Los Angeles Gladiators (3-0) 4-0 Guangzhou Charge (0-4)
After two solid victories last week, the Los Angeles Gladiators came into today’s game with hopes of remaining undefeated this stage. They faced the Guangzhou Charge, who desperately needed to recover from two 0-4 losses to the San Francisco Shock. With plenty on the line, the resulting matchup was bound to be electrifying.
The Gladiators kept their dominant streak alive. Though the Charge fought hard, Los Angeles outplayed them throughout the series, making a firm statement for the stage ahead. In a strong showing, the Los Angeles Gladiators took a 4-0 victory.
Lijiang Tower: Los Angeles 2-1 Guangzhou
The Gladiators moved in quickly on Garden, holding control of the point to about 75 percent before Guangzhou pushed in for the fight. With help from Finley “Kyb” Adisi, Guangzhou grabbed control, forcing Los Angeles to regroup. Once they returned, a big Graviton Surge from Gui-un “Decay” Jang gave them the edge they needed to move back onto the point. From there, the teams went back and forth, both entering overtime before the Gladiators took the round.
Hoping to regain control, the Charge moved in quickly on Night Market, capturing the point first. With main tank Seung-pyo “Rio” Oh leading the way, they settled in, wiping out the Gladiators every time they pushed. The Charge held the point from beginning to end, sending the map to a third round.
Once again, both teams scrapped hard on Command Center. Control of the point flipped again and again, with the Charge gaining 88 percent control before Los Angeles finally turned the tides in their favor. With little time left, Guangzhou moved in once more, but the Gladiators held firm, taking the round and the map.
Temple of Anubis: Los Angeles 3-2 Guangzhou
Guangzhou provided a solid first defense on Anubis, repelling Los Angeles’ attacks at first. Eventually, the Gladiators broke through, capturing point A with over five minutes for the second point. Not wanting to waste any time, they snowballed in. Though the Charge stalled as long as they could, the Gladiators completed the map in plenty of time.
Los Angeles put up a strong defense as well, giving the Charge plenty of trouble as they tried to move in. Guangzhou overwhelmed them just in time, though, claiming point A and trying to snowball as well. They gained two ticks on point B before the Gladiators pushed back, forcing them to back out. Their next push was successful, however, and they sent the map to another round.
With a smaller time bank, Guangzhou hoped to make as much progress as they could on point A. Though they got a tick in the midst of a team fight, Los Angeles’ defense proved strong, and they couldn’t make any further progress.
With plenty of time, the Gladiators could play patiently, moving in methodically. Once they hit the point, the two teams scrapped hard. In a crucial moment, Jun-woo “Void” Kang ate the Graviton Surge, giving Los Angeles an edge in the fight. Pushing Guangzhou from the point, they took the win.
Blizzard World: Los Angeles 3-2 Guangzhou
Hoping to keep up the momentum, the Gladiators moved in quickly on the attack. They captured point A and started forward, moving through to point B with little resistance. Although Guangzhou successfully slowed them down on the last push, especially with help from Rio’s forward play, Los Angeles ultimately broke through, completing the map with time to spare.
Guangzhou moved in just as quickly. Easily claiming point A, they started forward, hoping to match the Gladiators’ pace. However, Void and Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye led the way on the defense, preventing them from moving as quickly. Though it took them some time, the Charge did make it to point B. A massive Self Destruct from Void stopped them from making it much further, however, and overtime ticked down. The Gladiators took both the map and the series.
Watchpoint: Gibraltar: Los Angeles 3-1 Guangzhou
With the series lost, the Charge hoped to put up a fight for the last round. Their first defense started out solid, forcing an untimely Transcendence out of Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara and forcing the Gladiators to fall back. Once they had regrouped, they pushed back in, clearing point A and making significant progress on point B before Guangzhou stopped them. In the next fight, a powerful Graviton Surge from Decay helped them wipe the team and push on. They kept up the momentum, completing the map with time in the bank.
Los Angeles’ defense started out well, and they whittled down a significant chunk of Guangzhou’s time before they could get through. Once the Charge reached point A, they found their groove for a while, making easy progress towards point B while the Gladiators worked on strengthening the defense. They solidified just in time, stopping the Charge from reaching point B and winning the series in a clean sweep.
An Incoming Rivalry
After a pretty shaky first stage, it seems that the Gladiators are coming into their own. They’ve meshed their individual talent together nicely, showing that they can make their pieces work. It’ll be all too vital for them to keep up the momentum for their next game – a rivalry showdown with the Los Angeles Valiant, who finally took their first win against the Atlanta Reign.
The Battle for L.A. returns on April 14. Be sure to tune in to see old rivals go head-to-head again.
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.
Follow The Game Haus for the latest on all things sports and esports:
Want to show off how much you like TGH? Check out our merch shop here!