The London Spitfire had a secret weapon going into their second match of the season, but it wasn’t enough to beat expansion team Paris Eternal.
After Spitfire couldn’t manage even one percent on control map Illios, the Season 1 champions brought out Overwatch League newcomer Hee-dong “Guard” Lee. London knew they had to break away from the GOATS meta if they wanted to keep up with Paris Eternal, and Sombra specialist Guard was the team’s answer.
Guard all but single-handedly annihilated Paris Eternal, getting two six-player EMPs early on in King’s Row. Continuously left without their ultimates and shields, Paris Eternal wasn’t able to keep up with Guard’s deadly Sombra plays.
Dealing almost 11,000 damage on King’s Row, Sombra’s rate of hero damage on Sombra is the highest so far on stage and over 20% higher than the next closest player. He also managed to EMP 22 enemies, hack 41 more, and managed a staggering 29 eliminations. Guard was responsible for over 20% of Spitfire’s team damage in the first round.
Going into Volskaya Industries, the London Spitfire surprised analysts by swapping Guard back out for Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim. This came as a major shock after how unsuccessful Spitfire had been with the 3-3 meta in the first game.
Without Guard to contend with, Paris Eternal took the assault map 3-2. Realizing they were better off with DPS mains, London brought Guard back for the fourth and final map. But Paris was prepared for Guard this time around, focusing him with Brigitte stuns until the Eternal were able to take Route 66 3-0, polishing off a 3-1 series victory.
London Spitfire’s continuous attempt at playing the current three tank and three support meta against Paris Eternal was difficult to explain given their success with Sombra and their lack of production using GOATS compositions. The defending champions will need to sort their strategy if they want to get back on the winning end of the standings.