The prey has been sparse for the Hunters in recent times with Stage 3, Week 1 being no exception. The Hunters failed to defeat two teams within their same level of skill, despite the arrival of some long-awaited backup in Wei “jiqiren” Yansong. Regardless, every week is a new beginning for the Hunters and they look to pounce on a Fuel team that has revealed it’s fair share of blemishes as well.
Week 1 Review
Hunters 1-3 Charge
The Charge came out in this one looking stronger than fans have seen them in a long time. Charlie “nero” Zwarg was newly available for the Charge and made a huge impact on Zarya when he saw playing time. The Charge got going on Oasis and never looked back, taking the first three maps and leaving the Hunters with the scraps on Dorado to close the series.
Each map in this series was incredibly close, which is clear in TGH’s recap of the series, and the Hunters can walk away from this one knowing it was much closer than the score let on.
Hunters 0-4 Valiant
The Hunters continued to struggle on control maps, opening the series with a loss on Oasis that was anything but close. Then, in a similar fashion to the Charge match, the Hunters rallied back to keep the next three maps relatively close, at least in light of the first map. To the Valiant’s credit, they have clearly begun to look a lot more cohesive down the stretch. For a more in-depth view into the series, check out TGH’s recap.
With this loss the Hunters have now dropped six of their last seven matches, going all the way back to the first week of Stage 2. If there was a time to begin bouncing back, it’s now more than ever.
Week 2 Preview
Dallas Fuel (10-6)
The Fuel looked incredibly hot and cold last week, getting swept by the Gladiators and then beating the Justice 3-0. Of all the teams that are currently in the playoff running, they are currently the most beatable. These two teams have yet to meet in a series before this and each are in desperate need of a win.
Expect the Fuel to come out and begin integrating Sombra into the lineup on occasion, as the league is trending towards that variety of GOATS. In response to this, the Hunters will need to be cohesive in their aggression and understand when to attack the Fuel. If they can do this, the series should be a close one, even potentially going to a map 5.
Prediction: Fuel wins 3-2
Player to Watch: Guan “Garry” Li
Garry has begun seeing some more action on the OWL stage as the Hunters have begun experimenting with different support/tank duos. If he can perform well and help the Hunters coordinate some more aggressive moves, he may prove instrumental to their success. Keep an eye on him, if he manages to garner much playtime.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
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