Arguably facing off against the toughest set of games in a single week, the Shanghai Dragons fell in both matches. With a new growing meta, the Dragons shined in several moments that can preview a bright future.
WEEK 1 MATCHES
Los Angeles Gladiators: 2-0 (5-4 overall)
The Gladiators (similar to Shanghai) kicked off the evolving meta in Stage 2 looking better than the first stage. Despite the Dragons dominating on the first map, Oasis, largely due to Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh and Min-seong “diem” Bae, the new strategies showed not as strong of coordination.
Two instances can be spotted that ultimately led to the Dragons’ demise. On Anubis, Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang ran as Junkrat and the team had early success as they capped A with six minutes in the time bank (DDing was the first to fall in the engagement anyways). Playing essentially the whole map, the flank only gathered one elimination. The other instance came in Yong-Jin “YOUNGJIN” Jin’s Doomfist on Shanghai’s attack round on Gibraltar. The first two fights gained little to no momentum, as he couldn’t gain elimination through a rocket punch. The ultimate economy shifted drastically to LA’s favor, leading to a full hold.
Player of the Game:
Gamsu deserves this honor from the Dragons, especially based on his play during Busan. The Dragons’ only map win in this matchup, he was able to completely disrupt Lane “Surefour” Roberts’ rhythm.
New York Excelsior: 2-0 (9-0 overall)
After being bounced in the Stage 1 Playoffs, the NYXL came in hungry for vengeance. The lineup boasted an incredibly deep roster, and they showed no mercy. The Dragons were able to catch the Excelsior off-guard, as the final score of 3-0 didn’t tell the full story.
The combined score through the first two maps was 3-2, and this wasn’t a fluke. Control and assault maps can be largely affected by DPS play, and Shanghai did not fear rolling out the damage. One of the best moments came from Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim, as she subbed in and led a stellar six-minute defense on Hanamura’s second point. Two instances during that span contain a D.Va self-destruct from the off-tank that took out two Excelsior players. Although the Dragons ultimately didn’t win a map, they look to be heading in a positive direction.
Before the matchup, the NYXL had a win rate of 62% on assault maps during the regular season. This was the team’s lowest percentage on any map type.
Week 2 Match:
Chengdu Hunters: 2-0 (5-4 overall)
This may be the most interesting match that the OWL has to offer in Week 2. With both teams supposedly improving with the new growing meta, Shanghai’s dominant sweep in Stage 1 Week 3 is clearly forgotten. The bandwagon has grown exponentially the more swole Ding “Ameng” Menghan memes surface on social media.
In all seriousness, both Lo “Baconjack” Tzu-Heng and Yi “JinMu” Hu are in the top 20 in final blows. The Hunters’ team-play is a complete flip, but the team has only faced Paris and Washington so far in Stage 2. The Dragons’ support line will have to stay out of sight, as the Hunters love to dive for quick eliminations.
The DPS play of diem & DDing will keep the Dragons ahead of Chegdu, 3-2.
Player to Watch:
All eyes need to be focused on Gamsu. It’s likely that the teams will both feature Wrecking Ball in Lijiang Tower. From start to end, it will be GigaDad (Gamsu) versus GigaChad (Ameng). The winner of the matchup will be part of the winning team.
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