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Overwatch League Recap: Toronto Defiant vs Hangzhou Spark

Toronto Defiant vs Hangzhou Spark

Toronto Defiant 3-0 Hangzhou Spark

As the end of Stage 1 of the Overwatch League approaches, teams scrambled to secure their Stage 1 playoff positions. For the Toronto Defiant, winning this match would guarantee them a spot in the stage playoffs. For the Hangzhou Spark, losing this match would lock them out of the stage playoffs. Toronto’s key to success would also be the nail in Hangzhou’s coffin.

Toronto Defiant vs Hangzhou Spark
Image courtesy of the Toronto Defiant

Nepal: Toronto Defiant 2-1 Hangzhou Spark

The Hangzhou Spark won the first fight on Nepal Shrine, granting the early lead and an ultimate advantage. The Defiant were already on the back foot. Despite a few incredibly promising setups from Toronto, the Spark repelled the assaults and finished round one 100 percent to zero.

On Nepal Village, the Defiant finally caught the Spark off guard and gained some point control. With the advantage of positioning, Toronto were able to repel Hangzhou’s attacks until 91 percent. Then they finally crumbled and the Spark started building percentage. SeungHyun “Ivy” Lee’s Zarya was especially dominant in this round. His Graviton Surge gave the Defiant the opening they needed to complete round two.

Thanks to an unfortunate Lucio boop to start Nepal Sanctuary, the Defiant lost the first fight before it even began. To compensate, they took the point quickly, only allowing Hangzhou 25 percent. Despite losing the next fight, Toronto’s stall tactics allowed them to gain 77 percent before the point flipped once again. After that they regained the point with only two more Lucio-related casualties. The Defiant reached overtime, and after one more close fight, won the map 2-1.

King’s Row: Toronto Defiant 3-1 Hangzhou Spark

On the Defiant’s attack round for King’s Row, they rotated through the hotel toward point A. Despite this risky play, they made the early picks necessary to capture the point. Qiulin “Guxue” Xu led the Spark with an Earthshatter to stop the Defiant just short of the end of point B. Hangzhou appeared to be in a good position. However, an EMP from Kang-Jae “Envy” Lee melted Hangzhou’s defenses away and secured point B for Toronto. Envy’s Sombra continued to have a big impact into point C. With a fresh EMP at every fight, the Defiant kept shutting down the Spark and finished their attack round.

Given Sombra’s success on the previous round, Envy kept the hero into the second round. The Spark responded with Hanzo, Soldier:76, Widowmaker, Pharah, and Wrecking Ball. Their goal was to set up long range sight lines from multiple angles and out-flank the Defiant. Despite holding out for a respectable amount of time, Toronto finally crumbled. Hangzhou carried their quad-DPS comp into point B, but they weren’t able to make much more progress. Toronto’s superior defense forced the Spark to switch to a 3-3 comp. With the Spark now aiming to build as many of their own ults as possible, Toronto’s goal was to conserve their own ults while holding their forward position as long as possible. Once they knew Hangzhou were all-in, the Defiant started baiting out ults. After Hangzhou spent their ultimates, Toronto struck with an EMP-Earthshatter combo, essentially nullifying all of Hangzhou’s efforts. With not enough time remaining, the Defiant won King’s Row 3-1.

Toronto Defiant vs Hangzhou Spark
Image courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark

Volskaya Industries: Toronto Defiant 2-2 Hangzhou Spark

Toronto spent quite a bit of time from their first attack trying to gain ultimate advantage. Once the Spark had used enough ults to put them behind in the ult economy, the Defiant finally moved in and captured point A. Ivy’s Graviton Surges were deleted by D.Va’s Defense Matrix several times in this round, making Toronto’s attack much harder. Despite this, a powerful Earthshatter from Kyeongmu “Yakpung” Cho gave the Defiant the push they needed to finish their attack.

The Defiant’s point A defense was incredibly unyielding. They came close to breaking several times, but constantly stabilized just enough to hold a little longer. The Spark eventually captured point A, but that didn’t intimidate the Defiant. The Spark seemed to waste quite a bit of time attempting to set up their attack, only to be squashed by a 5-man Self-Destruct from Envy. The resilient Hangzhou Spark came back and managed to eliminate enough of the Defiant to capture point B.

The Defiant were able to punish a divided attack from the Spark to burn most of the time Hangzhou had left. After thwarting one last desperate attack, the Defiant guaranteed at least a draw on this map.

Not satisfied with simply a draw, Toronto was determined to earn another map win. Unfortunately, the Spark did not feel the same way. Despite a strung time bank, the Defiant were unable to capture point A. The map ended in a draw, securing a stage playoff spot for the Toronto Defiant.

Rialto: Toronto Defiant 4-3 Hangzhou Spark

After a bloody first fight on Rialto, the Toronto Defiant approached the end of point A on Rialto. Thanks to some stellar disruption play from JooSung “RoKy” Park, the Defiant proceeded to point B. The Spark kept trying and failing to stop Toronto’s steady march through the map. However, Toronto’s amazing ult management and coordination kept them marching well into point C. After one last massacre, Toronto finished their attack.

RoKy died early on Toronto’s defense, giving Hangzhou a little more ground than the Defiant would have liked. Regardless, the Defiant stopped them just shy of the end of point A. SeHyun “Neko” Park kept the Spark on their toes with his deadly Zenyatta play. Hangzhou only barely captured point A, and were almost immediately stopped in their point B push. It was at this point that the Defiant began spawn camping. However, the Spark somehow began to gain traction, capturing point B fairly quickly. Suddenly Toronto was forced to play desperately to stop the Spark from finishing their attack. To their dismay, the Spark overwhelmed the Defiant and finished their attack.

Toronto caught a lucky break at the start of their second defence. Hangzhou’s Lucio player – Ho jin “iDK” Park – accidentally fell into the river in the first five seconds. The Defiant were able to hold the payload just shy of point A, with about four minutes for their own attack.

With a quick and decisive win in their very first engagement, the Defiant had practically won the match before the Spark could even defend. By the time they were able to put up a fight, the Defiant had already built enough ultimates to secure the victory. Toronto finished the map 4-3.

Toronto Defiant vs Hangzhou Spark
Image courtesy of the Toronto Defiant

Conclusion

Having extinguished the Spark, the Toronto Defiant secured their spot in the stage 1 playoffs. With a final stage 1 match record of 5-2, this team’s strong focus on protecting their Zenyatta has propelled them ahead of their opponents. Neko died only ten times through this entire match, and his early picks won several fights before they began. Envy and Ivy also pulled off several clutch plays this match. Overall, this match proves that the Defiant has what it takes to be one of the best teams in the league.

 

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Featured image courtesy of the Toronto Defiant.

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