Los Angeles Gladiators (2-1) 3-1 Philadelphia Fusion (0-2)
After falling to the Vancouver Titans last week, the Los Angeles Gladiators hoped to return to form in their match against the Philadelphia Fusion. After struggling to find their footing over the past few weeks, the Fusion looked much more organized and willing to experiment throughout the match, hinting that they might be able to pull themselves out of their slump. However, the Gladiators continued their run towards the top of the standings. Despite some hard fights, they came out on top with a 3-1 victory.
Oasis: Los Angeles 2-0 Philadelphia
The Fusion started off strong on University, claiming first control of the point. They fended off the Gladiators for a while before solid plays from Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye gave Los Angeles the way in they needed. From there, the Gladiators settled in on the point, fending off the Fusion each time they tried to come back in. They held the point to nearly ninety percent control before Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee pulled off some crucial picks and led Philadelphia back in. By the time the Gladiators found their way back, overtime had begun, but they managed to flip the point all the same and take the round.
Moving to City Center, the Gladiators took control first, with help from Lane “Surefour” Roberts on Roadhog. Undeterred, Philadelphia returned in full force to claim the point, holding it nearly halfway to completion before the Gladiators could shake them off. Once Los Angeles reclaimed the point, however, they solidified their defense, holding the point until the end and taking the map.
Volskaya Industries: Los Angeles 6-5 Philadelphia
The Gladiators moved in quickly on their first attack, hoping to catch Philadelphia off guard with aggressive tactics. They claimed a tick and a half on the first point before the Fusion shook them off, forcing them to regroup. Once they did, however, they kept the momentum up, completing point A and snowballing to point B. They finished the map with over five minutes in the time bank.
Philadelphia surprised them, however, by rolling out with a DPS composition. Taking advantage of the chaos, they quickly claimed point A and headed onwards. Despite the Gladiators’ attempts, the Fusion completed the map just as quickly, sending the teams to the second round.
The Fusion switched back to a more standard Sombra-GOATS composition for their second attack, but still moved forward quickly. They made short work of the Gladiators’ defense, finishing out the map a second time with three minutes in their time bank.
Hoping to keep up the good work, Philadelphia’s second defense started out strong, and the Gladiators struggled to find an opening. They ultimately pulled through, finishing out point A in time but finding more trouble with the Fusion’s point B defense. After a long fight, they came out on top, finishing the map a second time.
With much less time, the Gladiators moved aggressively on their third attack, forcing Philadelphia off of point A and claiming it. They went on to make the most of their remaining time, moving as an organized and forceful team. They completed the map yet again.
No doubt hoping to prevent a fourth round, the Gladiators played just as aggressively on the defense. Though the Fusion played hard and forced the fight to point B, they ultimately couldn’t keep up, and Los Angeles took the map.
Eichenwalde: Los Angeles 2-1 Philadelphia
The Gladiators stormed straight to the point on the attack, only for Philadelphia to promptly push them back. From there, the Fusion showed off a strong defense, and Los Angeles could only claim the point in overtime. Hoping to make up for the lost time, they kept the payload moving quickly, fending off Philadelphia as they went. Once they reached the bridge before point B, however, a notorious Self Destruct from Gael “Poko” Gouzerch took out three players, and the attack fell apart. By the time the Gladiators regrouped, the Fusion had settled in before the gate, and the payload ultimately stopped just before point B.
The Gladiators stayed focused on their own defense, holding Philadelphia at bay for a while. Once the Fusion moved in more aggressively, however, they took point A with ease, heading off with plenty of time. Still, Los Angeles showed off an excellent defense, stabilizing as a group shortly after the first gate and pushing back each of the Fusion’s attacks. Though Philadelphia moved forward a little more, the Gladiators wiped them out again and again, and eventually held them off long enough to take the map.
Dorado: Philadelphia 2-1 Los Angeles
The Gladiators started out strong on the attack, moving forward uncontested for most of their first push. They nearly reached point A before Philadelphia pushed them off, but they quickly regrouped and finished the first leg of the journey anyway. They looked strong as they headed towards point B, and the payload barely stopped on the way there. However, Philadelphia regrouped just in time to stop them from reaching the point. The two teams fought just meters before point B for the rest of the round, but it seemed the Fusion had found their groove. After one more tough fight in overtime, the payload stopped without reaching the point.
The Fusion moved quickly out of spawn on their own attack, and made some good progress towards point A before Los Angeles could stop them. Once they had warmed up, the Gladiators strengthened their defense, and Philadelphia didn’t reach point A until overtime. Once they made it, however, they appeared unstoppable. For the rest of the map, they rolled over the Gladiators’ defense, easily reaching their point on the route and finishing out the series with a map win.
The Journey to the Top
Stage 2 gave the Gladiators a chance to prove that they can play among the top teams in the league. With decisive victories over Dallas and Philadelphia and a hard fight against Vancouver, it seems that they’ll continue to build this reputation. With a fairly simple schedule ahead of them, chances are that they’ll show up in stage playoffs once again.
The Los Angeles Gladiators return to the stage on June 16, when they face off against the Washington Justice. Be sure to tune in.
Follow Darby on Twitter @soundchecck! She is happy to talk about anything she’s written! You can also get in touch with her on Discord (soundchecck#7242).
Featured image courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators.
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