Spark win season defeat by knocking off Hunters
HANGZHOU: The Hangzhou Spark kicked off their season with a bang, coming back to take a 3-2 reverse sweep against the Chengdu Hunters on Saturday. This was the first series of the year for both teams, whose debuts had been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Hunters (0-1) came out strong, winning Ilios 2-1. Chengdu ran dive compositions for the opening rounds of Ilios before DPS Hu “JinMu” Yi broke out his signature Pharah and laid waste to the Spark. Though Chengdu only picked up two points on Dorado, JinMu’s Pharah carried the Hunters to a 2-0 shutout win to put Chengdu up 2-0 going into the break.
After the break, the Spark (1-0) would bounce
back. Strong play from DPS Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim and main tank Xu “guxue” Qiulin would lead the Spark to a 3-2 win on Numbani and a 3-2 win on Paris.
In the tiebreaker map on Oasis, despite good performances from JinMu and Chengdu main tank Ding “Ameng” Menghan, who was a consistent menace on Wrecking Ball, Hangzhou held firm and took a 2-1 map to wrap up a 3-2 series win.
Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Gladiators picked up their first win of the year by posting a 3-1 victory over the defending Overwatch League championSan Francisco Shock. San Francisco (1-1) ran a variety of lineups in this series, utilizing its deep bench to varying success. Los Angeles ran fairly consistent lineups, swapping DPS players in and out depending on the map.
For the Gladiators (1-1), the tank duo of Min-seok “OGE” Son and Indy “SPACE” Halpern were the biggest contributors to the win. OGE and SPACE led Los Angeles to a 2-0 win on Ilios and a resounding 1-0 full-hold win on Route 66 to go up 2-0 into the break. San Francisco would come back somewhat, taking Numbani 3-2 and tying Volskaya Industries 33,
but the Gladiators would come roaring back on Control, taking Oasis 2-0 and securing the series win. The win moves Los Angeles Gladiators into 10th place while it drops San Francisco to 11th.
In other Chinese team action, the Shanghai Dragons (1-0) demolished the Guangzhou Charge 3-0. Led by the debuting DPS Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim, who came over from the Seoul Dynasty, Shanghai took a 2-1 win on Nepal, 3-2 win on Route 66, and 21 on Eichenwalde. Fleta’s Mei was on point; using her Ice Wall ability to split up the Charge (0-1) and win fights before they could truly even begin.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Dynasty (1-0) picked up a clean 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Valiant (1-2). Led by new acquisitions Joon-yeong “Profit” Park on DPS, Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong on tank and on support, Seoul soared to a convincing win. The Dynasty took Nepal 2-0, Dorado 2-1, and capped things off with a 3-2 win on Eichenwalde.
Finally, the Toronto Defiant (2-4) picked up a 3-1 win over the Boston Uprising (1-5) in a battle of teams near the bottom of the standings. Toronto took Busan 2-0, Rialto 1-0, and, after losing Hollywood 3-0, took Hanamura 2-1 to secure the win. — Reuters