The Spitfire’s season has been marred by inconsistency, and Week 2 was the perfect example of these Jekyll and Hyde performances. The question of which version of the London squad will show up makes the Spitfire preview for their Week 3 matchups against the Titans and Outlaws an absolute head-scratcher.
Week 2 Review: A Tale of Two Londons
Spitfire 3-1 Charge
It was the best of times… This was supposed to be the more difficult game this week. Then the Spitfire showcased the form you would expect from a team with a championship title to defend. The Guangzhou Charge were surging and the matchup between two teams with firm grasps on the 2-2-2 meta was far more lopsided than anticipated. London imitated their Week 1 struggles, faltering on Lijiang Tower, but they managed to secure their first win on a control map this stage. Outside of a few pop-offs by Charlie “Nero” Zwarg, and an incredible recovery by the Charge to prevent a full hold on Havana and squeak out the final map in an already decided series, London was absolutely dominant for the remainder of the match.
Mayhem 3-0 Spitfire
It was the worst of times… There isn’t much good to be taken from losing to the last place team in resounding fashion. The Florida Mayhem came out swinging and London seemed content to rely entirely on Joon-yeong “Profit” Park and Ji-hyeok “Birdring” Kim to make individual plays and let the Korean DPS duo flex their muscles. The two were never able to do enough and Birdring’s inconsistency reappeared as he looked thoroughly outclassed by Jung-woo “Sayaplayer” Ha. The reigning champs appeared to have prepared heavily for Guangzhou and severely underestimated a rallying Mayhem squad.
Week 3 London Spitfire Preview
Vancouver Titans (22-2)
If London’s week two showing against the Mayhem wasn’t the worst of the weekend, then the Titans 0-4 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Justice was. Both teams are looking to right the ship as the season winds down and a matchup between playoff squads is the perfect opportunity to do so. The Spitfire should look far more prepared in this matchup, but expect the Vancouver Titans to showcase that the Justice debacle was an anomaly and return to form as the top team in the league. For London to compete, they will need to look a lot closer to a cohesive team than they did against Florida, and Profit will have to be the best player on the stage. Look for Hyojong “Haksal” Kim to continue showcasing why he was the biggest snub for the MVP ballot, and Vancouver to win a closer match than the scoreline indicates.
Prediction: Vancouver 3-1 London
Houston Outlaws (9-16)
Houston’s struggles are indicative of another team plagued by inconsistency, though their highs haven’t been quite that of the Spitfire. The big matchup to look out for is Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin versus Birdring on Widowmaker. Birdring struggled heavily as Sayaplayer, known as the best counter-sniper in the league, set up camp in his head. LiNkzr consistently receives praise for his Widow dueling and if “The Finnish Gift to esports” rattles Birdring the same way, Houston can pull off the upset. Even with the potential tilt in the sniper duel, London’s playoff seeding becomes less and less secure when they drop games to teams like Florida, so don’t expect them to make the same mistakes against the Outlaws.
Prediction: London 3-2 Houston
Player to Watch: Ji-hyeok “Birdring” Kim
While Profit will need to be Profit to pull out wins this weekend, Birdring will need to shake off the Florida match and show up in a big way for a chance to give Vancouver their first consecutive losses in the Overwatch League and avoid a potential upset by Houston. London has incredible individual talent and Birdring is no exception, but his performance mirrors the inconsistency of the whole team’s. When Birdring is off, the Spitfire are a middle of the road playoff team. When he is on, they look like a threat to repeat as champions.
Header Photo Courtesy of Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment
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