Toronto Defiant(4-2) vs Chengdu Hunters(2-3)
Toronto Defiant 3-1 Chengdu Hunters
As the Stage 1 playoffs approach, The Chengdu Hunters and Toronto Defiant both entered this match desperate to secure their playoff position. The Defiant relied on their strong support line and Zarya, while the Hunters relied on their Wrecking Ball and strange compositions. Only one team could prevail.
Ilios: Chengdu Hunters 1-2 Toronto Defiant
The Chengdu Hunters leaped into this match eager for a fight. However, the Defiant met them with expert coordination. It wasn’t until the Defiant reached 99 percent that the Hunters finally won a team fight. Not long after that, Toronto once again gained control of the point and won Ilios Well.
After a very long first fight on Ilios Ruins, Toronto once again began the round one step ahead of Chengdu. This time, though, Wenjie “Elsa” Luo was playing Sombra. For a while it seemed to catch the Defiant off-guard. The Hunters managed to actually gain the lead and reach 99 percent. After several scrappy engagements, Toronto finally gained the upper hand. In the end, the Chengdu Hunters barely managed to secure the second round of Ilios.
Hu “JinMu” Yi began Chengdu’s assault on Ilios Lighthouse by playing Pharah. Although he and the rest of his team showed improvement over last week’s matches, it wasn’t quite enough to uproot the Toronto Defiant from the point. With kills often going both ways in these fights, Toronto only barely held onto the point from start to finish. The Defiant managed to win the first map 2-1.
King’s Row: Chengdu Hunters 0-1 Toronto Defiant
JinMu continued to play Pharah at the start of their attack on King’s row. Unfortunately for him, SeHyun “Neko” Park’s Sleep Dart and Kang-Jae “Envy” Lee’s Hack kept him grounded for most of the first point. It wasn’t until JinMu pulled of a triple kill with his Rocket Barrage that the Hunters even made any progress on the point. They finally swapped to a more standard 3-tanks-3-supports composition in their last minute. However, without any ultimates available, their attack was quickly deflected.
The Toronto Defiant began their attack by efficiently eliminating Menghan “ameng” Ding’s Reinhardt in the first few seconds. From there the Defiant stormed the objective, forcing the Hunters to retreat. Despite a last-ditch effort from the remaining players, the Toronto Defiant captured point A soon after. This secured a 1-0 map victory for the Defiant.
Volskaya Industries: Chengdu Hunters 3-2 Toronto Defiant
Double-sniper was the name of the game for Chengdu Hunters’ defense. With Tzu-Heng “Baconjack” Lo on Widowmaker and JinMu on Hanzo, the Hunters once again took the Defiant by surprise. However, once Toronto switched to a dive composition, they took point A with not much trouble. Having been pushed back, the Hunters once again changed strategies. With Baconjack now on Bastion and JinMu on Torbjorn, the Defiant were again pushed back. While Toronto did manage to finish their attack in the end, the Hunters’ shenanigans managed to burn quite a bit of time off the clock.
After examining their options, the Hunters decided to attack using their tried-and-sometimes-true Pharah-based composition. JinMu’s pharah nearly pushed the defiant back completely. However, Neko’s Transcendence barely managed to keep his team alive and contesting point A. Finally, a clutch play from ameng’s Wrecking Ball and a Biotic grenade from Chunting “Kyo” Kong’s Ana secured point A. Immediately the Hunters snowballed onto point B. With apex coordination and team play, the Chengdu Hunters finished their attack with more time than their opponents.
Once again on defense, the Hunters relied on a double-sniper composition. Baconjack’s Widowmaker and JinMu’s Hanzo set up multiple angles of crossfire. The Defiant couldn’t defend against both snipers at once, and were full-held at point A.
At only one tick away from victory, the Hunters put their trust in JinMu’s Pharah and Baconjack’s Sombra. The Defiant came prepared, though, and shut down the Hunters’ ultimates. With very little to work with and only seconds away from defeat, ameng found his time to shine. His Wrecking Ball burst onto the Defiant and eliminated two opponents early. The Defiant began to use their ults, but the Hunters stood firm. At long last, the Hunters captured point A, winning the third map 3-2.
Route 66: Chengdu Hunters 1-3 Toronto Defiant
Just when fans thought they had seen everything in the Hunters’ bag of tricks, they charge into their defense with a whole new strategy. Kyo’s Soldier: 76, Baconjack’s Tracer, and Elsa’s Sombra stood against the Toronto Defiant. It took the Defiant a while to adapt, but eventually they finished point A. The Hunters were not intimidated, though. They continued this composition into point B. Again, Toronto finished point B with not much time remaining. On point C, Chengdu switched back to a 3-3 comp with Elsa on Sombra. The Defiant’s clock was already running low. Unfortunately for Chengdu, a massive Self Destruct to the face courtesy of Envy let Toronto finish point C in overtime.
The doors to the Route 66 diner opened, and 4 DPS heroes left in yellow armor. The Chengdu Hunters never seemed to run out of interesting compositions. Though it faltered initially, Elsa’s Sombra finally charged EMP and broke through Toronto’s Defense. It wasn’t quite enough, though. The Defiant came back with ults of their own and held just short of the gate. JinMu spread his wings as Pharah, and secured point A with a volley of rockets. However, time slowly melted away at point B. The Hunters only managed to capture point B in overtime. By point C the Hunters’ tricks had finally run out. With little time and no ultimates remaining, the Hunters finally fell to the Toronto Defiant with a map score of 2-3.
Despite losing this match, the Chengdu Hunters showed remarkable improvements over last week. Their adaptability has improved drastically, as has their coordination. While their unconventional strategies often leave them at a disadvantage, they still manage to make it work. If the Hunters can continue to improve their adaptability, they could surprise fans and pull out some unexpected victories in the future.
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Featured Image courtesy of the Chengdu Hunters
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