The Chengdu Hunters and London Spitfire faced off on the second day in Dallas. On Saturday London defeated the Paris Eternal 4-0 while the Hunters dropped their Saturday game to the Hangzhou Spark 1-3. For the season the Spitfire have climbed into the top tier of the league with an 8-4 record and the Hunters are in the middle of the pack standing at 5-8.
The Hunters began the first engagement on City Center with Hu “Jinmu” Yi raining rockets down towards the Spitfire. London flipped it back at 56% with Jaehui “Gesture” Hong’s Winston being too much for Chengdu as they won the first point 100-56.
On Gardens the Spitfire were able to capture the point first off a hack and kill by Junyoung “Profit” Park. Jinmu opened things up for the Hunters with a Pharah ultimate taking out two members of the Spitfire and claiming control of the point at 25%. Profit hacked Jinmu getting a pick and the flip making it 89-25. In a final push Menghan “Ameng” Ding scored an environmental kill on Jongseok “Nus” Kim securing a 100-25 win.
On University the teams engaged in frantic team fights trading control back and forth. With the score 99-99, the Hunters found an advantage and used it to secure the map.
The Hunters began Paris on defense with an Orisa and Torbjorn version of a bunker comp. Ji Hyeok “Birdring” Kim really broke open the defense with a pick on Jinmu leading to a time bank of over six minutes going into Point B. Ameng made critical mistake by overextending and getting eliminated. His teammates soon followed as London captured Point B.
With the Hunters on offense they were met with a version of Sombra GOATs that they promptly ran over. Ultimates from Jinmu and Chunting “Kyo” Kong gained two ticks for the Hunters but London was able to regroup and prevent a full capture. This would serve to only delay the inevitable as the Hunters forced extra time by capturing Point B.
Both teams completed the map in the first overtime but only London had time left on the clock. In double OT London played very passively burning their time bank down to 25 seconds. The Hunters looked like they had the round won but London managed to extend overtime and pull out an improbable win tying the match 1-1.
The Hunters started on offense quickly rolling London. With a time bank of more than six minutes they pressed on. The Spitfire tried to flank behind the Hunters but forgot to challenge for the cart. The Hunters captured the second Point in short order. The Spitfire put up a valiant fight on Point C, holding onto the last few feet for nearly a minute before getting wiped.
Jinmu managed to hold the Spitfire back with his Pharah, eroding London’s time bank. As a team the Hunters paired support ultimates with aggressive game play pulling off a full hold.
The Hunters started their defense with a double sniper look while the Spitfire countered with a GOATs composition. While the 3-3 comp isn’t flashy it proved effective as the first Point was captured quickly. Point B went much better for the Hunters as they knocked London completely off their game with Jinmu feasting as Doomfist.
On offense the Hunters faced off against a Sombra GOATs composition. The momentum from the previous round seemed to carry over with Chengdu running London over. An EMP opened things up on Point B allowing the Hunters to approach London’s mark on the map with four minutes left. Ginmu sealed the deal with a Pharah ultimate and the Hunters won the map and subsequently the match 3-1.
If the Chengdu Hunters are the most fun team to watch then Jinmu is by far the most fun player in the league, earning player of the game honors. His flashy hero set was the difference in this one converting the Dallas faithful to Hunters fans if only for a match. While the Spitfire did manage to clinch their playoff spot this is a shot across the bow for the rest of the league, as they were put on notice that the Hunters can be a force moving forward.
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