On this week’s docket, the Spark face the Chengdu Hunters (Saturday @ 4:00 A.M. EST) in a rematch from Week 8. Hangzhou played a well against Chengdu in their debut, taking a 3-2 victory. This weekend they look to make it 2-0 in the season series against their Chinese rivals and improve to 3-2 overall.
Hangzhou Spark vs. Chengdu Hunters
The Spark were able to just make it by the Hunters in their first game of the season. As predicted, the Spark played against a very anti-meta Chengdu team and Hangzhou was just able to find a way to play the meta better than the Hunters could out Wrecking Ball comp it. Since that matchup, the Hunters went on to surprisingly 3-0 a strong looking Dragons team in Week 8. Regardless, The team fell short to both Guangzhou and Shanghai the following week 2-3 and 1-3 respectively.
Hangzhou, on the other hand, traded two separate 3-2 map differences with Guangzhou and fell short against the Dragons in a 3-0 fashion since playing the Hunters. The Pink and Blue squad seems to be able to find their footing where they can, but when they are not on their game, they tend to lose momentum quickly. This was a bane that the team couldn’t shake off last season and with virtually the same roster, fans could be looking at the same slow start as last season.
Fortunately, the team has been testing the roster and gave Ria and GodsB the week off last week in both of their matchups. SASIN and Bazzi were both given time on the starting six and showed promise especially in the game against the Charge. On the other side of things, the game against Shanghai was not much to be proud of, and the team definitely could have benefitted with a much-needed carry.
Versus the Hunters, fans could very well see another close game as the Spark are looking to find some consistency and the Hunters are looking for retribution after a poor week last week. guxue looked strong on Reinhardt and Winston is still available this week with the Hero Pool eliminating D.Va, Reaper, Sombra and Ana. It will be interesting to see how this team operates without a D.Va on either side of the match.
Prediction: Spark win 3-2
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With Reaper and Sombra banned this week, the Spark will have to run a different DPS composition than they did for the majority of Week 9. A Winston/D.Va Dive comp is also out of the question with the Korean Superstar out this week. On top of that, one of the most played Support heroes this season, Ana, is also on the chopping block for the first time. While there are plenty of damage characters to flex to and Tank’s are easily swappable, not many other heroes can change the sustain game as much as Ana. Because of this, it seems like Hangzhou took a look at a Moira/Lucio comp last week in preparation for the eventual ban of often-played support sniper. Moira at her base, doesn’t have much utility, but in what she lacks, she gains in both consistent damage and healing output.
With the Reinhardt comp the Spark ran last week, Moira made sense, but with Hangzhou’s Damage players having to adjust with the bans, it will be key to see how their composition changes because of the Hero Pool. In many TV shows and anime, something is taken from the main character that makes them seem useless in that situation. But in a good majority of those scenarios, the show writers purposefully write in a hidden ability that the character utilizes to overcome the circumstances. Is Moira that answer this week?
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Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
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