The opening weekend of the Overwatch League seemed to breeze by and Week 2 is imminently approaching. Yet, no additional announcements about the recently canceled Shanghai Homesteads. In January, the Overwatch League announced the cancellation of their upcoming February and March Homestead, which were to take place in China due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Two of the four Chinese Overwatch teams decided to temporarily move their players and staff to training facilities in South Korea in response to the outbreak. International fans and media outlets alike are quietly waiting for news about matches that are planned for this weekend. Are the matches to be rescheduled for a different time, or will they simply be done online?
If the games are to happen this weekend, as scheduled, what may we expect from our favorite Hunters?
Chengdu in the Current Meta Game:
This current meta has yet to be aptly named, owning to the fact that there isn’t quite one single meta. Reaper and Mei, double shield, double main tanks, McCree and Tracer, Symmetra and even dive compositions were all seen during Week 1.
Much of the kind of compositions teams are choosing has to do with map geography and map type. What kind of high ground certain maps have? What sight lines do they have? Those things have always played a part in the decisions a team makes when forming their composition. For example, Reinhardt on King’s Row or Widowmaker on the first and last points of Havana.
If Week 1 was any indication of what we might expect to see going into Week 2, we should expect an assortment of different compositions. Moreover, if the Chengdu Hunters are playing, then we might expect that number to positively increase. The Hunters, of course, were made fan-favorites last season for playing an unpredictable style of Overwatch.
The games the Hunters are expected to play this week are against their Pacific East conference members; the Shanghai Dragons and Hangzhou Spark. Both teams will be tough opponents going by their last season performance. The Hunters are likely to be considered the underdog. Last season, the Chengdu Hunters consistently performed poorly against their fellow Chinese teams. However, there is some hope for the Hunters to perhaps clutch out a win.
So far this season, the games have been uncharacteristically scrappy and at times disjointed. Fights break down and a lot team fights come down to pure mechanical skill. If you know anything about the Hunters, then you’d know that it’s at times like those that the Hunters thrive.
The games this week will likely be very back and forth. Expect Chengdu to play dive characters, a composition they prospered on last season. Tank player Menghan “Ameng” Ding, will likely be seen on his signature Wrecking Ball, at least once. New main tank addition, Shao-Hua “ATing” Chen might make his debut if double main tank compositions are called for.
Player to Watch this Weekend: Leave
Without a doubt, the player to watch this weekend will be Xin “Leave” Huang, who will likely make his debut performance in the Overwatch League. The young man will certainly have a lot resting on his shoulders. It’s unfortunate, as it appears, he won’t be getting his debut to a roaring crowd of Chinese Overwatch League fans. But nevertheless, Leave might make quite the impression.
So much of the Chengdu Hunters playstyle revolves heavily on their individual playmaking ability. Their ability to carry and take over games. Last season, Hu “JinMu” Yi became that clutch payer for the Hunters. But this year, Chengdu Hunters hopes and dreams for a successful future lies in the promise that is Leave.
It has been a while since Leave has played on a major stage and he will have a lot to prove. His signature heroes are fortunately coming back into play; Genji, Widowmaker, Tracer and McCree. He could become a force to be reckoned with, especially alongside his DPS duo JinMu.
Chengdu Hunters vs Shanghai Dragons
Prediction: Shanghai Dragons win (1-3)
The Shanghai Dragons made all the right moves during the off-season. They still have their DPS star power in Jinhyeok “DDing” Yang and Minseong “diem” Bae. But in the off-season, they picked up former Seoul Dynasty player Byungsun “Fleta” Kim and off-tank player Kang “Void” Jun-woo. The moves only strengthen their already stacked roster. Which is why they will likely be the favorites in this match up.
It is likely that diem won’t make an appearance in this match, as he has been sick for the last couple weeks. Although, we are all eagerly awaiting a diem and Leave face off. Yet, the dragons still have a lot of equally formidable players to take their place.
Chengdu Hunters vs. Hangzhou Spark
Predictions: Chengdu Hunters Win (3-2)
Spark didn’t make many drastic changes to their roster this off-season. Adding Chinese support player Tong “Coldest” Xiaodong and Liu “M1ka” Jiming. Yesterday, the Spark announced the return of a fan-favorite player, Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon as well. Their picks up during the off-season only cementing their strong roster.
Last season, the Spark was a very solid team. However, they were a team that faltered during meta shifts. They were always slow to adapt to changes. Perhaps this will be the Hunters’ chance to take at least one win this weekend.
On another note, the Hangzhou Spark still have main tank player Qiulin “guxue” Xu. Winston, the character he made his name on, is seeing a rise in playtime. With guxue on his signature hero, the match will likely be close.
Featured photo credit Robert Raul for Blizzard Entertainment
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