Vancouver Titans (8-0) 4-0 Hangzhou Spark (3-5)
Coming into their match on Sunday, there were questions about how the Vancouver Titans would adapt to a new meta – one that prominently features DPS heroes for the first time in their Overwatch League run. On the other side of the stage were the Hangzhou Spark, a team that was supposed to benefit greatly from the meta changes. In the end, Vancouver looked as strong as ever en route to a 4-0 sweep while the Spark struggled with the DPS picks that were supposed to be their bread and butter.
Oasis: Titans 2-0 Spark
The series kicked off on City Center, where the Spark took first control after Kyeong Bo “GodsB” Kim found a hack on Sangbeom “Bumper” Park, and Hangzhou’s triple DPS dispatched the Vancouver main tank. That was the extent of their success as the Titans came back in with a Nano-Visor from Chunghee “Stitch” Lee to secure two kills. Vancouver maintained control from there by consistently denying the Spark any value from their ultimates through good positioning and excellent teamplay.
On Oasis, Hangzhou jumped out to a quick lead once again when another DPS comp methodically dismantled the Titan’s GOATs composition. This time they held on for a single fight, but that one fight cost Hangzhou all of their ults. The Titans regained control and refused to give it back, playing perfectly around the Spark ultimates as they took the first map.
Hanamura: Titans 3-2 Spark
Vancouver opened Hanamura with a 4-DPS setup they’ve shown just once before. It was abandoned after one attempt in favor of a much more comfortable 3-3 comp. Juseok “Twilight” Lee immediately made his presence felt on Ana with a huge sleep dart on SangHyun “SASIN” Song, and the Spark’s defense collapsed swiftly. Things weren’t much better for Hangzhou on point B, where they tried to set up a bunker for GodsB’s Bastion. Vancouver played patiently, forced rotations from the Spark and took out the Bastion after a superb Biotic Grenade from Twilight – ultimately finishing the map with over four minutes remaining.
Hangzhou spent the majority of their attack round ramming their head against a brick wall. A single early pick on Qiulin “Guxue” Xu cost the Spark nearly two minutes on point A, but they eventually broke through after an aggressive hold at the choke point backfired on the Titans. On point B, Vancouver kept firm control of the high ground, denying the Spark the strongest position to stage an attack and making sure Twilight was able to keep his team alive. The Spark finally claimed the point in overtime after a trade of Graviton Surges gave them a two-man advantage.
Vancouver needed just one tick on point A, so they went all out for sustainability on the point with Twilight on Moira. It worked perfectly, and Hangzhou couldn’t maintain a presence with Guxue on Orisa and three DPS once again. The Titans took the map and a 2-0 lead.
King’s Row: Titans 4-3 Spark
For a moment it looked like the Spark might have had a chance to turn the series around. Their attack round started strong with an early pick on Hyojong “Haksal” Kim, and they stormed through point A. The Titans found themselves behind in ult economy and never slowed the Spark’s momentum. Stitch was hit with an Earthshatter before he could unleash his Graviton Surge, and Hangzhou finished the map with almost four minutes in the time bank.
Vancouver responded with one of the most one-sided rounds of Overwatch imaginable. They took GodsB’s Sombra out of the game completely, first by killing him and then by denying him opportunities to hit big EMPs. Vancouver looked right at home on the attack, constantly applying pressure to the Spark and never giving them a chance to breathe as the Titans finished King’s Row in record time.
In extra rounds, both teams had massive time banks to work with, but Hangzhou could make nothing of it. The Spark played incredibly passively – almost two minutes passed before the first elimination happened – and Vancouver took advantage. The Titans pulled off the full hold and secured the series win – now it was time for some fun.
With over five minutes to secure a tick on point A, the Titans pulled out a triple-DPS setup that featured Bumper on Pharah. It was a silly strat, and despite some early kills, Vancouver couldn’t close out a fight to take the point. Three minutes of shenanigans gave way to another GOATs comp for the Titans, and they took the map after Bumper – back on main tank where he belongs – hit a massive Earthshatter.
Watchpoint: Gibraltar: Titans 3-2 Spark
Vancouver’s attack started slow, as they were repeatedly repelled by the Winston GOATs mirror from Hangzhou. The Titans cracked that defense when Bumper secured a kill on GodsB with his Primal Rage, and HyunWoo “JJANU” Choi chimed in with a double kill set up by Stitch’s Graviton Surge. Vancouver once again found themselves slowed down during the hangar phase, but a late swap onto Reinhardt tilted things in their favor. On point C, the Titans made the most of their limited time. Another Graviton-Self-Destruct combo got them nearly to the end of the map.
Vancouver played very passively on their defense, giving ground to the Spark in hopes of taking time off the clock. Hangzhou punished them with a kill on Bumper, and there was nothing the Titans could do to save point A. Another swap to Rein turned things around for the Titans on point B, until Sungwook “Ria” Park saved his team with a triple-kill Self-Destruct. Vancouver closed out the sweep on point C, where they held firm just before the final checkpoint, winning three fights with their backs against the finish line.
In his first full match of Overwatch League action, Stitch showed flashes of the DPS prowess that makes him an X-factor for the Titans. Mostly though, Vancouver took this one by sticking with what has worked so far. GOATs and its variations gave them a 7-0 record in Stage 1, and the Titans showed that it will still take them far in this meta.
Featured image courtesy of the Vancouver Titans via Twitter.
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