Wednesday, 23 May 2018

London Spitfire: Stage Four, Week One - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

With a new stage comes a new met but also the return of the Spitfire’s rivalry weekend, with matches against the Houston Outlaws and the New York Excelsior, two teams that have consistently had the number of the Spitfire. After a bit of drama around what patch we will be playing on and the introduction of Brigitte, we’re finally underway in season ones, last stage. As you’re probably aware by now, the first week of the stage is always very much a game of hope and there was no different feeling coming into this weekend just gone.

Each week of the regular season, I'm going dive into both games and provide to you what I thought was good, what was bad and finally what was down right ugly about the London Spitfire's performance. If you've not already seen the games this week then leave now, as this will reveal the result and the starting line ups. So get ready, cover yourself in as much protection as you can get ready for a bumpy ride.

Thursday 17th May vs Houston Outlaws
Starting Line Up – Bdosin, Birdring, Closer, Gesture, Profit & WooHyaL
Result: 0-4 Loss

The Good

There was very little good in the match against the Outlaws. However, there was one bright spark in Birdring’s return to the stage. He had a slow first map and did get beaten by Linkzr (Who was outstanding) a lot. But he slowly found his range and accuracy and was the only player who looked good all game.

The Bad

Just how much space we gave Linkzr to pop off the way he did was just bad to watch. In no way should a Widowmaker end the entire match with 99 eliminations. While it’s true that he did have an impeccable performance on the hero. There was no urgency to pressure him or move into space to avoid getting head shotted. When you compare the set up’s of each team, it’s clear to see that the Outlaws quickly tired ensure that Linkzr had the time and space he would need to as they quickly adjusted to the fact that he was going to be the prime damage dealer.

The Ugly

While the team has been 0-4’d once before by NYXL, this was the worst performance by the team all season. The Co-ordination that was there in previous matches went out the window. Players seemed to be a loss when it came to their positioning and it looked like they weren’t all on the same page as to what styles of comp to use and how to use them correctly.

There also seems to be a habit of them either being late for slow to changing out of failing compositions meaning that they either give themselves little to no time when they do eventually break the lines or they keep hitting a brick wall with a comp that isn’t working.

As I’ve mentioned above, Brigitte was introduced during the stage break and while it doesn’t look like she’s to the style of hero that would work for the Spitfire at the moment. When Muma picked her on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, the team looked confused in how to engage her.

Thursday 19th May vs New York Excelsior
Starting Line Up – Bdosin, Birdring, Closer, Gesture, Profit & WooHyaL
Result: 1-3 Loss

The Good

If there’s something that the Spitfire have been good at on a consistent basis, it’s that their walk out game has been on point. In homage to the Royal Wedding last weekend Gesture (Harry) & WooHyaL (Meghan) came out and announced their love for one another in their OWL wedding.

The second half of the NYXL game was a joy to behold as a Spitfire fan. As the team showed a spark of the stage one winning team. They dominated on Control map Lijiang Tower and had it not been for an amazing outplay by Libero on Dorado would have likely taken it to map five. Gesture and the DPS paring of Birding and Profit looked to have that same energy and click to them that had been missing in stage three and it was promising to watch. 

The Bad

The fact it took till half time to wake up as sorts is a bit disappointing. The fact that they were unable to pressure or form anything consistent together in map one wasn't ideal and they seemed to be completely disjointed once again. However, after the news that has dropped from the team today. It's clear to see that this had been effecting the team for a while so I'd be willing to give it a pass. 

The Ugly 

Once again a slow start to a match has ended with a negative result. While the team did react and caught the flow of the game in the second half. It's a pattern emerging that they can be slow out of the blocks and have to try and scramble to recover.

The other thing that when it comes to new meta's the team as a whole seem to be slow to pick up on it and work to the optimum composition for that stage. As a predominately dive orientated team, the Spitfire need to work on improving other compositions to improve their effectiveness on stage.

Extra Note

As of yesterday 22nd May, four Spitfire players were designated to the teams inactive roster. These being Hyeon-Woo "HaGoPuen" Jo, Dong-Eun "Hooreg" Lee, Jang-Hyeon "Tizi" Hwang and Seung-Hyun "WooHyaL" Sung. These four are being designated for trade/mutual release and will not be playing any further part in the Spitfire's season. This means that going forward the team will player the rest of the season with a seven man roster.

I know that I alongside the rest of the Spitfire fan base would like to thank all four players for their contributions both on and off the watch and hope that you're all able to find new teams as soon as possible. 

For week two the Spitfire have an opportunity to bounce back to a 2-2 record with their matches against the San Francisco Shock at 12am BST on Thursday 24th May and then the Seoul Dynasty at 9pm BST on Saturday 26th May

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