The arrival of the Summer Showdown gives the London Spitfire another chance to start fresh. The first half of the season definitely did not go as planned. Entering the latter half of the season with zero wins under their belt is a place no team wants to be. Yet this time they enter with a new Head Coach, a new star DPS player, a new assistant coach and ideally, a renewed drive to succeed. Sparkr‘s arrival to the roster after finally coming of age is a definite cause for excitement. An explosive player with an extensive history of playing with the bulk of the roster. Someone coming in without the baggage of their winless start will hopefully give the team the spark they need to find their footing at last.
Their first foray into the Summer Showdown will not be an easy one, however. Facing their European rivals the Paris Eternal as well as the newly ANS-Ified San Francisco Shock is not a path to easy wins. They’ve had a long break now to incorporate their new pieces into their system, but will that be enough to get their wings in the air?
London Spitfire vs. Paris Eternal (6/25)
What a twist of fate this season has been for fans of European Overwatch. Coming into the season many predicted the Spitfire to be the better performing of the EU teams. How wrong so many were. The Eternal have been the team that have looked infinitely more competitive. They have shown immense growth as the season has progressed, and even had an impressive 2-2 run in the June Joust. Taking big wins over the Washington Justice and Boston Uprising. All during a time where they lost and had to quickly replace two players from the starting roster. In fact, Dridro and Vestola have arguably made the team even better. Additionally, players like Onigod, Kaan and Naga have delivered tenfold on their potential and show no signs of slowing down. Their coaching staff, and especially GM Avalla should receive massive praise for putting together a dream underdog team.
Sadly all the deserved praise the Eternal are getting put them as the clear favorites in this Euro clash. The Spitfire have looked disjointed, with what appears to be a split take on how they want to play. Some players clearly wish to be aggressive and take the fight to the other team, where others seem more reserved and wanting to play more passively. In order to claim the European crown, they will need to recapture the trademark synergy that made them so successful in their time as British Hurricane across 2020. Hero bans being lifted could also benefit the squad, as it will give them more freedom to player their comfort picks, ideally bringing peace of mind. Sparkr coming in could help a great deal, as they were a key figure in their contenders success. Time will tell however how great the impact will be.
Prediction: Eternal 3-1 Spitfire
The Eternal have simply been playing better across the board, and it is impossible to tell the impact a single roster change will have at the beginning of the tournament.
London Spitfire vs. San Francisco Shock (6/26)
The Shock have been a rollercoaster of emotions in recently. In just a few hours they said goodbye to 2020 Grand Finals MVP Striker as he retired, and welcomed back ANS who rejoins the team after a brief stint in professional Valorant. The effect these moves will have on the team could be somewhat dramatic. The team was by no means having a poor season, putting up an impressive 7-1 regular-season record. However, they have been shut out in their attempts to make it Hawaii for the finals of each monthly tournament. Now they will be entering a banless meta, in which heroes like Tracer could see significant playtime. Without Striker all eyes will be on who will take up his mantle. Perhaps the underused Glister, who, with ANS now on the team will need to seek a new role. Or perhaps the truly underused Ta1yo, someone who seems stuck in an eternal struggle to find his place. Questions surround this team, yet in reality the sheer amount of talent on the roster should shield them against struggling teams.
One such team is the Spitfire. A team whose strength of schedule has been almost cruel all season. Once again they find themselves up against a dominant force. While the Shock have shown cracks in their once impenetrable armor this season, it is hard to picture a future where they lose to the Spitfire, at least right now. Now that’s not to say that upsets can’t happen. In fact, they happen all the time in the Overwatch League. One has to be realistic though when looking at how the teams match up in their current state, and barring an immense swing of momentum and coordination the Shock shouldn’t face much resistance.
Prediction: Shock 3-0 Spitfire
Sometimes bluntness is required. This matchup shows no signs of favoring the Spitfire. They will have to pull off a massive upset to take the win here. Maybe if they can rally around Sparkr and recapture some of their player’s former synergy they can make it competitive. Yet the arrival of ANS, should give the Shock even more incentive to start their Summer Showdown run on the right foot.
Follow Ethan on Twitter @EthanButler for all your London Spitfire, Overwatch League, and Esports needs.
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