With recent announcements of both August’s “Countdown Cup” and the official Postseason for the 2020 season. The Overwatch League has found a perfect balance of competition when many thought the season was over, due to unforeseen circumstances. While the Hangzhou Spark have not found much success in tournament settings, the team finds itself 11 in the standings and with room for improvement. The playoffs seem so far off, but the momentum gained from next month’s tournament will surely carry into the postseason. And for the Spark, qualifiers start with a familiar match-up: The Seoul Dynasty.
Seoul Dynasty // 8-7
Sitting at ninth in the overall standings, the Dynasty have dropped quite a bit since their hot start at the beginning of the season. With that being said, since their 3-0 win against the Spark at the May Melee Tournament, Seoul defeated the first seeded Charge and brought the fight to the formidable Dragons in a game 7, winner-takes-all, bout. Shanghai eventually prevailed, but that does not go without saying that Seoul have been playing steadily in tournament play since the beginning of the OWL monthly tournament era.
On the other end, the Spark have not had a fun time during tournaments. They have had recent successes with a surprising win against the NYXL but have lost every game since. This includes a rematch against the Excelsior in the quarterfinals of the Summer Showdown, which ended in heartbreak for Hangzhou once again.
While there’s no discrediting the work the organization has done to fix a stagnant team, so far there has only been one significant win for such a talented, new roster. With Genji currently at the forefront of the meta, it would seem that players like Architect would thrive and get some much-needed wins for a squad who is perpetually in the middle of the pack. But so far, the team has not gelled as much as critics thought they would. QoQ and M1KA have been great additions to the team, but so far their raw mechanics alone have not been able to keep up with teams that have had playing time together for the entire season so far.
Anime Arc of the Week // The Bell Test
If Hangzhou want to succeed in the final tournament of the season and lock a spot in the playoffs, they need to find their chemistry quickly. It is not a means of if, it needs to be a matter of when. This team is not better off than the original roster that was announced at the beginning of the season if the pure talent can not outweigh the teamwork that the previous roster seemed to exude when they were at their peak.
Prediction: Dynasty win 3-2
Featured Image Courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark
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