Olivia R. February 15, 2019
Newcomers Hangzhou Spark defeated Shanghai Dragons 3-1 in the final match of Overwatch League Season 2’s opening night. The two Chinese teams excited the crowd and surprised analysts with wild team compositions and unexpected hero picks.
Almost every match of the night leading up to the Chinese showdown consisted of the tried and true GOATS comp, which stands for “Go All Tanks and Support.” With three tanks and three support heroes, almost every game included Zarya, Brigitte, Zenyatta, D.Va, Reinhardt, and Lucio.
The unorthodox gameplay in the Spark and Dragon matches were refreshing for Overwatch League fans looking to escape the web of GOATS.
With main tank Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee falling ill right before Season 2 began, Shanghai Dragons had to get creative with their compositions. Throughout the first two maps, flex player Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim was the solo tank on the team, a major contrast from the broader three-tank meta.
Despite some expert Wrecking Ball plays from Geguri, Shanghai still lost the first two maps to Spark. This was due in part to Spark’s flex player Park “Ria” Sung-wook, whose D.Va Self-Destruct triple kill sealed the deal on Hollywood.
Broadcaster Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles called the match a disaster for the Shanghai Dragons.
But the Dragons’ luck changed on Horizon Lunar Colony, where they defeated the Spark 3-2. This was another unorthodox game that saw Geguri drop her Minefield while airborne, securing the second point with a stylish double kill. The Dragons won the final round of the map when Young-jin “YOUNGJIN” Jin wiped out part of the Spark roster with a Death Blossom. His surprising Reaper pick had been making the commentators laugh up until that crucial point.
Even though things had started looking up for the Dragons, the Cotton Candy Crew was able to take the fourth map after a quick but close game.
The Shanghai Dragons were once the worst team in the Overwatch League with a record of 0-40. After dropping the majority of their players, the Dragons acquired Zarya expert Geguri, and recently acquired former Boston Uprising star Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh just days before Season 2 began.
Even with the improved roster, the Dragons expressed before the match that they were still missing an in-game leader. Not having adequate time to practice with Gamsu may have been another reason for the defeat.
“I haven’t been with my team long yet, but I can already tell my teammates are strong players. I think today they were nervous, but we will come back stronger!” Gamsu said.