In a routine week for the team, the Hangzhou Spark broke even against a menacing Seoul squad and the typical Chengdu Hunters. Nine games into the season and the team has established themselves just outside the upper-echelon of the league as they fight within the middle of the pack. This week, the Spark have their work cut out for them as they face the Dynasty (Sunday @ 4 A.M. EST) once again in a rematch of Week 12. It’s going to be tough for the rest of the season if Hangzhou can’t find a way to steal some maps against their superiors.
Hangzhou Spark vs. Seoul Dynasty
Last time around, Hangzhou got swept by Seoul in a decisive 3-0 decision. While there hasn’t been much change since last week’s matchup, the Spark were able to gather some momentum after snapping their three-game losing streak against the Hunters. This week presents the team with some needed clarity as Hangzhou faces a Seoul team that also got the rug pulled out from under them with a 3-0 loss to the surging Dragons. In which, Shanghai has had a whopping seven 3-0 wins already this season.
Hangzhou hasn’t had much success against the Dragons themselves, but they do have an opportunity to pounce on a roster that faced China’s best. After learning what the Dynasty have to offer first-hand in last week’s game, the team will have to prove themselves in a McCree and Widowmaker-less meta on top of that. This may be an ample opportunity for the Pink and Blue to gain the upper hand on a team that seems leagues ahead of them so far this season.
Anime Arc of the Week: The 3-0 vs. The 3-2
Hangzhou are tied for 2nd in the league with 3-2 wins, and they have been down in a 0-2 scenario previously in the season as well. This team has the potential to take maps off of other teams and rally it to a victory. The unfortunate thing, however, is that when the team has been down recently, they can’t seem to pull all back together as they previously could. Hangzhou is near the top of the league with map 5 win percentage at 66.7%, essentially winning two out of their three games that have arrived at map 5. This is an excellent sign as the team performs well under map 5 pressure. But the issues on top of that is when the team faces squads that are far better on paper, they inevitably succumb to a 0-3 defeat.
Hangzhou’s record going into this week is 4-5. Two of the four wins have been 3-2 wins, but out of those five losses, three have been 0-3 sweeps. For the team to evolve, they must break the stigma of the 0-3 loss against top-tier teams. The Spark doesn’t necessarily have to win the game per se, but they need to make strides in order to steal maps from these teams to show progress in their systems. Hangzhou is where they are because of lack of change, from their roster to their style of play. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. And against the Dynasty, insanity isn’t the answer.
Prediction: Dynasty win 3-1
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Featured Image Courtesy of Hangzhou Spark
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