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Overwatch League Recap: Guangzhou Charge vs Houston Outlaws

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Guangzhou Charge 3 – Houston Outlaws 2

Both teams coming into this match up had something to prove. The Charge wanted to prove their win in Week 3 wasn’t a fluke. Meanwhile Houston wanted to show that they were more than their consecutive losses would indicate. In the end, Guangzhou had the stronger resolve and victory in this close match.

Lijiang Tower (Guangzhou 2 – Houston 1)

Beginning on Night Market, the Outlaws swiftly took out Hongjun “HOTBA” Choi to secure an initial cap. While the Charge were able to take the point back for about 30%, Houston won nearly every fight on the round. They dominantly secured the first point of the control map.

Moving onto Gardens, a long drawn out fight for first cap again went the way of Houston. However, a big combo flipped in favor of the Charge halfway through the match. Guangzhou maintained solid control and a HOTBA 3k sealed the round in favor of the Charge.

Finally, on Control Center, the Charge took the point initially despite being in a very losing fight. Miraculously, they stalled out this initial progress to 26% before finally they were cleared off. Houston maintained for most of the round, only yielding the point at 80%. Jinseo “Shu” Kim was picked off early, but a crucial sound barrier from Jungyeon “Chara” Kim kept the team alive during the retreat, and once Shu returned they easily took back the point. An early kill onto Austin “Muma” Wilmot denied him a shatter and secured the map for Guangzhou.

 

Hanamura (Guangzhou 2 – Houston 0)

Guangzhou Charge vs Houston Outlaws
Image Courtesy of @GZCharge on Twitter

On their offense, Guangzhou decided to run a pick composition. Noticing Houston was playing an aggressive DPS defense, the Charge put Jungwoo “happy” Lee on Widowmaker, Yiliang “Eileen” Ou on Hanzo, Shu onto Roadhog, and Chara on Mercy. Happy opened up Point A with an insane initial pick onto Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin’s Widow. The following back-and-forth pick war led to the Charge getting the upper hand and winning Point A easily. They went on to take 2 ticks on B before being held off. A series of failed pushes using a dive comp with Genji and Sombra ensued for several minutes, but after their attempts were shut down enough times, they finally were able to pull off an EMP and secure a dominant teamfight that allowed them to swiftly take the rest of the point.

On the defense Guangzhou ran an Ana version of the 3-3 setup. The Charge nearly lost the point several times, but clutch plays from Shu and Happy kept them in the game. Despite giving up two ticks, they held A and denied the Outlaws a single point.

 

King’s Row (Houston 2 – Guangzhou 1)

On the Guangzhou offense, Shu opened up Point A early with a kill onto Muma. The Charge engaged in a solid push through B, but were held before they could reach the third section. They were unable to come back and finished the round with just one point. On their defense, they were forced off the point during the Outlaw’s second fight. After giving up most of B they appeared to finally stabilize inches from the goal. Yet Houston returned in force and took their first map win of the day.

 

Rialto (Houston 3 – Guangzhou 2)

Guangzhou Charge vs Houston Outlaws
Image Courtesy of @GZCharge on Twitter

Rialto’s defensive round for the Charge was a series of repetitions. They would barely hold at the end of each map segment, but expended too many ultimates, enabling Houston to come in and win the next fight. This occurred on all three points, and Houston finished the map with 40 seconds in the time bank. On the Charge’s offense they took Point A with relative ease. They completed B, losing a fair amount of time, but were stalled out on C giving Houston a chance to take the series in Map 5 fashion.

 

Busan (Guangzhou 2 – Houston 0)

Luckily for the Charge, Houston has never won a Map 5, and Guangzhou’s best map is potentially Busan. Beginning on Sanctuary, Guangzhou ran a pick composition similar to Hanamura, and took the initial cap despite rough odds. They stalled on the point until reaching 61% before being forced to switch to 3-3. The Charge retook right at the end and staved off the Outlaws for the remainder of the round.

On MEKA Base Guangzhou ran their signature triple DPS combination with Seungpyo “Rio” Oh on the Hammond. A long brawl ensued to take the initial cap but it was GZ who secured it. The rest of the round consisted of constant scrappy fights, but the Charge didn’t lose control of the point at any instance. Winning 100-0, the Charge took the map and series.

 

Conclusion

It is clear from this match that the Guangzhou Charge still have a lot to work on, but are certainly improving. The Charge still looked weakest when being stuck on GOATS without variation, and thrived when characters like Ana or Sombra could be played. With over a month until their next regular season game they’ll have new members to add and plenty of time to practice. If the meta changes in that time as well it would only help their case. However, this team certainly looks like they’ve hit their upwards stride once again.

 

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