At roughly 5 PM on April 7th, 2019, the Titans completed their 4-0 victory over the Hangzhou Spark. If you checked in with my last article, you’re already up to date on why the Titans were so favoured in this matchup, if not you can find it here.
The biggest advantage the Titans had coming into this match was the Hybrid map type, the team is absolutely dominant on them while the Spark have only a single win. I was surprised when the Titans were unable to get their act together and proceeded to get absolutely rolled on defense. Their ultimate usage was poor, their positioning was poor, they weren’t playing as a team and they gave the Spark, a team who is considerably worse at every known metric, a huge opening into tying up the match.
The Spark banked almost four minutes, but then, the Titans did exactly what they do. They kept calm and cool, put Stitch on Zarya and then ran the table on King’s Row leading to the record for the fastest push on King’s Row in known competitive Overwatch history. Let’s take a look at how the Titans snowballed an entire map and won several key fights while having four less ultimates than their opponents.
If you’re wondering what the heck just happened, the Titans just took the objective with basically no resistance from the Spark. They found out the secret to playing a good 3-3 composition and it’s what took them and the San Francisco Shock to the Stage 1 finals. They press W. Once the Titans began pressing W, the Spark had no idea what to do so they turned back and ran for the choke to try and deal poke damage to the Titans, this way they can try to build their ultimates and then push back onto the point at the last second and win the fight heroically.
Yeah… the Spark got smacked. Instead of turning objective A into a Titan’s Stronghold, they just ran at Hangzhou. Haksal turned into a heat seeking missile who’s one job was to find and eliminate GodsB and from there, Stitch pelted the remaining opponents with explosive particle charge and the Titans took control of the payload.
Fast forwarding to the next team fight! The Titans start off with Haksal’s Rally here but the Titans need to make quick work of the Spark. The Spark have EMP, the stupidest and most powerful ultimate in the game, online and they are about to collect 4 more ultimates like Thanos collecting infinity stones. The Titans are a pretty good team at ult tracking so they realize they have to make quick work of this fight, so they do. Guxue gets bounced up in the air by Slime and then Bumper drops an unsuspecting Earth Shatter under his shield and the payload rolls on. The Titans now have no ults to complete the 2nd part of the map with, while the Spark are sitting with 5 ultimates ready.
Finally the Spark are in a good position to stop the payload and take the fight to the Titans. They just… don’t do that. GodsB is doing what Sombra does, hiding away from the skirmish and ready to come in at the last second to turn out the lights on the Titans. Instead of gently assisting his teammates escort the Titans back to their spawn however, he runs directly into Twilight who uses Transcendence and then GodsB gets stunned by Haksal’s shield bash so he teleports out of there to safety… while the entire Spark team gets worn like a sock. Stichuses his Graviton Surge and BeBe responds with a Transcendence of his own, however it’s way too late and Adora dies anyways. If you’re keeping track at home, at this point the Titans have used two of their three ults while the Spark have used one of their five but have lost a player. Bumper, who notably doesn’t enjoy having Earth Shatter for very long, immediately uses the Titans final ultimate to clean up Ria, BeBe and Guxue while Twilight gets the kill on the flanking GodsB. Ultimate count at the end of this fight is now Titans: 2, Spark: 4.
To say GodsB has done nothing on Sombra is being too nice. He finally uses Sombra’s ultimate ability, EMP, on the 4th fight with the payload well on it’s way to the final objective marker at record time, this is a necessary win and when GodsB finally uses his EMP, the Spark will be able to hold the Titans at bay.
Oh right, I forgot, the Spark aren’t a very good team. What was supposed to happen here is GodsB is supposed to use EMP and turn out the lights for Vancouver’s back line and then the Spark are supposed to dive on the Titans’ Support players. Instead, he got a Brigitte and a Zarya… then he teleports into a corner and Bumper’s waiting for him, he blasts him and BeBe away with a Fire Strike. At about this same time, Jjanu throws out a self-destruct which catches IDK, who is 3% away from dropping the beat. The Titans turn on Ria and Guxue taking them both out quickly and cruising towards an insane time bank of 5 minutes and 16 seconds. For the scorekeepers, the Titans finished the map with zero ultimates left, while the Spark had 2 left and in the last fight both BeBe and IDK died while having 90% of their ultimate charge, Guxue used Earth Shatter hitting nobody and GodsB used a very depressing EMP.
It’s easy to sit at home and criticize how the Spark played, they don’t make it particularly difficult, however their defense on King’s Row, especially with GodsB on Sombra, leads to a much bigger issue with not only the Spark but a fundamental problem with how human beings play Overwatch in general. There were two times in this defense where the Spark should have switched off Sombra. The first time was when Slime bounced Guxue into the air and Bumper shattered the whole team, the second was when GodsB was located, bashed and had to teleport away for safety a the end of the 2nd part of the map.
GodsB suffers from what’s called the sunk cost fallacy. GodsB thought because he had already farmed his EMP, he needed to see it through to the end because it’s such a powerful ability, however this moment never came and even though the Spark had more ultimates than the Titans basically the whole push, they lost by a lot when they never actually got to use them. The Spark did nothing to hinder the Titans’ advances when just walking up to them and pressing Q would have gotten the job done. This problem persists at every level of play, whether it’s a Silver player keeping Pharah’s Rocket Barrage when the opposing team switched their composition to a Widowmaker, a Bastion and a McCree or like we saw today, where GodsB was trying to get the perfect EMP but the Spark ended up with nothing. If GodsB had realized how little the EMP mattered when the team was getting rolled and badly needed a D.Va after the first point, they could have just swapped heroes and lost the ultimate but been better prepared to protect Guxue’s back from Slime and could have held up Defense Matrix for Stitch’s free Graviton Surge, but instead GodsB continued to play a sub-optimal hero that didn’t match up well against their opponent to try and save the day but well… that’s not how it works, that’s not how any of it works.