If anyone had forgotten just how good the Vancouver Titans are over the midseason break, Week 1 served as a good reminder. Facing their toughest regular season week in a while, the Titans took care of business. They’ll face another test this week in the form of the Spark and Fuel, two teams with a lot to prove right now.
Week 1 Review
Titans 3-1 Reign
Fresh off giving the Shock a run for their money, the Reign were feeling confident entering their game against Vancouver. They were ready to push the Titans and looked up to the task in the early going. A close Nepal and an ugly showing on Paris for Vancouver tied the series at the half.
Vancouver rallied in the second half, taking an easy win on Hollywood and regaining control of the series. Atlanta made things close on Gibraltar, but the Titans pulled off an unreal overtime push in extra rounds to seal the deal. Vancouver certainly has things to work on after this series, but they looked good while shaking off the rust.
Titans 3-1 Gladiators
Neither of the Titans’ Week 1 opponents made things easy on them. For the second time, a competitive first map and a lopsided Paris (where Vancouver looked seriously lost at times) made it seem like the upset was in reach for the Gladiators. For the second time, the Titans dominated Hollywood.
This time, however, Vancouver didn’t give their opposition any hope when it came to Gibraltar. They blitzed the Gladiators to tie the fastest time in league history on the map. They died just three times and nearly went the whole map without a death. It was one of their best performances of the entire season and gives them great momentum for the rest of the stage.
Week 2 Preview
Hangzhou Spark (9-6)
Hangzhou is a team on the rise – since their loss to the Titans in Week 1 of Stage 2, the Spark have gone on a 7-2 run with both of those defeats coming at the hands of the Shock. During the preseason they were hyped as a potential rival for Vancouver among the expansion teams. Now, they might be fulfilling that destiny.
Certainly, Vancouver has the upper hand – they swept the Spark last time around – but Hangzhou is on form and looking dangerous. Qiulin “Guxue” Xu alone is enough to make Titans fans nervous. Still, this should be another straightforward win for the Titans if they maintain their focus.
Prediction: Vancouver wins 3-1
Dallas Fuel (10-6)
The cards are certainly stacked in Vancouver’s favor when it comes to their second match of the week. Dallas is a solid team to be sure, but they simply don’t have the firepower to take on the Titans. There isn’t a single position where the Fuel have a better individual player than Vancouver, and their synergy is nowhere close.
After losing twice to Vancouver in Stage 2 – in two one-sided sweeps – Dallas has to be looking to change things up. They simply can’t go into this game playing standard 3-3 and expecting to accomplish anything against the Titans. At the same time, they fell flat on their face against the Gladiators when they tried to break out a triple DPS comp on Paris. No matter how you slice it the options for Dallas are scarce and unattractive.
Prediction: Vancouver wins 4-0
Player to Watch: MinSoo “SeoMinSoo” Seo
SeoMinSoo had a tough week at times to open the stage. He donated three Graviton Surges to Donghyung “DACO” Seo during the Atlanta match and wasn’t his usual self. At the same time, he put in two good showings on Sombra during the clinching Gibraltar defenses during both series.
It’s good to see Vancouver experimenting with a look that has been slowly becoming more prominent as teams realize they can’t hang on standard 3-3 comps. The Titans don’t have that problem, but it gives them another option if they run into any trickery from their opponents going forward. Expect to see more of SeoMinSoo’s Sombra alongside an improved Zarya performance in Week 2.
The Titans ought to be confident after dispatching the Gladiators and Reign in Week 1. They just need to avoid letting that confidence become complacency. Another undefeated stage is certainly possible if they can maintain their focus. So far, so good, but Week 2 brings some foes hungry for revenge.
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for the Overwatch League.
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