The Atlanta Reign came roaring into Season 2 with fire in their eyes. They demonstrating unique compositions and the tenacity to compete with top teams as they faced two very different challenges. With questions surrounding their debut, the Reign solidified that they deserve to compete with the best in the league.
Last Week’s Matches
Florida Mayhem 0-1
The Reign first took on the new faces of the Florida Mayhem, and they came out swinging. With a brand new lineup, Florida looked a bit scattered and lacking in synergy. Atlanta came out with team flexibility and strong individual play including fan favorite Daniel “dafran” Francesca bringing out strong Torbjorn play to the delight of onlookers.
Florida immediately had trouble handling Atlanta’s offensive play and continued to struggle throughout the day. The Reign were able to use this to their advantage as they rotated through their entire roster of players, including two-way player Blake “Gator” Scott. Florida was no match for the Atlanta squad and fell succinctly in the league’s first full sweep.
Results: Atlanta Wins 4-0
Player of the Game
Meeting the expectations of many, dafran was able to demonstrate that he is absolutely ready to compete on stage with the best in the world. He was able to show a complete understanding of Zarya, with consistently high energy and well placed Graviton Surges. He was also able to flex onto unexpected characters, such as the aforementioned Torbjorn. In doing so he provided a high amount of value and utility to his team. With this flexibility and hero expertise, dafran was a highlight of the Reign’s fantastic opening match.
Philadelphia Fusion 2-0
After making their mark with a decisive win against the Florida Mayhem, the Reign charged into Sunday ready to face their first test against a measured opponent. The Philadelphia Fusion came into Season 2 with a strong win against their Season 1 Grand Finals opponents, the London Spitfire, and looked as good as ever. Atlanta fought hard and was able to make a strong showing against the Fusion in what many are considering the best game of the season so far.
The Reign and Fusion went back and forth, trading maps and rounds all the way to a round 3 battle in map 5. This was made possible by impressive play from the majority of the team, especially on assault and control. Unfortunately, due to some shortcomings on payload maps coupled with Philadelphia’s unwillingness to fully give up a fight, Atlanta were unable to secure a win. Even still, with a strong showing against arguably one of the top teams in the league, the Reign were able to come out of the loss with their heads held high.
Results: Atlanta Loses 2-3
Player of the Game
With such a back and forth battle between these behemoths, many of the Atlanta players were able to make an impact. Even still, one player that made his presence known repeatedly was Petja “Masaa” Kantanen, the team’s Lucio all-star. With masterful control and annoyance of the Philadelphia team, Masaa was able to cause plenty of ruckus. In doing so, he kept players like Josue “Eqo” Corona from achieving major plays.
This Week’s Match
Toronto Defiant 1-0
The Atlanta Reign will only face a single team in Week 2, but it will be their first fellow expansion opponent. The Toronto Defiant looked a bit shaky out of the gate in week one against a lackluster Houston Outlaws team. This bodes well for a confident Atlanta squad who will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss. If the Reign are able to tighten up the small mistakes that Philadelphia was able to capitalize on, the Defiant shouldn’t be a major issue. Still, with Season 2 only entering its second week, Atlanta shouldn’t take their foot off of the pedal. If the Reign can maintain their confidence, they will be adding a second win to their record.
Prediction: Atlanta Wins 3-1
Player to Watch Out For
Although he is a latecomer to the roster, Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman has already made his presence known. Even with less time with the team and coaching staff, Dogman has made it clear that he has the talent and ability to perform on the main stage. There were some issues during the Fusion game that resulted in early deaths and stunted pushes, but he always bounced back. If Dogman can keep his head in the game and play safe, then he will make an impact. His ability to clutch out fights and find key picks will be one of the things that carry the Reign to victory.
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