London Spitfire vs San Francisco Shock
For our second match of the day, we have a very exciting clash between the San Francisco Shock and the London Spitfire. This is also a fight between the Stage 2 champions (who are currently defending their trophy), and the season one champions. That said, even though both teams are known for their inherent talent and mechanical prowess, they're entering today's clash with different amounts of hype and momentum.
In fact, they're at opposite ends of the Stage 3 standings right now. San Francisco Shock are sitting at sixth place. That fact alone is rather shocking (no pun intended). After steamrolling through all opposition just a couple of weeks ago, everyone expected them to enter the third stage of play with the biggest amount of hype and momentum. But things didn't pan out that way. Not even close. They're still a Top 2 team, but their play leaves a lot to be desired. They're still incredibly dangerous and capable but they're just not as effective as in weeks past. They have four wins and two losses to their name which isn't exactly bad by any means, but the fact that five other teams managed to attain more success over the last three and a half weeks of play is still rather surprising. Despite this, their positive eleven map differential tells us a very concrete thing -- they're at the very top even though their record might say otherwise.
Regardless of the way things eventually resolve, they're bound to reach the playoffs and go on yet another dominant streak. Their losses against Chengdu Hunters and the Houston Outlaws were pretty unexpected, but they didn't hurt their stock too much. They're exhausted after grinding non-stop over the last couple of months, and they can afford a bit of down time. That's only natural.
Opposite them, we have the London Spitfire. If we had to explain their 2019 trajectory in a single word, we would have to use "disappointing". Or perhaps "underwhelming", but that might be an understatement. The former champions have failed to mount much of an offensive up to this point, and they're not showing much promise at this point. That's the thing with London. They will play out of their minds when you least expect them to, but those flashes of brilliance are way too infrequent at this point. They also play up to the level of their opponents, so they will surely step up against San Francisco and put up a solid fight, despite the odds.
They're currently ranked twelfth which is rather bad, all things considered. Their 2W-4L record is also pretty depressing considering the talent within their roster. Their wins up to this point came over sub-par bottom-tier teams, and they're entering today's match after getting demolished by the Los Angeles Valiant in 0-4 fashion. They just don't have the right tools to compete at the current meta, and they're often completely out of sync when it matters the most.
They sure aren't playing like a veteran team with a ton of experience. Time and time again, they were unable to step up when they had to. That's their biggest narrative this year -- the inability to maintain a certain level of play.
In the end, we simply have to side with San Francisco Shock on this one. Even though they're slacking off ever so slightly at this point, they're still incredibly strong and capable. They know they have to increase the tempo over the next two weeks, and taking London down in dominant fashion will allow them to solidify their spot in the Stage 3 playoffs .That said, this could end up being a chaotic match.
|San Francisco Shock||1.21||7||Win|