Shanghai Dragons (7-6) vs San Francisco Shock (10-3)
The match of the day in the Blizzard Arena was the Shanghai Dragons vs San Francisco Shock. On a winning streak that the Dragons looked to break, the Shock brought their everything to their last game of the stage. These two teams will be facing off again in the playoffs, and this series gave fans just a taste of what we can expect next weekend.
Oasis Shanghai 1-2 San Francisco
The game started at the Gardens. The Dragons came out in one of their now infamous DPS centric compositions. Starting out strong with a double kill from Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang, the Dragons were the first to take the point. However, the Shock were quick to fight back, with Matthew “super” DeLisi taking charge on Winston. Shanghai rallied together to fight back at 99% to the Shock, with a big EMP from DDing leading the way. From there, they held strong, and the Dragons took the Gardens for their own.
The City Center told a different story. From start to finish, everything worked out for the San Francisco Shock. Over and over again, the Dragons were held at the gates, unable to break free. Jay “sinatraa” Won especially showed up, using well timed Gravitons to wipe Shanghai off the map. The round went to the Shock, bringing it to an all or nothing round three.
The University brought out the best in both teams. The Dragons lost the first engagement, costing them the point. However, at 42% for the Shock, Min-seong “diem” Bae turned the tables. Using his Graviton, diem caught Sinatraa and Grant “moth” Espe off guard, starting the sweep. Shanghai managed to get their percentage up to 45% before the Shock struck back. Unfortunately, the Dragons couldn’t find their way back on the point. They lost the map, 1-2.
Paris Shanghai 4-5 San Francisco
The first round of Paris happened so quickly, it seemed impossible. The San Francisco Shock charged towards the first point with ease, and despite Shanghai’s interesting rotation they claimed it. The second point was rushed in a speed run, and the Shock had finished the map in the blink of an eye.
Thankfully, the Dragons were ready to return the favor in kind. Their attack was just as strong, and went quickly for the first point. The second point seemed to show signs of the very same, with a massive EMP from DDing earning them two ticks. However, super replied in kind with a huge Earthshatter, sending them back to spawn. This time, things went their way, and Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh led the charge. The Dragons were able to get their last tick and finish the map.
The second time around, the Dragons took a little longer to get their bearings. When they did, though, the first point was theirs for the taking. Off of a Graviton from diem, they progressed towards the second point with hope. DDing and Gamsu teamed up to deliver a massive EMP and Earth Shatter combination. Off of that, Shanghai swept the Shock off the map, and earned another map completion.
The Shock had something to prove on their second try, and they did just that. Beating the record they had just set, San Francisco did another speed run of Paris. Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim certainly helped them soar, with a triple kill that knocked Shanghai away from their defense on the second point.
The third time through, things played out well for the Shock. Shanghai had their chance to attack first, and things didn’t get rolling until overtime. They did manage to get a tick and a half, however, the Shock were ready to break it. With more time, super led the charge onto the point. The Shock exceeded the necessary ticks, and swept the round. The Dragons lost the map, 4-5.
King’s Row Shanghai 4-5 San Francisco
Coming back after the half, the Dragons were ready to try once more to break the Shock’s streak. With a new DPS comp, which featured Yong-Jin “YOUNGJIN” Jin on Doomfist, they were quick to take the first tick. DDing came in clutch with a Rocket Barrage to finish it out, and the first point was theirs. The Shock stalled them out the first time as the cart wound around the corner. The second time, Shanghai was prepared. Another Graviton from diem earned them the picks they needed, and the second point was taken. DDing used another EMP to silence Sinatraa’s sneaky Graviton, and in overtime, Gamsu helped them complete the map.
Shanghai’s defense started strong, with DDing getting an early EMP to push the Shock back. A big play from Sinatraa turned things around, however, and the Shock were free to take the first point. Their first push was stopped with a massive six man EMP from DDing, but Super made sure it didn’t happen again. The second point was taken, and the Shock moved quickly through the third point as well to finish the map.
With another DPS composition, Shanghai started their second attack strong. The first point was earned quickly, with diem’s Widowmaker play shining through. Gamsu, on Wrecking Ball, earned himself a nice double kill on their way to the second point. Just shy of the checkpoint, the Dragons were stalled out, and their overtime push came to an end.
When the Shock were up to bat, their initial attack was swift. Earning the first point, they guarded the payload with ease. Rascal led the charge to keep the Dragons at bay, and despite another big EMP from DDing, San Francisco was able to meet the checkpoint. Shanghai lost the map, 4-5.
Rialto Shanghai 4-5 San Francisco
The series was lost, but the Dragons could still break San Francisco’s streak. On the attack, they made it around the corner with some struggle, but through the first checkpoint with ease. Gamsu and DDing teamed up once more to deliver the kills necessary, and the second point moved swiftly in their favor. Good picks on Minki “Viol2t” Park and super allowed the Dragons to continue onto the second checkpoint, but Shanghai found themselves stalled out. When they rallied together, they managed to make it just shy of a map completion, with Moth and Sinatraa pushing them back. The second time, Gamsu and DDing had enough, and they combined their powers to finish the map.
On defense, the Shock pushed hard to break through their stronghold. The first point came to them with ease, but the second point showed a bit more struggle. Gamsu managed to land a good Earth Shatter, sending the Shock back to spawn. When they came back, however, Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi fought back. With a massive triple kill from his Self Destruct, the Shock progressed with ease to the second checkpoint. The third point followed suit in a steam roll, earning the Shock another map completion.
Shanghai’s second attack had a hard time getting started, due to the Shock gate keeping at their spawn. DDing on Pharah decided to sneak around the side, earning the necessary picks with his Rocket Barrage. From there, the Dragons were free to push the cart, and the first point was achieved in overtime.
The Dragons chose to defend from the high ground the second time around, which let the Shock walk through the streets of Rialto with ease. They tried hard to fight back and stall them out, but super was determined to get his golden stage. Unfortunately, they managed to meet their checkpoint, and earned their streak. Shanghai lost the map, 4-5.
Despite the final score showing a sweep in favor of the San Francisco Shock, the game was much closer than it looked. The Dragons played an amazing game, and were the only team this stage to push the Shock to the brink. These two teams will clash again in the first games of the playoffs, which means that the Dragons have a shot at redemption. Hopefully, their first showing in the playoffs will bring them good luck. Overall, they’ve certainly already given their fans something to be happy about.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Shanghai Dragons.
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