After a shaky start in Stage 1, a few roster tweaks, and the addition of Fissure, the LA Gladiators continue their hot streak in Stage 2. The LA Gladiators currently stand at 6-2 in Stage 2, already a huge improvement from their previous Stage 1 record of 4-6. With their shields up and pushing forward, the Gladiators find themselves in third place behind New York Excelsior and Seoul Dynasty – a great spot to be heading into the last week of Stage 2.
What makes them special?
The Gladiators made a huge roster move in the off-season which helped propel them forward – the acquisition of Chan-Hyung “Fissure” Baek from the London Spitfire. Although he didn’t see much play time with the London Spitfire, Fissure was known as one of the best, if not the best, tank player in the game. Analysts questioned why he wasn’t seeing more playtime. The Gladiators gladly took the opportunity to upgrade a role that their team drastically needed.
Fissure has great awareness and communication when playing. He knows precisely when he needs to peel and create space for his supports, as well as when he can get aggressive and finish off enemy players. Fissure gives the team a healthy balance between aggressive and defensive play. With a few communication issues in the beginning, the Gladiators roster have found great chemistry with Fissure added to the mix. The addition of Fissure is paying huge dividends for the LA Gladiators.
Another important part of the LA Gladiators is their ability to flex and play a variety of heroes. The LA Gladiators can make teams play to their playstyle or flex onto heroes which counter the enemy’s playstyle. With such a wide hero pool, it is not uncommon to see Joao Pedro “Hydration” Veloso de Goes Telles play Doomfist or Lane “Surefour” Roberts on Sombra. Enemy teams must specifically craft strategies around these hero picks if they want to find success. The clip below shows the impact that Hydration’s Doomfist can make and how it can catch teams off guard.
The Road ahead
With the acquisition of Fissure, wide hero pools and great team chemistry, the LA Gladiators are pushing forward with their shields up to make the Stage 2 playoffs. With only a week left in Stage 2, the LA Gladiators have set themselves up in a great position to make the playoffs. The Gladiators clash with the Philadelphia Fusion and Boston Uprising heading into the final week of Stage 2. With two tough opponents remaining, every win matters for the Gladiators. Will they continue to entertain the crowd with their victories or will they be left humbled in defeat by the enemy team?
Featured Image Credit: LA Gladiators
Videos Clips: Overwatch League