London came into Stage 2 swinging, earning two decisive wins over the Mayhem and the Reign. With Ji Hyeok “BIRDRING” Kim back in the starting lineup, the Spitfire look closer to their last season selves. This patch’s increased DPS viability has allowed London to play more comfortable compositions and bodes well for their remaining performances this stage.
Last Week’s Recap
Florida Mayhem (1-8)
While the Mayhem appear more cohesive since switching to a full Korean roster, they still fell to the Spitfire. London looked a bit hesitant playing into Florida’s bunker compositions but came into their own after halftime. Whether on 3-3 or new DPS-oriented compositions, the Spitfire looked promising, and will hopefully keep up this performance for week 2.
Player of the Game
Junyoung “Profit” Park
While still occasionally on Zarya duty, Profit reentered the spotlight against the Mayhem back on the DPS role. On Hanamura, his Hanzo was instrumental in opening up their point A take. While it might take time before he makes a full-time return to flex-DPS, Profit’s performance against the Mayhem demonstrated how powerful he is, regardless of role.
Atlanta Reign (4-5)
Following the departure of star DPS player Daniel “dafran” Francesca after an impressive Stage 1, the Reign look out of their element. They started strong against Boston but were ultimately reverse swept. Hopes were high for Atlanta coming into their match against London, but the Spitfire were prepared. While maps were often close, they 4-0’d Atlanta, highlighting just how much teams can fluctuate between stages.
Player of the Game
Junho “Fury” Kim
Fury took to Twitter after the match to proclaim “I’m full” after eating so many of Atlanta’s gravitons. From canceling gravs with 180-degree flicks to challenging Andrej “babybay” Francisty to Tracer 1-v-1s, Fury’s prowess in making sure London keeps the upper hand in team fights was on full display.
Preview for this Week
Philadelphia Fusion (6-3)
The tried and true Philly vs. London matchups are always exciting. With a back-and-forth history between last seasons’ best, the verdict is still out on how this week’s match will go.
While the Fusion were stopped in their tracks against NYXL, their win over Florida was more decisive than London’s. On top of this, London look stronger now than they did during the last stage thanks to the new patch. While both teams surely have tricks up their sleeve, the Spitfire’s confident showings so far this stage bode well for a return to glory. It will likely be a close game, but London look like they have what it takes to secure the win.
Prediction: London wins 3-2.
Player to Watch
Ji Hyeok “BIRDRING” Kim
Part of London’s return to dominance this week was driven by BIRDRING’s return to the core lineup. Now that GOATS isn’t the only viable composition, the hitscan pressure that BIRDRING brings to the London roster allows them to play into their strengths more easily. Philadelphia’s slow adaptation to the new patch should give London’s DPS players a chance to shine.
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