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
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:
Philadelphia Fusion: 12-1
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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