Washington Justice (2-12) vs. Hangzhou Spark (9-7)
With the Hangzhou Spark’s slow to shift to the growing Sombra meta and the Washington Justice favoring 3-3 as well, their Week 2 matchup was always going to be a battle of the tank lines. Hangzhou’s Qiulin “Guxue” Xu is among the best-regarded main tanks in the league. Could Washington rally behind their own struggling Junhwa “Janus” Song to keep the infamous ‘Primal Blade’ in check?
Junhwa “Janus” Song, Tank
Hyang Gi “Sansam” Kim, Tank
Corey “Corey” Nigra, DPS
Gi Hyeon “Ado” Chon, DPS
Nikola “sleepy” Andrews, Support
Yeonjun “ArK” Hong, Support
Map 1: Ilios
Ruins began in a 3-3 mirror match and an all-out brawl. Hangzhou took first control and held to 99 percent with little trouble. The Justice retook control once in overtime, but the Spark had plenty of momentum to push back in and secure the point.
The mirrored comps continued on Lighthouse, where the Spark pushed forward aggressively to take first control without even letting Washington near the point. Hangzhou maintained control through several extended fights with no kills. Washington eventually took their first kills of the round and retook the point in overtime, but the Spark again regained control easily.
Score: Hangzhou 2-0 Washington
Map 2: Paris
Washington started on defense and firmly planted their feet. With only 30 seconds left on their offense, the Spark picked off Janus and pushed the rest of the Justice back to take point A. Washington halted their progress on B with slow, consistent ultimate management. At round’s end, the Justice had a staggering 30-5 advantage in eliminations.
On Washington’s attack, Hangzhou shifted to a Winston 3-3 composition to defend. Sansam lobbed a Self-Destruct onto the middle ground, and ArK booped the Spark out from behind the pillar at the last moment to secure a triple kill and the point A capture. The Justice pushed onto point B, but Hangzhou stabilized and held Washington to a draw.
Score: Washington 1-1 Hangzhou
Map 3: Hollywood
After a strong performance on Paris, the Justice all but collapsed after halftime. Washington defended first, and Hangzhou promptly set a new OWL record for map completion, finishing with 3:39 on the clock. The Justice only scored a single elimination in the first round, a straggling kill on iDK on their retreat from point A.
On Washington’s attack, Hangzhou maintained their momentum, taking fights early and securing quick opening kills. Corey managed a single kill on Adora, but was promptly Earthshattered by Guxue and eliminated. The Spark would full hold the map, with eliminations at 36-2 in their favor.
Score: Hangzhou 3-0 Washington
Map 4: Watchpoint: Gibraltar
With the match won, Hangzhou were focused on repairing their poor map differential to pave their way into the playoffs. They charged through the first two points with little trouble. The Justice stabilized at the beginning of point C, putting up a long defense, but the Spark completed the map with 1:48 on the clock.
On the attack, sleepy switched briefly onto Roadhog to get a quick demech on Sungwook “Ria” Park, but that was all the momentum the Justice would develop. Despite eliminations being almost equal for the two teams, Hangzhou completed three points while Washington couldn’t even secure one.
Score: Hangzhou 3-0 Washington
Final Score: Hangzhou 3-0 Washington
Second verse, same as the first: the Justice are held back by their lack of decisive action. They won overtime fights on Ilios when they had no choice but to fully engage. Strong defenses on Paris and Gibraltar showed that, with forethought and careful ult management, they can easily hold their own. But for most of the match, they were caught hesitating — and, as the adage goes, were thus lost. Sansam, ArK and Corey all showed moments of greatness, and Janus is truly inches away from being a great main tank with just a bit more discipline. But the Justice must learn to stand united, or divided, they will continue to fall.
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