Chengdu Hunters Continue to Bewilder with Wild Strats

Chengdu Hunters Continue to Bewilder with Wild Strats

Overwatch League’s Chinese expansion team, the Chengdu Hunters, have delighted and confused fans all season with their chaotic play style and meta-breaking team compositions. A defensive hold on Volskaya Industries on the first night of week 4 brought their spirited play to an entirely new level.

The Hunters have been one of the few teams to resist the 3-3 meta in the League so far. Most teams favor a hero composition composed of three tanks and three supports, and the formula is usually the same on both sides of the match—Reinhardt, D.Va, and Zarya pour out damage and control space, while Zenyatta, Lucio, and Brigitte shore up the team’s health and pop game-making ultimates.

The Hunters, however, play a 3-3 that relies on Ameng’s Wrecking Ball as its main source of damage. In their first several matches, this tactic was surprising enough to throw competitors off their rhythm. Once the other teams began to get wise to Ameng’s tactics, however, the Hunters had to switch up their strategy.

Thursday’s match against the Toronto Defiant showcased a new host of bizarre Chengdu compositions. Not only does Baconjack flex easily to Sombra, but we also saw Yveltal on Mercy and Jinmu flexing between Pharah and Brigitte. Most spectacular, however, was their defensive hold on the second point of Volskaya. In a strategy that recalled the iconic “Pirate Ship”comp from early 2018, Chengdu set up Baconjack as Bastion on the back of Volskaya—and then made sure he was heavily guarded by barriers from both Orisa and Reinhardt. They even threw in a Torbjorn just for extra turret-based harassment.

The Defiant were eventually able to cap the second point, but seeing a 3-3 team forced to use dive-style tactics to break up a pirate ship, of all things, was definitely one of the highlights of this season so far.

Baconjack’s flex to an unorthodox hero was critical to Chengdu’s second defensive round, as well. With Baconjack on Widowmaker and Jinmu on Hanzo, Chengdu made the first point on Volskaya a nightmare for the Defiant’s low-mobility heroes. Jinmu is considered the second-best Zarya in the League, but he showcased a truly terrifying Hanzo tonight.

Chengdu’s resistance to the 3-3 meta has certainly cost them some matches this season, including their match against the Toronto Defiant, but their industrious spirit and creativity make their games an absolute riot to watch.

Toronto Defiant’s win has catapulted them to fourth place in the standings, just behind Philadelphia Fusion. The Chengdu Hunters have slipped into sixteenth place, and will play against the Vancouver Titans on Sunday. The Titans are placed second in the League and are one of two unbeaten teams thus far. We’ll see how the Hunters’ fighting spirit fares against a top-tier team.

Related: NYXL is First Team to Clinch Spot in OWL Stage 1 Playoffs

Written by:Kaidan McNamee

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