Shanghai Dragons vs Florida Mayhem
For our second match of the day, we have a somewhat unengaging clash between two mid/bottom-tier teams in the Shanghai Dragons and Florida Mayhem. That said, the fact that they’re not competing for top-tier status doesn’t mean they don’t have what it takes in order to entertain and perhaps even upset.
First of all, we have the Florida Mayhem. They’re one of the worst teams in the League right now – that’s just a fact.
They have an all-Korean roster and they’re showing some signs of promise, but those glimpses of potential are too few and far between to actually warrant them a spot higher up in the rankings. Perhaps most importantly, their tank duo is underwhelming (to say the least), and without a solid frontline they’re just not able to function well as a six-man unit.
That said, they're deceptively capable. Now, that last sentence can be midunderstood. They're not capable like a mid or a top-tier team is, but rather that they’re not as weak as one might think. They have some potential but they're probably not going to realize it in time for the playoffs. If left to their own devices, they can create a lead, and they can snowball a bit. That’s why no team should underestimate them. They were able to get a map win against both the London Spitfire, Paris Eternal, and the Philadelphia Fusion. While „a map win“ might not sound like much, getting a map win against a superior opponent is always a huge confidence boost for a team that’s at the bottom of the standings.
Florida is basically fighting for scraps right now. Perhaps most importantly, they’re not the team to just roll over and surrender. They’re going to try and try again until the game is over (at least more often than not), and that should be an interesting challenge for any team similar in strength they go up against.
Opposite them, we have none other than the Shanghai Dragons. What can one say about Shanghai at this point in time? Are they good? Are they bad? The truth probably lies somewhere inbetween. They definitely have some potential, but we still need more time before being able to realistically assess it. They’re definitely a mid-tier team that’s capable of transcending their level of play and at times go blow-for-blow with a team they should have no business challenging.
They started stage two off with a 1-2 loss to the Los Angeles Gladiators (an understandable result, by all means), and then a rather one-sided 0-3 against the perennial titans New York Excelsior. It’s hard to blame them, realistically speaking – that was an awful schedule to start the stage off. Fortunately, they were able to bounce back with a solid 3-1 win over the Chengdu Hunters, and they’re currently sitting with a relatively respectable 1-2 score. Admirable, given what they had to go through.
This is not your Shanghai from season one. Far from it. They have the tools at their disposal to make this into one heck a fight, and it’s a winnable match by all means. The hardest part of their stage two schedule is now over. They have cemented themselves as a solid mid-tier team that’s more than capable of throwing down with some of the best teams in the League, and their upcoming clashes should give us a better read on just how strong they really are.
In the end, we have to pick a side, and we’re going with the Shanghai Dragons on this one. Predicting the outcome of this match, in particular, is really hard. Primarily because both teams have huge ups and downs, but throughout the sophomore season, the Dragons were not only able to get more done, but they’ve also attained more success.
Now, seeing how we’re comparing them to Florida that doesn’t exactly mean a ton, but they’re better across the board and should be able to get the win. That said, depending on their form, this might not be that clean or particularly dominant.