Tuesday, 1 May 2018

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


Week four of stage three and so far the has been a stage to forget when it comes to results. With a lot of what if's and could've been's. The results this stage could very well be 5-1 instead of the 1-5 that we currently faced going into the week. This week we saw the rematch against Fissure and the Los Angeles Gladiators, which is very quickly becoming a rivalry game in the eyes of Spitfire fans and then facing the new and improved 4-2 San Francisco Shock. 

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 set your sights and pray that our aim is true as it's time to get into the week.

Friday 2th April at Los Angeles Gladiators
Starting Line-Up: Bdosin, Closer, Fury, Gesture, Hooreg & Profit.
Result: 2-3 Loss


The Good
While the first half was an outright shambles, the team showed their bounce back ability in the second half of the game. They stepped up their performance and took it to the Gladiators, almost turning the match around. The Spitfire seem to be at their best when they are the ones setting the pace and not reacting to the situation at hand.

While speaking of being more reactive, I for the first few weeks of the stage felt that WooHyal needed to start instead of Fury, just because WooHyaL’s more aggressive play style is what we’ve needed in the last few games. Fury seems to have read this because since week three he has been a completely different player. Fury has been more aggressive and it finally looks like he’s ready to put the team on his back if they need the support outside of their DPS players.

The Bad
As I mentioned, the first half was probably the worst I’ve seen the team play in their three stage existence. They got bullied from the start and it looked like they struggled to react to Surefour’s accuracy on Widowmaker and the pressure that Fissure was applying on both Volskaya and on Blizzard World.

The teams communications have been pretty hit and miss this season. Sometimes they’re on the ball and everything is flowing smoothly. Then others, they look lost and confused. Leading to the team losing their position and it going downhill from there. This was on show when the team couldn’t hold the objective or attack the point effectively enough to win the map on either side .

The Ugly
We all know that a C9 and the London Spitfire are unfortunately the best couple. However, the fact that the team had not one but two in the same game, on consecutive maps, is not a good look. C9’s have been a constant problem for the team this season, but to see it getting worse rather than better, means that it’s a problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Oasis, the map that makes me die a little on the inside when we have to play it. While there are improvements in the way that we play the maps. With a record of 2-8 for the season, it’s statistically the teams worst map to play and it’s proven to be our Kryptonite on a regular basis.

Saturday 2th April at San Francisco Shock
Starting Line-Up: Bdosin, Closer, Fury, Gesture, Hooreg & Profit.
Result: 4-0 Win


The Good
Now you may remember a little article I did here, that explains that Hooreg is being judged to the same standard as Birdring and how this was unfair due to their different DPS styles. You may also remember that I advised you that Hooreg just needed a little time to get acclimatised to the stage and that once he had he would pop off. Well my friend that popping off was against the Shock and he brutalised them. Whether it be on Widow, McCree or even his Tracer. Hooreg was a constant threat and caused them a headache in allowing Profit to run the show in the Shock back lines. Hooreg was rightfully awarded joint player of the day and showed just why the GC Busan roster was so deadly.

After last week when the coaches made four changes when the team were in a winning position to see that lead slip away. I felt that it was possible Coach Changgoon and JFeel didn’t know there best starting line-up. I now feel that this isn’t a point to worry about, with the starting roster of Bdosin, Closer, Fury, Gesture, Hooreg (While Birdring is injured) & Profit is their preferred line up and with how they played in this game it’s hard to disagree outside the nervy point A Volskaya defence. I do still want to see both Tizi and WooHyaL eventually being rotated in, but for now this is as good of a starting six as any.

Despite being on the losing side on the Friday, Gesture had an outstanding weekend and went on a tear against the Shock. While Super was highly rated coming into stage three, Gesture on Winston schooled Super and constantly put pressure on the back line and Architect in particular. If the performance of Fury and Gesture is anything to go by in this game, then they may have finally worked out a system that works for them. Finally Gesture’s Primal Rage on Route 66 to clear people from the bar, couldn’t have been more perfect.

The Bad
While the team haven’t been overly bad on Volskaya but for some reason they don’t seem comfortable in defending point A, despite the fact that they’ve had a few full holds on it this season. They seem to either be confused or not be organised quick enough and get caught out by the opposition. It’s a strange one because while point A is harder to defence than point B, they are vastly better defending point B.

The Ugly
While this may be a little harsh, I want to see better communication from the team. They are still out of position during offensive set pieces and I would like to see that to be ironed out a bit further. 

Week Five is a bit of a hit and hope situation, as the playoffs are an outside shot where we need a few results to go our way. We have a middling Seoul Dynasty who are close to missing out on their third straight playoffs, on Saturday May 5th at 4am BST and then a resurgent Shanghai Dragons again on May 5th 11pm BST. 
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