Hangzhou seem to be the same old Spark team fans have known for the last stretch of games. While the team has made improvements, it still seems like teams that used to be worse than the Spark continue to make strides moving forward in which the Pink and Blue are not able to match. This week, however, the team faces the London Spitfire. This is a team that holds an even 1-1 record with Hangzhou. Therefore, both teams are on even ground and for the first time in a while, the Spark are led into this bout with zero expectations.
London Spitfire (6-9) // Sunday @ 6 A.M. EST
In the overall standings, the Spitfire land at 16th overall with a 6-9 record. However, London has some catching up to do to finish their regular season as they are four games behind the likes of Hangzhou. Taking that into account, both teams are pretty even in stats. If the Spitfire went even for the next four games, they would also be at an 8-11 record like the Spark. On top of that, both teams have similar map differences with London holding a -9 ratio and Hangzhou holding a -10 ratio. Overall, both teams have experienced their ups and downs this season.
The biggest difference between the two teams is how they have handled roster moves this season. London came into the 2020 season with a brand new roster, as mentioned in a previous preview. Since then, the team has stuck to their air fighter guns and have ridden out the season as a middle-bottom team. On the other side of things, the Spark went into the 2020 season with virtually the same roster, but have shaken things up recently, which has seen both it’s pros and cons. Both approaches to team management have provided similar results.
In this 1-1 even series, both teams own a clean sweep over the other. Interestingly enough, the Spark’s 3-0 victory was with their original roster and the Spitfire’s win was coming off the heels of Hangzhou’s big win against the NYXL in Architect, QoQ, and M1KA’s debuts. Since that last bout, Hangzhou has gone 1-3 with each match ending in 3-0 fashion. London’s record since Week 21, however, has been 0-3.
The Spitfire have been able to chip maps off of teams since their win against the Spark. But it is Hangzhou who have experienced actual success between the two teams. The Spark’s matchup last week against the Hunters showed the teams lack of trust in the roster system. The team is filled with talent, but they decided to playing the simple game. Hangzhou easily could have made the move to swap in QoQ or one of their other support players in a losing match to shift the momentum, but they became stagnant once again. This ultimately ended in a tough defeat.
Anime Arc of the Week // The Battle of London Bridge
This game will be close. Hangzhou needs to capitalize and not let teams like the Spitfire continue to get better than them. They have made the necessary moves to improve their talent, they just need better execution as an organization. The fight against London won’t be easy, but there is momentum going into the final game of the season waiting on the other side of the bridge.
Prediction: Spark win 3-2
Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
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