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Overwatch League Week 4: Shanghai's Struggles Continue

The stage one finals are in a week.
Overwatch League Week 4: Shanghai's Struggles Continue
The Overwatch League finals, worth $125,000, will kick off in only week.  Most teams that have been performing well continued their upward momentum in week four, with the Boston Uprising (5-3) defeating both Los Angeles teams, the London Spitfire (7-1) taking one away from the Seoul Dynasty (6-2), and an ill Houston Outlaws (5-3) roster coming out victorious against the San Francisco Shock (3-5). At the very bottom of the standings are the Shanghai Dragons (0-8) who only have four map wins to this point. In a professional league that’s supposed to showcase the very best Overwatch competition the world has to offer, Shanghai has remained anaemic throughout. They have showed brief flashes of greatness, but their poor decisions usually end up being the topic of discussion. Let’s take a look at a few of their players this week to see who has been struggling most, who has come up big, and where the team can improve.

Roshan

When it comes to the main tanks of Overwatch League, it’s safe to say that Jing “Roshan” Wenhao needs to step up his game the most. His dives with Winston are often far too aggressive and typically result in him being the first to die in fights. Week four was no different. Roshan would repeatedly jump in far too early against both New York and London, putting his team in a deficit early on. One could blame the occasional errant dive on poor communication, but it’s become quite an easy read at this point. He also gets baited into making poor decisions, like when he used Primal Rage on Oasis against New York to try bullying Kim “Pine” Do-hyeon. Pine was in the outer hall near the road as McCree, trying to keep Shanghai’s backline on their toes. It seemed as though Roshan wanted to knock him into oncoming traffic, but this decision was met with a swift death thanks to an easy line of sight and the debuff from Orb of Discord. Hopefully we’ll see Roshan have better luck once the pro meta shifts back to Lucio.

Undead

Fang “Undead” Chao has been a bright spot for Shanghai through their extended losing streak. Whichever hitscan hero Undead is on, he makes his shots count. As it turns out, however, one man cannot do it all. He had some impressive kill streaks against New york that ended up being flushed down the drain due to poor follow-ups by the rest of his team. [caption id="attachment_102282" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Chao "Undead" Fang Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment[/caption] Looking once more to Oasis, Shanghai had several decent pushes on City Center that resulted in the point being flipped. A big part of all these pushes was Undead’s McCree - really the only person New York had issues keeping under control. He had an impressive quadruple kill that led to a zoning Dead Eye, but it wouldn’t be enough. Thanks to the lingering Mercy meta and some poor positioning, New York was able to reclaim the point and go on to win the match. Though it’s difficult to call Undead one of the best in the league, he’s still very reliable, and he at least gives fans something to cheer for. With his DPS partner Lu “Diya” Weida beside him, Shanghai has done a respectable job in the damage department.

Where Shanghai can improve

One obvious hole in Shanghai’s game is the lack of a good Genji player. Undead and Diya can shoot with the best of them, but without a Genji to dive in with Tracer and Winston, Shanghai’s dives will continue to be average at the very best. Roshan’s decisions this week would have made more sense if the opposition had to deal with a Genji in their faces as well. Alas, an overly aggressive Winston without the accompanying harassment usually makes for an easy kill. [caption id="attachment_102283" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Peixuan "Freefeel" Xu Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment[/caption] Another awkward issue they’ve had problems fixing is their pitiful respawn stagger. Against London on Horizon Lunar Colony, there were numerous times where one or two of their players just sort of ventured off around the corner after they had failed to capture point A. It’s very unclear what they thought they were going to accomplish by doing that instead of just dying to respawn with the rest of the team. They also had this problem on Temple of Anubis after a failed dive on point A. Tightening up this part of their game is an absolute must going forward. The Shanghai Dragons are difficult to figure out. Just when you think they’ve pulled it together enough to be competitive, they have a series of 10 to 15 minute long maps against London where they look worse than ever. Shanghai plays the Dallas Fuel (1-7) and Los Angeles Valiant (5-3) in week five, so we’ll see if they managed to smooth out the rough edges over the weekend.