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Overwatch League Recap: LA Gladiators vs London Spitfire

 Busan: London 2-1 Gladiators

LA and London faced off first on Downtown, seeing Jang “Decay” Gui-un  assume the role of Zarya in Lane “Surefour” Roberts’ stead. An early pick onto Park “Profit” Joon-yeong allowed the Gladiators to take first control of the point and they refused to let go. London’s Tanks were consistently picked off first in team fights and the Gladiators took the point handily.

Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators

The match moved next to Sanctuary, where the Gladiators took first control of the point. Decay zeroed in on Hong “Gesture” Jae-hee and eliminated him first as London fell around him. At 99% of the Gladiators’ control, London managed to switch the point. After two team fights, Fury’s insane self-destruct killed three members of the Gladiators and allowed them to win Sanctuary.

On MEKA, London took a more aggressive approach and used Profit’s highly-charged Zarya to get early picks on the Gladiators. London captured the point first and maintained it for 66% before a Graviton Surge/Earth Shatter combo enabled the Gladiators to get their first capture on this point. After a back-and-forth series of takes, Choi “Bdosin” Seung-tae’s pick ultimately allowed London to take the point and win the map.

Numbani: 3-3 Draw

The Gladiators were the first to attack. After a relatively painless first point take, a messy second point stopped Gladiators in their tracks for more than three minutes. Profit’s effective and clever use of Graviton Surges pinned the Gladiators into unfortunate positions and allowed London to continually force them back. Decay and Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara stood their ground and the Gladiator’s pushed the cart towards the end of the second point. With a scrappy final fight, they eventually take the second point. The Gladiators completed the map in overtime.

On the Gladiator’s defense, Kim “Fury” Jun-ho’s surprising Wrecking Ball pick enabled London to pick off Shaz and eventually led to a quick first point take. The Gladiators pushed forward, not allowing London to leave their own spawn. London were eventually able to push the cart forward and take second point after Fury’s Self-Destruct melted down two of the Gladiator’s supports. London were able to complete the map after Fury once again took out three members of the Gladiators with a self-destruct.

The London Spitfire come out on a DPS-focused team composition far from the 3-3 meta that had been seen throughout the rest of the match. However, their first attempt to capture the point failed and on their second attempt, Decay’s Graviton Surge trapped several members of the London Spitfire. This allowed the Gladiators to drive London away from the point, resulting in a map draw.

Volskaya: Gladiators 3-2 London

The Gladiators attacked first for this map. After London succeeded in focusing Gye “rOar” Chang-hoon, the Gladiators collapsed onto Gesture’s Winston and the Spitfire fell in short order. Gladiators took Point A and charged Point B. After an unsuccessful attempt at a “snowball” push, the Gladiators take the point with more than five minutes left in their time bank.

London’s offense featured Winston once again, though this time the Gladiators mirrored the composition. The Spitfire brawled it out on point A for several minutes before Lee “Guard” Hee-dong’s clever Brigitte positioning and crucial elimination on João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles allowed them to take. They attempted to continue their momentum and take 2 ticks on Point B before being pushed back once again. The London Spitfire were able to take Point B with just under two and a half minutes in their time bank.

London were next to attack once more. Gesture’s prowess on Winston did little to stop Shaz and the rest of the Gladiators from stopping London’s first push. They were ultimately unable to pick up a tick.

Gladiators made their attempt next. Settling into a 3-3 Reinhardt composition, Gladiators were able to handle the high-mobility but low-sustainability Winston composition run by London. They took a tick in just over a minute and won the map.

Dorado: London 2-1 Gladiators

Once again, Gladiators attacked first. Though they made strong cart progress initially, the Gladiators struggled against Guard’s Sombra. The Gladiators were able to take the first point but were stopped part  way through the second. London pressed forward aggressively and forced the Gladiators back towards their own spawn. They were finally able to break London’s defense and gain a bit more distance on the cart. Ultimately, the Los Angeles Gladiators were unable to take second point.

On their own offense, London took an unusual rotation through first point and took down the Gladiators with relative ease. After another back-and forth-brawl, London used Kim “Nus” Jeong-seok’s Sound Barrier and eliminated Decay, ultimately enabling them to beat the Gladiators.

In Conclusion

Despite a standout performance from Decay, the Gladiators still have a lot to work on. They don’t yet know how to shut down a Sombra, nor do they seem to be able to handle an aggressive attack. If they can grow in confidence and group cohesion, the Gladiators will have every chance of beating the Huangzhou Spark later on this week.

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