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2020 Los Angeles Gladiators May Melee Tournament Recap

Los Angeles Gladiators Stage 2 Playoffs

This week was the May Melee tournament, and your Los Angeles Gladiators are looking to take down the top teams and win some serious prize money and bragging rights.

Reviewing Week 15

Washington Justice: 3-10

Overwatch League Power Rankings
Image courtesy of DreamSeat

The Washington Justice were the Gladiators’ first opponents in the tournament, given the 10th seed. With Stratus and Corey recently departing, they had recently acquired former Vancouver Titans players Jjanu and Stitch, and you would assume this team made the Justice an immediate threat, like a pack of SuperKoreans. The results, however, told a different story. This match also featured former Gladiators tank Roar, former Boston Uprising support Aimgod, former Excelsior support Ark and damage prodigy Ttuba.

Here is how the match unfolded:

Map 1 – Oasis
Round 1 was the start of a theme for the Gladiators. Play it safe, don’t take many risks, and know when it’s time to engage. Gladiators had nearly complete control of the point as a result, with them looking to take out members of the Justice at the most opportune of times. Once the Gladiators lost the point, they didn’t engage right away, but rather farm for ultimate charge so they could prepare for one last attack. Gladiators claim the point 100-54%.
Round 2 was more competitive, with both teams trading the point back and forth. Former Gladiator Roar made his presence felt with Reinhardt’s hammer. Two players on the purple team that really made a difference late in this round were Birdring and OGE as Sombra and Wrecking Ball respectively. Their plays to help the team defeat the Justice were clutch and prevented Washington from doing any further damage. Gladiators get the point 100-81% and win Map 1.
 
Map 2 – Hollywood
On offense, the Gladiators moved very diligently to make sure every team fight was winnable. While these fights were not squash matches, the team took their time and didn’t take risk against the Justice. Each checkpoint was a small, but monumental step to the goal that they took. Didn’t swing for the fences, but got a lot of singles and doubles that helped them get through the map. The Yaters were able to make it to the goal. 2:19 remained on the clock.
On defense, the Gladiators were able to stand their ground throughout the round. Even though the Justice were able to reach near the end of Point C, LA were successful in stalling time and stealing momentum away from Washington. Mirror was the X factor here. He often chose Roar’s Winston to duplicate, as it was a great choice in staying alive during fights as well as prolonging them. They did enough to chew some clock, and at the very end, the Justice were not able to stay on the point, and as a result, LA moves into the driver’s seat 2-0.
Map 3 – Volskaya Industries
 
Another map that LA has yet to get a point on this season. Gladiators first start on defense. The Gladiators played pounce to defend against the Justice, but they ultimately were able to secure point A. Point B looked to be another easy win for Washington, but LA turned it around with the help of Birdring as Tracer and Mirror as Echo. The Justice were not able to find their rhythm until time expired. Even then, the odds were too much for Washington to even get one third of Point B.
On offense, the Gladiators were able to secure Point A quickly by pursuing individual members of the Justice and picking them off one at a time. They got Point B nearly as easily. They picked their time and target to initiate the right attack. And once it commenced, things fell apart for Washington, unfortunately. Gladiators are back to their winning ways. 3-0 is the score, and they advance in the tournament.
Player of the Match: Mirror
 
Once again, Mirror was the man of the match and it was no contest this time. Mirror’s Duplication Ultimate really shined this match. He seemed to have chosen the right characters to duplicate at the right times, whether it was Zenyatta, Winston, Brigitte or Tracer, and this either helped the Gladiators stay alive or gun down their opposition.
Mirror had been a smash hit, for lack of a better term, as Echo for the most part since she debuted in the league. Doomfist used to be Mirror’s main hero, but he had since found better play in this new hero, which is better for the team as a whole. The damage roles were considered the Gladiators’ weakest, but their concerns at these positions can quickly subside once the results are brought forward.

Philadelphia Fusion: 12-1

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

For the latter part of the tournament, the top four seeds chose their opponents, and so the third seed Fusion picked the Gladiators as their first opponents in their bracket. Their strategy they had for Washington clearly wasn’t the right one against a team like the Fusion, and it showed. Of course the Gladiators were in an uphill battle right away, but the one player that really made his mark this match was Carpe. He is an expert when it comes to being Tracer, and his work really showed how very few times he can be stopped.

Here is how this match came about:

Map 1 – Lijiang Tower

Round 1 BigGoose and Mirror were opportunistic scoring some decisive ring-outs. BigGoose started his day strong by bumping Fusion player after Fusion player off the map. Birdring on Reaper, however used a Death Blossom that took back the momentum. The Fusion, however, were not a team to mess with, as Heesu as Reaper really played skillfully with a Death Blossom of his own. The Gladiators were about to put this one away, but were not able to take out a spinning Wrecking Ball six on one. The Fusion came back and took the Round from them as a result.

Round 2 was all Fusion as they had an answer for every strategy the LA came up with. Being able to pick off OGE and Mirror early gave them the quick disadvantage on each team fight. While Mirror and Birdring did show signs of promise, they were now able to finish these fights. The Reaper and Doomfist combination does guarantee high damage, but sacrifices in more important areas like survivability and function. The Fusion had Ivy playing Mei to their advantage where he was able to form Ice Walls and freeze Gladiators, which neither Doomfist nor Reaper can do. The Fusion got the 2nd round and score 1-0.

Map 2 – Blizzard World

Fusion substitutes three players for this map. The Glads begin on defense. They lose the first team fight but were quick to return to the point before the Fusion can fully take it. While Glads were still falling, they were able to hold on for a while, all the way until time expired as a matter of fact. Shaz was keeping the tanks alive. Points B and C were easier for the Fusion, even though the Glads were still resilient. The Fusion make it to the end with time expiring.

On offense, the Gladiators were able to take point A much faster than the Fusion. This is in large part due to Mirror’s performance as Echo. EQO and Sado were notably easy targets for the Glads to find, and while it did seem grim at times for LA, Philly made some mistakes that prevented them from capitalizing. The Gladiators were able to take out Sado as Winston before he could use his Primal Rage, which was helpful in getting them to Point C with more time.

Gladiators on defense again. They waited to pounce on the Fusion and were successful in holding Point A fully. Back on offense, the Gladiators waited for an opportunity. As soon as Sado on Winston lunged, they all targeted him and it went all downhill from there. Gladiators tie the game up 1-1.

Map 3 – Hanamura

Gladiators start on defense. Mirror chooses Pharah as his first character. Like the previous map, the Gladiators did not quit after losing the first team fight and managed to stall lots of time against Philly, especially at Point B. It was comical how long it required to finish off the Gladiators. However, they did a good job with draining out the clock, regardless.

On offense, the Gladiators were able to get Point A okay, but Point B was still very difficult for them. Carpe on Tracer had Shaz’s number throughout the round, and the Gladiators tried a number of things to take point B from using all available ultimate abilities at once to changing to different heroes, but in the end, Philly was game enough to stand their ground. The Fusion move ahead 2-1.

Map 4 – Junkertown

Gladiators start on defense. They played aggressively at first, but once they let up, Philly took the advantage, and never gave it up. They cruised through the map while the Gladiators struggled to get a formidable defense running. Gladiators swapped to different heroes as Philly stuck with their heroes and got the advantage in Ultimate abilities.

On offense, Philadelphia also started out aggressively, but when they held back, they were still sharp-witted and were able to spot the Gladiator’s mistakes quickly. The Gladiators struggled to get to Point A with Carpe as Tracer throwing monkey wrenches here and there. The Gladiators failed to get anywhere on offense and they seemed to mentally check out on this map. The Fusion win the match 3-1.

Player of the Match: BigGoose

BigGoose was really a play-maker all throughout the match, especially on the very first map where he bumped several Fusion players off the map. On the other three maps, he was really handy in keeping his teammates alive as Marcy and Lucio, causing the Gladiators to win some very important team fights and stabilizing the team on defense. While that Lucio play has been very few and far between this season, there remains hope for more.

You can always count on BigGoose to play at least serviceable. Space was great as D.Va and Mirror was stellar once again as Echo, but BigGoose was easily the best player again Philadelphia on Saturday.

Previewing Week 17

With the May Melee Tournament concluded, next week’s schedule is to be determined. As always, you can stay up to date with the Los Angeles Gladiators at The Game Haus..

 

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Los Angeles Gladiators Sign DPS Kevster June 16, 2020 at 2:39 pm

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