Against the odds, Hangzhou Spark have successfully made their way to the Final Four of the Overwatch League Grand Finals, besting the Atlanta Reign and the Boston Uprising in the process.
Throughout the season and up until a week before the playoffs began, North American coaches and insiders believed that the APAC region was clearly weak, with the regional division of the RoleStar Award giving APAC players two guaranteed slots. Expressing regret.
In a press conference after their second victory against the North American favorite, the Spark players got into the discussion.
Return of the Kings.
Twice now, the Hangzhou Spark have turned a convincing loss into victory by defeating both the Atlanta Reign and the Boston Uprising in reverse sweeps.
Spark only arrived at the event venue in Toronto last weekend, also needing to make time to adjust to the 12-hour time zone difference. Moreover, the practice was very short because their practice partners were traveling by themselves.
zang”shyYangjie provided some insight into the team’s recent matches.I think it’s mostly because we rarely scrimmage against teams in our bracket, so we know less about them. We need some time to learn their playing style and strategies.”
He further explained the challenges of adapting to a LAN environment:Not all of our players have experience playing on a LAN, so they might be a little nervous. I think our performance on the last three maps is close to our Scrums gameplay level.“
Coherence, emotion, and the road ahead
In preparation for Season 6 and uncertain finances in the Overwatch League, talent has coalesced around a handful of teams, creating various dream lineups previously thought impossible.
For the Spark, the Chinese franchise had to build a Chinese super team, including Season 4 MVP Huang.Leave“Xin and Flex Support Chow”Monk” Xiang joined the lineup after years of rivalry during his time on the Chengdu Hunters.
Discussing the possibility of teaming up with Leo before the season, Sparks’ franchise player Sharm revealed, “I thought about him before I knew he was going to join Spark. We admire each other a lot and of course we speak the same language. I think with him joining the team, I thought we would definitely do better than we did last season.“
During post-match interviews for the Overwatch League broadcast, both DPS players showed raw emotion as they celebrated their close victories.
When asked if that reaction was influenced by a sense of relief after a season during which the Sparks worked hard, Sharm replied, “I don’t think it affects our emotions very much. All our players are united as one and we faced a really strong opponent during the Atlanta era. That’s why we were so excited after yesterday’s reverse swap.“
As for future matchups, Mmonk hopes to face off against the Houston Outlaws, while Sharmee looks forward to meeting the Dallas Fuel. The Spark await the winner of the match between these teams on Sunday for a place in the semi-finals.