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Shanghai Dragons: Stage 1 Week 1 Preview

Welcome to the inaugural Shanghai Dragons Weekly Preview of Season 2. A series of these pieces will be created before each week’s games to make sure you are caught up and well-informed. Future pieces will include the past week in case you missed any action. As fans prepare for the first week, it is time to preview what to expect out of the Shanghai Dragons in their Week 1 matchups.

Stage 1, Week 1 Preview

Hangzhou Spark: 0-0-0 (Feb 14)
Hangzhou Spark Finishes their Lineup
Image Courtesy of Hangzhou Spark

It would be a lie to say that this matchup hasn’t gotten any attention from the community. It will mark the first win in either team’s history; a win meaning more to Shanghai than Hangzhou. With the loss of Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee last week, Shanghai seems to have two options in how they want to move into game one. Either flex some players to fit a GOATs meta, or run off meta entirely. Although there are rumors that the team has traded for Noh “Gamsu” Yeong-Jin which would definitely solve the problem.

It would not be far off to say that a classic 2-2-2 composition would crawl back into the OWL through the Dragons. It also would not be crazy to state that Shanghai will run a dive composition. What if Shanghai came out in the first map with a Pharmercy on Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang and Seong-hyeon “Luffy” Yang?

There comes to a point where unpredictability can work in someones favor. It is likely that until last week, the Spark were preparing to play against a GOATs composition. It’s likely that Shanghai was preparing for the same. Now, only Shanghai knows what the plan is before the spawn doors open, and they’ll need to use that to their fullest advantage, starting in Map 1.

Prediction: Shanghai wins 3-2

Fun fact of the day:

With a vast majority of last season’s Shanghai players reigning from China, only one player (Weida “Diya” Lu) is from China this season. The rest are South Korean natives.

Vancouver Titans: 0-0-0 (Feb 16)
Seoul Dynasty's Must-Watch Games
Courtesy of Vancouver Titans

This match-up could be headlined simply as “KongDoo Panthera vs RunAway, Part III.” Although not everyone, many of Shanghai’s newcomers are from KongDoo Panthera, and many of Vancouver’s are from RunAway. All of these players met at one point: the 2018 Korea Contenders Season 2 Grand Finals. RunAway took the title 4-3, but Shanghai has now brought in the only team that took RunAway to five maps and added Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim to that core.

Preparation for Shanghai is going to be key. Shanghai head coach Seong-hwan “BlueHaS” We spent two seasons with KongDoo Panthera strategizing against the RunAway. He could be a major reason for this squad prevailing as underdogs over the Titans. This shall be the beginning of a gritty rivalry.

Prediction: Vancouver wins 3-2

Photo Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Player to watch:

Geguri is going to be the key in both matchups. Not only will she have to lead this new team into their first win, but she’ll also be the key chess piece against Vancouver. Look for her to be the missing piece that the ex-KongDoo Panthera personnel needs to bring a ‘checkmate’ to their new bitter rivals.

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