point unlocked, it took some time, but the Charge eventually headed over to gain first capture. With the help of Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi on Zarya and Yiliang “Eileen” Ou on Doomfist, they held it decisively. Hangzhou headed back in, however, and claimed the point with some aggressive play from Seong-wook “Ria” Park. Undeterred, Guangzhou regrouped and pushed back, fighting the Spark back off and taking the map.
Hoping for a stronger start, the Spark headed for the point immediately on Downtown. They took first capture this time, sending the Charge back to regroup. Once they did, however, Guangzhou roared back in to claim the point. The Charge looked aggressive and organized throughout the round, and Hangzhou struggled to counter Eileen’s Doomfist. Ultimately, Guangzhou took both the round and the map.
Paris: Hangzhou 2-0 Guangzhou
Moving quickly on the offense, the Spark made short work of Guangzhou’s point A defense. With plenty of time to finish the map, they headed on, playing patiently as Guangzhou strengthened the defense. Although the Charge slowed them down, a signature Self Destruct combo from Ria, Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim, and Ho-jin “iDK” Park gave the team all the momentum they needed. They headed to point B and completed the map with time in the bank.
Hangzhou’s defense proved solid as well. With Ria and Qiulin “guxue” Xu leading the charge, they held Guangzhou off at every turn. Although the Charge completed a tick on point A with the help of a backcap, Hangzhou fought them off, winning the map and tying up the series at halftime.
King’s Row: Guangzhou 2-1 Hangzhou
Showing off a solid defense, Guangzhou held strong on point A, holding off the Spark’s first attacks. By the time Hangzhou broke through and started moving the payload forward, their time bank had already dwindled, and it only continued to do so as Guangzhou strengthened again. The Spark made headway just in time, making some more progress, but the Charge stopped them from reaching point B, ending their overtime push.
As the Charge began their attack, the two teams brawled on the point. Ultimately, Guangzhou came out on top, starting forward with plenty of time to spare. As the payload reached point B, Hangzhou rallied for one more good fight, stalling it out a while longer. In the end, the Charge reached the point and took the map.
Watchpoint: Gibraltar: Hangzhou 2-1 Guangzhou
Starting off on attack, the Charge made some good progress out of the gate. However, Hangzhou’s put up a strong defense, especially with GodsB standing out on Zarya. By the time Guangzhou reached point A, overtime had already begun, meaning they would need to move quickly to make up for it. Still, they made more progress, fending off the Spark at every turn. In the end, Hangzhou pushed back, stopping the payload just before point B.
Hangzhou’s attack started out with a tough fight on low ground as the payload inched forward. The Spark came out on top, hitting point A with plenty of time to spare. From there, they powered forward, with Graviton Surges from GodsB keeping Guangzhou from touching the payload at crucial moments. In a fairly one-sided push, the Spark reached point B, sending the game to a fifth map.
Oasis: Hangzhou 2-0 Guangzhou
Starting off on Garden gave Shilong “Krystal” Cai a chance to break out Bastion again. The rest of the Spark played around him, giving him plenty of room to melt down the Charge’s attacks. With his help, Hangzhou put on a dominant performance, holding control of the point from beginning to end.
Moving to University, the Charge’s Eileen returned to form on Doomfist, giving the Spark plenty of trouble. Guangzhou took control first and fended off the Spark again and again. Just before they completed the map, however, GodsB and iDK led the push back in, giving the Spark momentum to take control. As the map drew to a close, the two teams fought hard, and it looked like it could go either way. In the end, the Spark came out on top, taking both the map and the series.
Keeping Up the Win Streak
Taking another win this stage puts the Spark in a comfortable position for their trip to Dallas next weekend. Although they close out Week 3 with a difficult match against the San Francisco Shock, the rest of their stage is far from impossible. With the potential for wins over the Chengdu Hunters and Paris Eternal, they could very well find themselves in the running for playoffs this time around.
The Hangzhou Spark return to the stage on April 21, when they take on the San Francisco Shock. Be sure to tune in and see if they can take down one of the league’s powerhouses.
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 the Hangzhou Spark.
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