Guangzhou Charge 3 – Chengdu Hunters 1
Many of the fans going into this match believed that the Chengdu Hunters would easily take this game. Chengdu won the last time, and are higher in the rankings. Yet Guangzhou came into this rematch with far more experience and a burning fire underneath them. The Guangzhou Charge needed a win to start out their Stage 3 strong, and due to some fine level of play, they got exactly what they came for tonight.
Oasis (Guangzhou 2 – Chengdu 0)
Starting on University an early EMP off of Yiliang “Eileen” Ou gave the Charge the first cap after long fight. A Hongjun “HOTBA” Choi 3k off of Seungpyo “Rio” Oh juggling the enemy team helped to prove just how dominant Guangzhou looked. While the Charge gave up 45% of the point, they took the first round with extreme ease.
On City Center the Charge ran their signature triple DPS strat; Jungwoo “Happy” Lee played Soldier: 76, Eileen was on Sombra, and Hotba flexed over to Pharah. This round went nearly identical to the last, with Guangzhou conceding only 47% and looking strong the whole match. Thus, they took the first map of the stage in no time at all.
Volskaya (Guangzhou 5 – Chengdu 4)
For the first defensive round Guangzhou continued their triple DPS strategy. Chengdu went with a 3-3, but with Zhihao “YangXiaoLong” Zhang running a Widowmaker variant. The Charge stalled for nearly two minutes but were forced to concede A. They held a good amount on B, but lost this as well with Chengdu getting 4 minutes in time bank. On the offense, a DPS heavy push on A yielded Guangzhou the point after 3 minutes. They swapped for a solid 3-3 push on B, and ended with 3:46 in bank.
On their second offense, a crucial sleep onto Hu “JinMu” Yi by Guangzhou’s Jinseo “Shu” Kim opened up A immediately. The Charge, taking A, ran the same swaps as before and snowballed onto B, finishing with an impressive 2:10 left. Their second defense proved more successful than before; the Guangzhou Charge held Point A for nearly 3 minutes this time before being forced off. Chendgu did take B in the end, but crucially only in Overtime. For Guangzhou’s third offense, they engaged in several back and forth battles on point. Yet finally they scored the crucial picks in overtime and got the tick they needed to secure the map win.
Eichenwalde (Guangzhou 6 – Chengdu 5)
For this map, the Charge finally brought in Charlie “nero” Zwarg over Eileen to play the Hanzo on attack. The Charge picked off Xianyao “Yveltal” Li on Mercy early and opened up A for taking. They powered through Point B with ease and were only held meters before the end of C. However, Guangzhou rallied and came back in with 5 Ults and easily won the final fight with 2 minutes left. On defense they put up an impressive initial hold, but lost A after 3 minutes. The Hunters snowballed the whole payload section of B and C, finishing with an even better time bank in the end.
For their second offense, a similar DPS push cost a bit of time but got the Charge A before Overtime could start. They continued rolling the payload from B into C, and appeared to be in a losing fight around the first bend. Yet the team kept Rio alive, clutched the fight, and pushed until meters before the end in a push that would later prove crucial. Guangzhou lost Jungyeon “Chara” Kim early on defense, but they still held off the point until only 30 seconds remained. Chengdu similarly pushed through B into C with strong performances. However, they were stopped where Guangzhou was originally, and this time a huge shatter by Rio prevented any more distance, and sealed the win of the map and series.
Dorado (Chengdu 3 – Guangzhou 2)
Guangzhou kept nero in for the last map, and went with a 3-3 strategy the whole time. On the defense, they allowed Chengdu, who had brought in their new tank Yansong “Jiqiren” Wei, to push through A and most of B before stopping the cart. They attempted another hold mere meters from the finish, and prevented any time in the bank, but gave up the final point.
On offense the Charge put up somewhat of a fight, keeping nero on Zarya and Happy on Brig, but did not find success with this strategy. The Charge did take A after a long drawn out push, but were halted for a long time on B and barely took it. They failed to make it around the final bend on C, and conceded the map to their opponents to finish the series.
Guangzhou has been largely underestimated lately due to their poor performance in past stages, but this match should likely turn some heads. While it was close in many regards, the Charge looked extremely dominant on the entire first map and much of the second and third. They’ve focused more on their unique niche strategies, and found strong wins with them. And with the integration of nero alone the team has even more depth than they did before and more variability. Guangzhou should hope to replicate this against a strong-looking Seoul team soon, but they certainly started Stage 3 with a bang.
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