San Francisco Shock (1-2) vs Hangzhou Spark (2-2)
Dubbed as the “fight for electricity”, the Shock vs Spark matchup was an electrifying one for many to look forward to. Although the Shock are acclaimed as the superior team, the Spark proved everyone wrong and went 2-0 in the first week. This definitely set a standard that meant this match would be an interesting one to watch.
Ilios Shock 1-2 Spark
The first round started out with matching GOATs compositions. The fight began with Qiulin “Guxue” Xu getting melted by the Shock’s damage. The Shock pushed in and picked up the point even though the Spark has the initial cap. Despite getting the occasional player picked off, the Shock did not back down from a 5v6. A hard-fought overtime cap is made by the Spark, only to be lost later on when San Francisco won a fight. The first round was won by the Shock.
The second and third round went very similarly, with Hangzhou playing very aggressively and managing to hold the points 99-0. In the second round, SF never managed to get a serious team fight on the point. In the third round, just when they thought they might win in overtime, Seong-Wook “Ria” Park ate Jay “sinatraa” Won’s Graviton Surge. Right after that, Ho-jin “iDK” Park got a boop on two players of the Shock. This quickly ended the overtime fight – and the Shock lost Ilios 1-2.
Hollywood Shock 1-0 Spark
Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim and Matthew “Super” DeLisi were subbed in for hitscan DPS and main tank roles. The Shock made repeated attempts to rotate around to get to the objective. However, after the first fight was won by Hangzhou, their ultimate advantage won them the subsequent fights. The Shock managed to get two ticks, but even after stacking all three of their support ultimates (Rally, Sound Barrier and Transcendence), they failed to capture the point.
Hangzhou tried to attack from the high ground instead. Interestingly, they faced a similar problem as the Shock. Just like in the first map, the Shock did not back down from a 5v6. This meant that a potentially losing fight where Min-ki “Viol2t” Park got picked off was won because sinatraa chose to use his Graviton Surge. In the end, the Shock somehow clutched it out and completely full held the Spark 1-0.
Anubis Shock 4-2 Spark
Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson was substituted in for the flex tank role.
Round 1 and 2 both went very quickly, with picks from individual players winning them the fight on point A. Both teams also managed to snowball onto point B as well. Notably, the Spark ended with a time bank a minute longer than the Shock.
On SF’s second attack, they managed to pick off the Spark’s main tank first. Although two members of the Shock fell after, they remain organised and calm. They captured the point by taking advantage of quicker respawn times for their fallen members. However, their snowball onto point B was halted when Viol2t got picked off. The next few fights went similarly. At one point, Rascal died right after using his Rally, which halted the whole team fight. On their last push, the Shock’s Graviton Surge and Self-Destruct combo picked off iDK as they finally started capturing the point. After an intensely long overtime push, sinatraa’s switch to Sombra allowed them to capture the point as he built EMP and used it in overtime.
On Hangzhou’s second attack, the Spark invested a lot of resources trying to pick off SF’s main tank. Even though the Shock gave up two ticks, they calmly backed off and pushed back in on the third tick, killing the Spark’s main tank. This ended Hangzhou’s push. A series of fights followed where the Shock used their ultimates pre-emptively, allowing them to keep Hangzhou at bay. On the final fight, the Spark gave it all they got but could not even capture point A, in part due to Super’s Earthshatter and Nevix’s outstanding D.va play. He ate two graviton surges during the course of the team fight. The Shock took Anubis 4-2.
Route 66 Shock 3-0 Spark
Hyo-bin “ChoiHyobin” Choi was substituted back in for Nevix.
Although the Spark open with a good showing on triple DPS, SF counteracted it with their own ultimates. After using all their ultimates, of which the Dragonstrike got eaten by ChoiHyobin, the Spark switch back to GOATs. This reset gave the Shock the ultimate advantage they needed to push through the middle of point B. The Shock played with great discipline, backing up when the Spark used their support ultimates too early. They then pushed back in and easily won the fight. Once again, the Shock’s ability to turn around a 5v6 meant that they pushed through to point C with little resistance. They finished Route 66 with over a minute remaining.
On defense, the Shock made short work of the Spark’s attempt to teleport onto high ground with Symmetra. They lost the next fight outside the respawn room when Viol2t used his Transcendence too late and Super died. However, taking this fight outside spawn meant they could re-contest before the end of the map. The Shock negated the Spark’s ultimate advantage by stacking their support ultimates. This enabled them to push in and pick off a Self-Destructing Ria. Grant “moth” Espe then executed this boop right before the last fight on point A. The Shock won the last fight easily and full held the Spark, winning 3-0.
Despite a scary showing that lost San Francisco the first map, the Shock seemed to wake up and organize their aggressive gameplay after the second match. It was impressive how they played without fear or losing confidence. Not many teams can pull off two full holds, much less against the Hangzhou Spark. This win against the Spark definitely shows us even more so what the formidable players on the Shock are capable of.
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