Following a successful debut from Architect, QoQ, and M1KA in Week 20, the Spark have been on the steady rise towards a top spot in the Overwatch League. This week, Hangzhou gets a chance to prove themselves against the winner of the APAC May Melee tournament, the Shanghai Dragons, as well as the London Spitfire. As this is the final week of qualifiers for the Summer Showdown, the Spark will have a chance to solidify their spot in the tournament.
London Spitfire (5-7) // Saturday @ 8 A.M. EST
The Spark were able to pull off a clean sweep the last time these two teams met in Week 15. With that being said, that was with the original roster and without the upgrades that were showcase last week. Since their last matchup, the Spitfire were able to lock the 6th seed in the May Melee tournament while the Spark got the 4th seed. London was not able to win the underdog series however as they fell 3-2 to the winners of the tournament, the Dragons.
Including that loss, the Spitfire have gone 1-3 since their Spark series. This includes a 3-1 loss to the NYXL, a team that Hangzhou was able to grind their way through last week with minimal practice at that. With a week of full-team scrims under their belt and newfound confidence after their successes from last week, the Spark look poised to continue their rout on the bottom half of the league. If this a routine finish for the Spark, expect them to experiment a bit as they prepare for their next series.
Prediction: Spark win 3-0
Shanghai Dragons (16-2) // Sunday @ 4 A.M. EST
The test against the Excelsior last week was a success. While Haksal seemed off his game a bit at times, it was not the NYXL who just lost: it was the Spark who won. For the entire season, the team was at a stalemate. They tried to surpass what they accomplished last season with the same pieces that got them there. This caused them to stay within the middle of the pack as other team’s made improvements in the off-season. On top of that, they also lost horribly to the teams that were in their spot they were in last season. One of those teams is the Shanghai Dragons.
Anime Arc of the Week // Breaking the Cycle
Shanghai has won all three previous matches by a map difference of 9-0. Every single Hangzhou-Shanghai match has been a 3-0 victory for the Dragons. Barring the changes that the Spark made in the last few weeks, this series could have also been an easy 3-0 for the Dragons.
But this is the new era of Spark.
As previously mentioned, with a full week of preparation and adjustments to the game, many of the mistakes that were made in their Guangzhou game should be rectified going into this week. The team will also have momentum going into this game if they can play a solid game of Overwatch against the Spitfire. If all things work out as planned, the Pink and Blue squad has a chance at knocking down the Dragons for only the third time this season. The Dragons had a bit of a rocky game against the Hunters last week, so the Spark have an ample opportunity to pounce on those shortcomings this week. It won’t be easy, but nothing will be easy for Hangzhou if they want to reach the top and end the cycle of 3-0’s.
Prediction: Spark win 3-2
Featured Image Courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark
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