In a game that looked more one-sided than the score suggests, the Hangzhou Spark locked their spot in the Overwatch League Season 2 Playoffs with their 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Gladiators.
Kyeongbo “Godsb” Kim seemed to carry the team, popping off repeatedly on different heroes throughout the series with help from teammates like Sungwook “Ria” Park. The Gladiators fought hard to keep the score close, but never quite seemed in control after the first map ended.
The majority of the match came down to Godsb’s match up against Lane “Surefour” Roberts. While Surefour had plenty of highlight reel moments that kept his team in the match, he didn’t have the same support as Godsb.
While on Hanzo, the Spark DPS player looked nigh unstoppable, but he might not have succeeded without coordinating with his tanks. Ria seemed to hook a Gladiator on every cool down, as Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye and Guiun “Decay” Jang couldn’t time their barriers and Ice Walls well enough to protect their teammates.
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According to Hangzhou main tank Qiulin “guxue” Xu, it was only a matter of practice until his team’s synergy bounced back to previous levels.
“At first we had trouble adjusting to this new meta,” Guxue said in a post game interview when asked if his team has been underestimated. “But, slowly we found our footing in this new stage and are getting stronger.”
Few maps encapsulated Hangzhou’s increasing strength like the last one of the series, Ilios. Hangzhou and the Gladiators clashed hard early on Well, and traded kills with the Spark taking a near edge. However, after taking a relatively close first point, they shut down every attempt to touch the second point their opponents mustered. At times, an otherwise solid Gladiators roster looked like a far cry from a playoff contender.
With their win over the Gladiators, the Spark have locked their top six spot in the league standings, guaranteeing a spot in the season playoffs. Meanwhile, if the Gladiators want to avoid the playoff play-in tournament, they’ll either have to beat their home town rivals, the Los Angeles Valiant, during their homestand, or get some help from other teams in the league.