Dragons: 1-2 (4-6 overall), Hunters 2-1 (5-5 overall)
Chengdu sought revenge after a sweep back in Week 3. The Hunters already won their first two matches of Stage 2, and the Dragons simply looked to gain some sort of momentum, as they dropped both of their matchups in Week 1. The Dragons swept the season series, as the unpredictable Chengdu Hunters were out-predicted.
Final Score: Shanghai 3 – 1 Chengdu
Lijiang Tower: Dragons 2 – 0 Hunters
On one of the quicker maps of this series, Shanghai dominated without giving a single inch to Chengdu. Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh and Ding “Ameng” Menghan both opened on Hammond (as expected), and Gamsu emerged with dominance. Gamsu had one elimination on Ameng and two eliminations in another fight in Round 1. Round 2 may have been even more impressive, as the Dragons avoided a Chengdu flip. Luo “Elsa” Wenjie came down on Shanghai with an EMP, but a well timed placement of Gamsu’s mines right before would stall long enough to get the team back to the point. Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang would also be crucial on this map, providing 18 eliminations while on Pharah.
Paris: Chengdu 1 – 0 Shanghai
With an unexpected twist, the Hunters provided an incredible defense opening the 2CP map. It became Yi “JinMu” Hu’s turn to provide the Pharah pressure, giving nine final blows in Chengdu’s full hold. On Paris alone, the Hunters would collect over 19,000 damage as a team, proving how much pressure was provided. The Dragons didn’t have an answer on Paris, regardless of offense or defense. The Hunters only needed one quick push to cap the round and tie the series.
King’s Row: Shanghai 3 – 2 Hunters
In one of their best maps so far, the Dragons provided a roller coaster of emotions on King’s Row. Yong-Jin “YOUNGJIN” Jin dominated on Shanghai’s defensive round to start, garnering plenty of hooks for close-range blasts on the Hunter support line. With almost returning the full-hold, the Hunters awoke from their slow play. JinMu found a small opening and capitalized on a Dragon Blade that would kill three Shanghai players. Chengdu would continue to push but ultimately would find their end just before the finish due to Ameng’s overly aggressive playstyle.
Similar to the Hunters on Paris, the Dragons faced almost no pressure on their attack. Min-seong “diem” Bae clapped eliminations again and again, opening on Hanzo and making it look easy. Shanghai would be halted for the first time just under five meters from the final point, as Zhang “YangXiaoLong” Zhihao moved to McCree for easy and quick damage. The Dragons used four ultimates in the final fight, which lead to a full push for the finish. Seong-hyeon “Luffy” Yang was dominant against Kong “Kyo” Chunting in the Zenyatta matchup, totaling over 4,200 damage, 4,100 healing, and 2,100 damage amplified with the discord orb.
Junkertown: Shanghai 3 – 2 Chengdu
In a wild finish to the night, the Dragons kicked off the final map making it look too easy. With DDing opening on Bastion, the DPS player melted players (with the help of Luffy’s Matrix Amplifier) in only three fights to reach point B. Chengdu got hot as they rattled off three quick eliminations on the high ground. Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim would provide one of the most impressive map performances for her so far this season, placing bomb after bomb perfectly. In a fight that saw an advantage to the Hunters, the Frog Queen caught Chengdu off guard and gathered a quick elimination, which would lead to a full push with over two minutes in the timebank.
The Hunters’ final attack of the night was dominant as well, just not as much as Shanghai’s. JinMu took his turn on the Bastion, taking three Dragons down to cap the second point (without a matrix). In one of the most thrilling plays of the night, Geguri and Gamsu comboed ultimates in a fashion that fans dreamed of seeing all season. While Gamsu was stuck in a graviton surge, he laid down a surprising earthshatter that caught almost all of the Hunters in the final underneath passage. Geguri instantly let off a self-destruct, erupting into three beautiful eliminations. In Chengdu’s final push, it looked like they would prevail and force Shanghai into extra rounds. YOUNGJIN had other ideas, as he switched from Baptiste to Bastion to melt the Hunters and keep them off the point for the win.
— Jake Renie (@TheRen_Machine) April 13, 2019
In a match that seemed to take a 180 in at least 3 different instances, the complex compositions of the Dragons are what seemed to have led to victory. It seems that with every match in Stage 2, Shanghai is comfortably moving away from the GOATs lineup. If they can continue effective play on Roadhog, Pharah and Junkrat, Shanghai might sneak into the Stage 2 Playoffs.