Vancouver Titans (19-0) vs Chengdu Hunters (7-11)
Vancouver Titans Starting Lineup
Sangbeom “Bumper” Park
HyunWoo “JJANU” Choi
Seong jun “SLIME” Kim
Juseok “Twilight” Lee
MinSoo “SeoMinSoo” Seo
Hyojong “Haksal” Kim
Vancouver Titans 3-1 Chengdu Hunters
The Stage 1 meeting between the Vancouver Titans and the Chengdu Hunters was an instant classic. The five map series served as a coming out party for the Hunters, who nearly knocked off the Titans while Menghan “Ameng” Ding got the better of Bumper in the main tank matchup. It wasn’t quite so close on Friday as the Titans avoided the upset with a 3-1 victory.
Nepal: Hunters 2-1 Titans
Vancouver started the night by giving the Hunters a taste of their own medicine, rolling out with Bumper on Wrecking Ball in a comp designed to counter Chengdu’s bunker setup. After giving up the initial capture, they let Haksal lead the way on Doomfist. The Titans evicted the Hunters from the point, and he terrorized them the whole way through. Vancouver never gave Chengdu a chance, winning the stage 100-42.
Moving over to Shrine, the Hunters got back to their comfort zone with Ameng matching JJANU on Hammond. Vancouver struggled to break through with their triple-DPS composition, holding the point briefly as the Hunters cruised to a 100-30 victory to even up the score on Nepal.
It all came down to Village, where Chengdu continued to assert themselves as Vancouver tried to match their style. The Titans were scattered and lost at times as they repeatedly failed to approach the point. Xianyao “Yveltal” Li got in on the action as Mercy, and the Hunters dominated the final stage to grab an early lead in the series.
Volskaya: Titans 3-2 Hunters
The Titans looked to turn things around on the defense and went back to a comp that has become more and more familiar. With SeoMinSoo on Sombra, they won the first fight with a quick EMP. Zhihao “YangXiaoLong” Zhang took down JJANU with a Deadeye, and Chengdu moved to point B. The Hunters started to get a bit sloppy once they swapped to a Sombra of their own, letting the time bank dwindle amid repeated failed pushes. They eventually broke through when Wenjie “Elsa” Luo’s Grav took out Twilight and JJANU, finishing the map with 1:09 remaining.
Haksal got to break out the Genji for the attack as the Titans went to a dive comp to put pressure on YangXiaoLong’s Widowmaker. The Dragonblade secured point A for the Titans, but they used nearly all of their time. Luckily Chengdu overextended, and Vancouver was able to punish them. Hu “Jinmu” Yi went for an aggressive Rocket Barrage that got nothing, and the defense fell apart as Haksal unleashed another Blade.
In extra rounds, the Titans won the first fight behind a massive Biotic Grenade from Twilight. Chengdu had to make a mad dash to the point to trigger overtime, and they got completely shut down. Vancouver needed just over 35% to even up the series, and they would not be denied. Swapping to 3-3 for the first time, the Titans parked themselves on the point and forced a fight. Twilight built Coalescence in the blink of an eye, and the Titans took down both Chengdu DPS to capture the point and take Volskaya.
Hollywood: Titans 4-3 Hunters
Chengdu broke out a triple DPS comp on attack that gave the Titans fits on Hollywood. Jinmu caught SeoMinSoo out early, and the Titans never fully recovered. Elsa’s EMP sealed the deal on point A, and they carried momentum into the streets phase. Vancouver managed to retake control of the cart, but another EMP pushed Chengdu into point C with 3:00 left. It seemed like Vancouver had gotten the stop when SeoMinSoo’s EMP took down Ameng, but the Titans failed to capitalize and the Hunters finished the map in overtime.
Vancouver’s attack was a bit shaky as they tried to deal with Chengdu’s bunker setup. A failed first push gave the Hunters a great ult economy and robbed the Titans of precious time. SeoMinSoo’s EMP gave them point A, but they needed to make up time. They stormed through the second point, eventually capping it behind an EMP-Dragonblade combo. The Titans kept up the pressure as they swapped to GOATs for the final point, pushing forward to preempt Chengdu’s EMP. They powered through the final fight to finish the map with 1:24 remaining.
Chengdu set out to secure the tie, and they nearly pulled it off. They had Vancouver up against the wall until JJANU secured four straight kills on the emergency Wrecking Ball. The Titans cleaned up the stragglers and captured the point in overtime to take a 2-1 series lead.
Havana: Titans 2-0 Hunters
The Titans looked greatly improved on Havana after a lackluster showing against Hangzhou. They won the first two fights convincingly, but Chengdu came back in with a Grav and EMP to stop the cart just shy of the checkpoint. Bumper got the Titans through point A with a huge Earthshatter immediately after blocking Yansong “JIQIREN” Wei’s. Vancouver played patiently on point B, eventually pushing through when Bumper went in deep with a Nanoboost. Chengdu buckled down on point C, cycling ultimates well and holding the Titans just outside of their spawn.
In their hour of greatest need, the Hunters turned to a composition of Orissa, Roadhog, Junkrat, Symmetra, Mercy and Baptiste. They proceeded to get held at spawn for two minutes before finally swapping to something more conventional. Their experimentation left them with little time to work with, and they couldn’t crack the Titans’ defense. Jinmu failed to find the picks they needed, and Elsa only got to use his EMP once it was too late. Vancouver shut down the Hunters’ last-second push to close out the series.
The Titans stay perfect with this win, looking solid even as they dealt with Chengdu’s off-the-wall style. Vancouver broke out some new looks of their own, showing that they have the tools to handle anything their opponents can throw at them. The Titans are still at their best in the 3-3 mirrors, but they’re proving to be more than a GOATs one trick.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League.
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