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Overwatch League Recap: Shanghai Dragons vs Hangzhou Spark

Shanghai

Hangzhou 3-1 over Shanghai

In the first match of the season, a first win had two different meanings for both teams. For the Hangzhou Spark, it was to back up the hype as one of the top expansion teams. For the Shanghai Dragons, it meant to avoid a repeat of an atrocious inaugural season.

Busan: Hangzhou 2-1

The Dragons came out in their first map of season 2 with a wild compostion. Sticking to one tank the whole map, it proved well in the first control point. It went a quick 100% – 0% in Shanghai’s favor, and Min-seong “diem” Bae was on fire as Widowmaker, with several eliminations.

Shanghai
Image courtesy of Gamenews

The second started well for the Dragons, but Hangzhou adjusted and slowly began to figure out their opponent. The Spark’s Ho-jin “iDK” Parkuses had a few environmental kills with several boops off the map, along with several EMPs from Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim to stall the Dragons. That one went 100% – 68% in favor of the Spark

The final map kicked off in Shanghai’s favor, as diem had four elims in the first fight as Tracer. Shanghai took a 95% – 0% run, but Hangzhou wasn’t giving in. A massive EMP by GodsB turned the tide, and the Spark took over. After an impressive move by Da-un “NoSmite” Jeong to put a Winston bubble behind to avoid hacking, Jun-Ki “Bazzi” Park took two in the final fight to win Busan.

Hollywood: Hangzhou 2-1

The hybrid map had little to favor for Shanghai. Coming out in a GOATs composition, Yong-Jin “YOUNGJIN” Jin took the main-tank role as Reinhardt, and it looked a little rough. Aside from an impressive shatter, Shanghai struggled to have effective ultimate usage and tracking. Only moving 84 meters, Hangzhou had all the momentum going into their attack.

It didn’t take long for the Spark to take control on offense. Cornering YOUNGJIN in the first fight, Hanghzou took the point with ease. Hangzhou only needed two more team fights in order to steal map two. NoSmite helped setup the Dragons in the second team fight of the match, and a well-placed Seong-Wook “Ria” Park D. Va bomb took another five Shanghai players.

Horizon: Shanghai 3-2

Another interesting look for both teams out of the gate, Shanghai decided to run a Pharmercy on the first point, which proved well right away versus Hanghzou’s dive composition. Stalling three minutes wasn’t enough though, as they swept through point A after a wasteful rocket barrage by Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang. Hangzhou transitioned to a Sombra-GOATs meta and steamrolled the Dragons to win point B. 

Shanghai
Image courtesy Red Bull

Being one of the meme-ish matches of the night, Reaper comes into the game from YOUNGJIN and Shanghai on the attack. YOUNGJIN drew a ton of attention, which allowed Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim to land a stellar mine field to secure point B and force overtime.

Overtime worked in all favors for the Dragons, as Hanhgzhou couldn’t coordinate an effective team attack on Shanghai. NoSmite on Hammond almost took control, but a failed slam proved to be the deathpoint for the Spark’s move. When the Dragons took the attack, YOUNGJIN’s Reaper was the star of the show. Being nano-boosted by Seong-hyeon “Luffy” Yang, YOUNGJIN was able to take out several to steal point A and take map three.

Rialto: Hangzhou 2-1
Shanghai
Courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark.

The Dragons once again rolled out with another composition, this time a heavy dive comp. Running Sombra, Genji, Tracer, and Hammond, they originally struggled to take care of the Spark’s Pharmercy and Bastion. On the attack, Luffy took two quick eliminations as Zenyatta to move the payload. Having built up his ultimate, YOUNGJIN created a shatter combo with Geguri’s mine field to win the team fight and the checkpoint. The Spark constantly put down Shanghai’s main tank in every fight thereafter. The Dragons could only push the payload to a little before the second checkpoint.

Hangzhou’s attack was shaky but proved to be just enough versus Shanghai. The Spark started off strong as GodsB took out diem and Geguri early, with five minutes left they had already reached the first checkpoint. The Dragons held up a solid defensive stand, as diem’s Zarya killed two Spark members in one fight, and YOUNGJIN’s shatter took three in another. Xu “guxue” Qiulin was fantastic as Reinhardt towards the end, as his shatters proved to be devastating to the Shanghai Dragons and allowed the Spark to win the map.

Conclusion

Showing what seemed like an endless amount of compositions, the Dragons couldn’t pull it together when it came to moving the payload. Their strategies constantly threw Hangzhou through a loop, but the expansion team was able to fight past the Dragons once YOUNGJIN moved to main tank. YOUNGJIN’s lack of main tank experience showed, and the first win should come for the Dragons once Gamsu starts playing.

Shanghai’s ability to play a multitude of compositions and variety of heroes will bode well for the team in the future. Keeping their opponents on their toes, strong pushes with effective DPS play on Reaper, Tracer, or Widow can result in several picks with wins. Shanghai starts their season 0-1, and Hanghzou will gain their first win to start 1-0.

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1 comment

Spicey Salsa Butter Boy (@joshrenie) February 15, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Shanghai really came out swinging and I was impressed. As the match went on though, it became apparent they were simply outmatched. Congrats to Hangzhou on their first ever win, but going forward it’ll be hard for me to root against Shanghai. I love a good underdog.

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