Vancouver Titans (7-0) Guangzhou Charge (3-4)
The last match of Stage 1 had some serious playoffs implications for both teams. Guangzhou needed a win to push themselves into the top eight, and Vancouver could seize the league’s top seed. In a rematch of one of the Titans’ closest matches, questions surrounded Vancouver’s ability to handle the off-meta stylings of teams like the Charge.
Ilios: Titans 2-1 Charge
The series opened on the map where the Titans closed the first series, and it was another tight affair. The Charge looked completely at home on Ruins, where their triple DPS composition gave Vancouver fits – especially Jeong Woo “Happy” Lee’s Widowmaker. Seungpyo “Rio” Oh’s Wrecking Ball was a tough matchup for the Titans, and Guangzhou took the first stage of the map.
On Well, the Titans responded by putting Sangbeom “Bumper” Park on Orissa. The move got them to 99% before Guangzhou managed to get the flip, but Vancouver was able to win a final fight to send the map to a third point.
Ilios came down to Lighthouse, where Vancouver looked much more comfortable. The GOATs mirror match played into their favor, and the Titans didn’t lose a single fight as they dominated the Charge. Juseok “Twilight” Lee had a great showing on Zenyatta here, finding opening pickoffs and outdueling his counterpart Jin Seo “Shu” Kim. The Titans looked shaky at times but still came away with the 2-1 win on Ilios.
Numbani: Titans 3-1 Charge
The Titans maintained their momentum into the second map, coming out with a strong attack round. A drawn out first fight swung in their favor when Twilight built his Transcendence, giving Vancouver the chance to push onto point A. Guangzhou put up a solid fight through the next two points, but could not keep the Titans from finishing the map with just 13 seconds remaining.
Guangzhou’s attack relied on the DPS duo of Happy and Finley “Kyb” Adisi, and after a patient first fight Happy’s EMP secured point A. Vancouver continued to play carefully, depleting the time bank and forcing the Charge away from the Wrecking Ball. MinSoo “SeoMinSoo” Seo put in a great showing on Sombra, and the Titans pulled off the hold before point B to take Numbani and a 2-0 lead entering halftime.
Volskaya: Titans 2-1 Charge
The Titans took firm control of the series on Volskaya, where they captured both points in near-record time. They completely overwhelmed the Charge, taking a firm position on point A and never letting go. Some staggered deaths for Guangzhou and a faltering ult economy led to an almost immediate capture of point B, with a SeonMinSoo Graviton Surge delivering the final blow.
On the defense, Vancouver once again had to contend with Happy’s Widowmaker. He put down a ton of damage, but mistakes from his team slowed the Charge down. They still managed to take point A, but already found themselves down in time bank. Vancouver put on a clinic on point B, methodically picking the Charge apart on approach. Gone were the careless mistakes that almost cost the Titans last week, and Vancouver claimed the map to push themselves to an undefeated stage record.
Dorado: Titans 3-1 Charge
Dorado gave the Titans the chance to try some new solutions to Guangzhou’s Wrecking Ball compositions. On both attack and defense, that meant a Sombra-Genji dive with Hyojong “Haksal” Kim on his iconic hero pick. They made steady progress, trading fights with Guangzhou behind Haksal’s Dragon Blades. Guangzhou made a decent showing on defense but the Titans could not be stopped and completed the map just ahead of overtime.
On defense, the Titans replicated their dive success and severely limited the amount of time the Charge had to work with. Vancouver really took over on point B, where their GOATs continued to get the better of Guangzhou. They weathered Kyb’s EMPs with great positioning and responsive ultimates, and Guangzhou failed to trigger overtime, losing the map as a result. Vancouver took Dorado to close out the 4-0 sweep.
Vancouver left no doubt about the outcome of this game and secured their place as one of the juggernauts of this season. Despite some close calls – including one against the Charge – the Titans sit atop the Stage 1 standings. Tonight, their GOATs compositions looked cleaner than ever, just in time for the playoffs. The undefeated stage is a nice feather in the cap of a team that was seen by many as overrated going into the season. Now the Titans roll into playoffs with tremendous confidence and the Boston Uprising in their sights.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League.
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