The Guangzhou Charge are in a perilous situation at the moment. They have tumbled down the rankings, and their current loss streak has begun to place even their season playoff hopes up for grabs. While the past several losses can be largely attributed to strength of schedule, they have no more room for excuses as they face off against Hangzhou and Atlanta this week. The Charge need these wins in order to have stable footing for the rest of the season; more losses might knock them out for good.
Week 2 Recap
San Francisco Shock (3-0) [League 7-3]
After the 4-0 that occurred in Week 1, San Francisco came in and once again decimated Guangzhou. San Fran punished the Charge over and over with calculated aggression and teamwork. Missing their star dps and Zarya player, Jungwoo “Happy” Lee, as well, Guangzhou struggled to find any footing all match, giving the Shock an easy 4-0.
Player of the Match
While no one on the Charge performed particularly well, props must be given this match to Yiliang “Eileen” Ou for stepping up in a position he was not used to. Eileen was by no means the best Zarya, but he had his moments and was crucial in helping the Charge attain what little success they garnered.
GG @SFShock, you gave us a tough battle, and we fought our hardest. We have a tough stage ahead, our next match is tomorrow vs. @LAGladiators #FeelTheCharge #OWL2019 #GZTough pic.twitter.com/IKwY25o2Al
— Guangzhou Charge (@GZCharge) April 13, 2019
Los Angeles Gladiators (4-0) [League 7-4]
The Gladiators came in just as strong as ever and delivered another 4-0 sweep of the Charge this week. The one glimmer of hope was that Guangzhou seemed much more alive this match, and had several opportunities to take a map or two throughout the night, specifically Oasis and Temple of Anubis. However, the Charge kept falling short and became more worn down as the series went on. As a result, they gave up the series yet again to the Gladiators.
Player of the Match
Arguments could be made for Hongjun “HOTBA” Choi for his flex skills or Happy for his Hanzo play on Anubis. However, the unsung hero of this match was truly Jungyeon “Chara” Kim. He is a very subtle Lucio compared to most in the league, yet he set up several huge plays for Guangzhou across the series..
Week 3 Preview
Hangzhou Spark (1-1) [League 4-5]
The Spark and the Charge have more similarities than just being electrically-themed Chinese teams. Both teams have a lot of individual play-makers, yet lack team cohesion and are unknown quantities right now. Hangzhou has not experienced much success, but a win over the Boston Uprising last week showed that they had some tricks up their sleeve. With Guangzhou’s shoddy performance lately on paper this should go to the Spark. Yet if Guangzhou starts out strong and gets an initial map win, that might give them the momentum to take the series.
Prediction: Hangzhou Spark 3 – Guangzhou Charge 1
The Guangzhou Charge have set a league record of number of 4-0 sweeps against them in a row. Including the final game of Stage 1 against the Vancouver Titans, the Charge have been clean swept five times. This even beats out the record that the Shanghai Dragons had set last season. Additionally they are on a map loss streak of an abysmal 23 maps; their last map victory was the control map against the LA Gladiators in Stage 1 Week 4, over a month ago.
Atlanta Reign (1-3) [League 5-6]
The Reign are another team on the downward spiral. They’ve lost or benched several of their best play-makers, and despite making several acquisitions the pieces aren’t coming together just yet. The Reign’s one win so far has been against the Washington Justice and even that was in a close match. If Guangzhou are able to figure out their issues and shake away their self-doubt, they could very likely take the win.
Prediction: Guangzhou Charge 3 – Atlanta Reign 1
Player to Watch
The player to keep an eye on this week would be Seungpyo “Rio” Oh. He has been improving on his ability to play main tank in the league so far, but this will be the time he really has to shine. Playing against the Spark’s insanely talented main tank Qiulin “guxue” Xu will be no easy task (assuming he is even fielded). In order to win Rio will need to win out the tank battle to open up his team to push in. It’ll be a tough challenge, but hopefully Rio will show more versatility by playing Wrecking Ball and disrupting the enemy lines.
Featured Photo Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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