Spitfire 2-3 Dragons
London and Shanghai looked like completely different teams on each map this series. On Nepal and Anubis, London obliterated their opposition, but on King’s Row and Route 66, they were unquestionably stomped. Fortunately, Ilios saw both teams playing at the top of their game, but in the end London’s best wasn’t enough. With this loss, Shanghai have helped cement their status as a mid-tier team, while London continue to raise questions about where they truly belong in the rankings.
Nepal: Spitfire 2-0 Dragons
Both teams started off on Sanctum running Winston GOATS, with London securing the point first thanks to Hee Dong “Guard” Lee getting an early pick on Gyeong Woo “CoMa” Son. Subsequent pushes continued to go in London’s favor, securing aggressive first picks onto Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh in multiple fights. London successfully won Sanctum 100-0 to take an early lead.
Village started on quite a different note, with Gamsu getting two early picks to stifle London’s first push. London’s next push was similarly unproductive, with the Dragons making quick work of Jaehui “Gesture” Hong. On London’s third push, a well placed earthshatter from Gesture helped the Spitfire take control of the point. They continued to stall out Shanghai’s subsequent offenses, and took the point 100-74, earning a 2-0 win.
King’s Row: Spitfire 0-3 Dragons
The Spitfire defense on point A was no match for the Dragons, who took the point so quickly that they had 5:26 on the clock coming into streets phase. While a 6-man EMP from Guard helped briefly hold off Shanghai, Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang’s 5-man EMP the following fight helped Shanghai take point B. A few scrappy skirmishes helped Junyoung “Profit” Park rapidly charge his gravitons in sync with Guard’s EMPs, which allowed London to stave off multiple pushes from Shanghai. In the end however, the Dragons’ relentless aggression allowed them to complete the map with 26 seconds on the clock.
Guard hacked and eliminated his enemy counterpart DDing early into London’s first push, enabling London to easily take two ticks on point A. However, Shanghai’s re-engagement caught London off guard, preventing further capture of the point. From there on, it felt like Shanghai was reading London’s minds. Pushes were shut down early due to Gesture getting repeatedly picked off first, and London couldn’t deal with DDing’s oppressive Sombra and Gamsu’s stellar tank play. The Spitfire failed to make any further point progress, losing the point 0-3.
Temple of Anubis: Spitfire 1-0 Dragons
London looked quite prepared for the Dragons offense on Anubis. They secured a first kill onto Luffy’s Zenyatta in every fight, shutting down a key source of damage and healing for the Dragons. Shanghai repeatedly floundered in their attempts at high-ground pushes, and only took 52.5% capture of point A before running out of time.
The Spitfire were utterly dominant on their attack round. They separated the Dragons’ supports from the rest of the team, with Jongseok “NUS” Kim again picking off Luffy first. From there, London steamrolled the point to handily take the map 1-0.
Route 66: Spitfire 0-3 Dragons
Shanghai made quick work of the London defense on point A. A smart rotation in front of the point A spawn allowed Shanghai to dismantle London’s initial hold. Subsequent pushes weren’t as one sided, but Shanghai still came out on top. London managed to hold off Shanghai for a while on point B, but DDing successfully back-capped the point while the other players were engaged in a fight closer to spawn. London failed to recover from this blunder, letting Shanghai complete the map with two minutes in the time bank.
London’s offense was abysmal, to say the least. The Spitfire were repeatedly stymied by environmental kills from CoMa and smart hacks from DDing. Shanghai didn’t allow London to take any space, shutting down push after push before London could gain momentum. London failed to capture even point A, ending the map 0-3.
Ilios: Spitfire 1-2 Dragons
Ilios was an off the wall map for both teams. On Well, both teams ran DPS compositions, with Shanghai running Widow-Pharah and London opting for Hanzo-Tracer. Team fights were often back and forth, but London managed to maintain control of the point despite this. London took the point to 99% capture before it flipped back to Shanghai. The flip was only temporary, however, and London managed to recap the point to take the first map.
The Dragons’ aggressive first push on Lighthouse caught London unprepared. While the Spitfire were able to take first control of the point, a well timed barrage from DDing turned the fight back in Shanghai’s favor. Guard’s Widowmaker did a surprisingly good job at putting pressure on Min-seong “diem” Bae’s Widow and DDing’s Pharah, but it wasn’t enough to carry London to victory. Shanghai took Lighthouse, tying the map 1-1.
While Well and Lighthouse featured unique compositions from both teams, Ruins saw a return to GOATS. London were able to successfully take the point up to 99-14 before giving it back to Shanghai. Needing only one teamfight to win, London took cautious engages. This ultimately led to their downfall, as they took too much time to commit to a single fight. Once London finally committed to an engagement, they suffered a loss as NUS was swiftly picked off by Gamsu. The Dragons pressed onward to win the fight, the map, and the match.
Both the Spitfire and the Dragons struggled with consistency during this match. While a loss to the Dragons isn’t necessarily the death knell for London, they will need to come back at the top of their game against Seoul next week if they hope to earn a playoffs spot. While London hasn’t been known for leading the pack so much as pulling off come-from-behind victories, they still have a ways to go if they want to be considered a top tier team.
For the latest Hot Takes and Good Content about video games, follow Steven on Twitter @meteorbower! Feel free to DM if you have any comments, questions, or feedback.
Be sure to follow The Game Haus for the latest on all things sports and esports:
Facebook: The Game Haus Esports