Hangzhou Spark (2-2) vs London Spitfire (2-2)
Final Score: Spitfire 3-1 Spark
Despite the Hangzhou Spark’s rather strong performance throughout these first couple of weeks, they were decimated by the London Spitfire in this series. Throughout many of the maps, it seemed as though the Spark simply could not gain the needed advantage to pull crucial fights in their favor.
Ilios: Spitfire 2-0 Spark
The first round on Well started out positively for the Spark and they won the first fight, taking possession of the point. However, the Spitfire came back in full force, quickly took out the Spark and flipped it. After several ults being thrown out, the fight seemed to be going the way of the Spark. Despite this, the Spitfire turned it in their favor once again and continued to defend. In the end, the Hangzhou Spark were unable to take the point back, and lost the round.
The second round brought them to Ruins and the Spitfire, with a pick onto Da-un “NoSmite” Jeong, were the first to take the point as the Spark simply could not properly contest. London maintained a solid defense and strong ultimate economy throughout the round and kept the Spark off the point all the way to overtime. Hangzhou were unable to win the final fight and the London Spitfire won the map 2-0.
Numbani: Spitfire 2-1 Spark
On Numbani, the Hangzhou Spark chose to substitute DPS Jun-Ki “Bazzi” Park with Jae-hwan “Adora” Kang. They started on defense and were able to push back the Spitfire on their first attempt to enter the point. London tried to come back, but the Spark maintained their defense. On the Spitfire’s third attempt, off-tank Jun-ho “Fury” Kim caught two people with his D.Va bomb and after a very long fight, they took point A. Ultimate after ultimate, the Spark were able to regain control on point B and put a stop to the Spitfire. Overtime started and although a fight took place, London accidentally stepped off of the point for too long and their attack ended partway through the second point.
On attack, the Hangzhou Spark took their time starting the first real fight. When it finally did take place, they were speedily shut down by the Spitfire after a couple of crucial picks onto their members. However, on their third try, they successfully took point A with the help of some well used ultimates. The payload got close to its goal, but the pressure from London forced the Spark to disengage. Hangzhou attempted to enter with a Graviton Surge, but it did not connect with anyone and the Spitfire were fast to capitalize with their own. In the final fight of the map, the Spark tried with more ultimates, but were wiped after being caught in another grav. They were unable to reach the end and lost the map 1-2.
Horizon Lunar Colony: Spitfire 2-0 Spark
Moving on to Horizon, the Spark brought Bazzi back in for Adora, main tank Xu “guxue” Qiulin in for NoSmite and support Hyeong-Geun “Revenge” An in for Hui-chang “BeBe” Yoon. Their first round had them on defense and the Spitfire quickly overwhelmed them. They tried to reenter the point, but were unable to win the fight and lost point A. London used their momentum and rushed onto point B. They once again won the fight and took the point with 5:50 left.
On attack for the Spark, the round started off with a trade-heavy fight, but the Spitfire came out on top. Hangzhou kept trying, but London dismantled their efforts. The Spark were unable to reach the point before the round ended and lost the map 2-0.
Dorado: Spark 3-2 Spitfire
The Hangzhou Spark started on defense for Dorado. After a lot of position taking from the Spitfire, the first fight finally commenced. Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong was the first to fall and London had to back off. After a very ultimate heavy fight some time later, the Spark eventually came out ahead. The Spitfire came back and a two-man self-destruct from Fury heavily turned the fight in their favor. Hangzhou was unable to re-contest in time and point A was taken. London maintained their momentum and won another fight on point B, giving the payload a lot of room to move. However, the Spark came back in full force and their own two-man D.Va bomb from Ria won them the fight. The round eventually moved to overtime and the London Spitfire were able to get the cart to the end after a very back and forth fight full of ultimates. On point C, the round once again entered overtime. The Spark were able to win the fight and hold the Spitfire off from finishing the map.
The Spark moved to attack and at the very beginning found an immediate pick onto Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi. This enabled them to apply a lot of pressure and get the payload near the end of point A. The Spitfire were able to re-stabilize, though, and stood their ground. A mirror match of ultimates took place, but the Spark’s were simply superior and they finished off the first point. London tried to contest on point B, but could not halt them and they proceeded to move onto point C. Hangzhou’s first attempt at finishing off the map was unsuccessful, but they came back strong and, after some ultimates, finished it off.
Looking at these results from the Hangzhou Spark, it’s easy to say that they’re simply not as good as everyone thought. It’s important to remember, though, that the London Spitfire is not a bad team by any means. It looks like London is finally finding their footing and Hangzhou just happened to be the first unfortunate victim of that. On top of that, the Spark looked very strong on the fourth map, winning it quite convincingly. Although they lost this match, they look far from weak.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League
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