The Shanghai Dragons have propelled themselves this season from one of the worst to one of the toughest teams in the league. The Atlanta Reign began to struggle after Stage 1, but their Stage 3 performance has caught the eyes of many. After two tough and tight losses, the Reign knew what they wanted, and they brought their best.
Final Score: Dragons 3 – 2 Reign
Oasis: Atlanta 2 – 0 Shanghai
For as much as this round caught people off guard, it made sense. Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman once again made his name known throughout the league in the first two rounds on his aggressive support play. Picking Moira to start began as a 200 IQ play, as the Dragons were flustered in finding the solution. Round two started hot with Min-seong “diem” Bae rolling off on Tracer in the first two fights. The rest of the round belonged to Hyun-jun “Pokpo” Park, especially when the Atlanta switched to a Winston-GOATs composition.
Volskaya: Shanghai 5 – 4 Atlanta
If your purpose was to gather as many OWL tokens as possible, this match did you justice. Four straight attacks that were fully completed, it looked like neither team wanted to play defense. One player to note that popped off in the first four rounds was Seong-hyeon “Luffy” Yang, where his discord orb was constantly placed in perfect spots. This gave the Dragons just enough time to make their moves, but their final attack couldn’t go the distance. The Dragons only hope was one last defensive stand.
In what will arguably be the biggest brain IQ play of the night, Shanghai switched the composition to a Pharmercy, single-tank lineup. With all of the open space on point A, Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang rained rocket after rocket, building up the ultimate percentage at an alarming rate. Unleashing a barrage in the first fight, the double-elimination set up the rest of the Dragons for one final stand. In an attempt to save his teammate, Luffy nano-boosted DDing to not only splash two eliminations but also garnered Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh two of his own. In the final ticks counting down, Shanghai made their move to stay in the fight.
— Shanghai Dragons (@ShanghaiDragons) June 14, 2019
Numbani: Atlanta 5 – 4 Shanghai
Another map in the books, Numbani also looked like a map that took an eternity. This set of rounds featured DDing working D.Va, something that was played last week against the Valiant. Shanghai seemed to be on a tear, carrying their momentum past Volskaya. In their first attack round for the first four fights, the Dragons took 11 kills that spread to 45 eliminations across the team.
The Reign turned their focus towards Gamsu in their first attack round, and it was more than effective. Petja “Masaa” Kantanen utilized his boop to the fullest extent, constantly pushing the Dragons’ main tank out of position. This led to plenty of pressure on Dong-hyeong “DACO” Seo bombs and Min-seong “diem” Bae misplaced Graviton Surges. Shanghai was not able to maintain their aggression, and the passive play at the end resulted in a heartbreaking C9.
Havana: Shanghai 2 – 1 Atlanta
Though this match was unique already, the Dragons saved themselves with some incredible defense on Havana. Masaa elevated his game to new heights during Shanghai’s attacks, his sound barriers coming in clutch to change the tide of the fight. DDing struggled once again to find his placement on the field as Sombra, and it hurt Shanghai. Their attack only mustered a little past point B, but they weren’t down for the count.
Pokpo annihilated the Dragons to start on Atlanta’s attack, as they capped point A with 4:18 left on the clock. Diem created space for Shanghai as they inched closer to point B, popping off with several kills. DDing finally found his rhythm with an EMP that set up two eliminations for diem. In the final fight, it seemed fitting that Luffy would absolutely pop off, picking Reign members and shooting his discord orb left and right.
— Shanghai Dragons (@ShanghaiDragons) June 14, 2019
Nepal: Shanghai 2 – 0 Atlanta
After Oasis’ shenanigans earlier in the series, it was unclear how Shanghai was going to open Map 5. Round 1 started back and forth, neither team giving too much ground for their opponent. In a final EMP of the round, DDing melted Pokpo in the madness, rolling the Reign to scramble away enough to be staggered back to spawn. With one more round to go, the roaring crowd wanted a close match.
Atlanta rolled out a Mei-Orisa-Roadhog composition, more than prepared for Shanghai’s DPS playstyle.
And at this point was when the Shanghai Dragons ACTUALLY ran a true GOATs composition.
The first fight hold was stellar. Even with DDing being booped off the edge early, the Dragons held strong on the point despite being a man-down. Kyungwoo “CoMa” Son needed a highlight of his own, booping off DACO after hooking him. Saving the entire fight based off of that, the continuous healing led the Dragons to outlast the Reign.
This series was a match so close that it was actually anticipated. The Reign needed a win to keep playoff hopes alive and played two stellar matches against top teams in Week 1. The Dragons had won five of the last six regular-season matches and needed a win to keep their Stage 3 Playoff top-four seed hopes alive. Although they didn’t show their usual level of dominance with Sombra, this win will carry much farther than Thursday’s match. As one of the second-toughest teams on this Stage’s schedule, the Dragons should be as confident as ever.
What a way to kick off Day 1 of Week 2. Congratulations! 🌟 pic.twitter.com/ZYI2C1rtnk
— Akshon Esports (@akshonesports) June 14, 2019
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