Los Angeles Gladiators (3-4) vs Guangzhou Charge (3-3)
Gladiators 3-1 Charge
The Los Angeles Gladiators played their final map of Stage 1 against the Guangzhou Charge. While the Gladiators are all but confirmed to miss the Stage Playoffs, they hoped to get a win and improve to 3-4. They went into this game hoping to spoil the Charge’s chances of making the Stage Playoffs themselves. Finishing out the stage on a positive note, the Gladiators will look to use this momentum going into Stage 2. While there is a small chance the Gladiators could slip into a playoff spot, though it is completely out of their hands.
Still without Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim, the Gladiators started with the same lineup as the past two weeks. Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye and Jun-woo “Void” Kang led the tank line. Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni and Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara took up the support roles. João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles and Gui-un “Decay” Jang played the DPS/flex roles. Fan favorite Lane “Surefour” Roberts continues to start on the bench in this 3-3 meta.
Nepal: Charge 2-0 Gladiators
The Gladiators started with Hydration on the Roadhog and Shaz on the Moira, while the charge ran a Pharah, Wrecking Ball and Hanzo. It was the Gladiators who took the point first. Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi found three quick kills as the Pharah, and the Charge took the point back from the Gladiators, who had stalled for 57%. Hotba was Nanoboosted by the Ana, and killed three members of the Gladiators with his ultimate. Hotba continued to lay down the damage with Pharah, since the Gladiators did not have anyone to challenge him. The Gladiators only managed two kills on the first round of Nepal.
Both teams opened up the second round of Nepal with Winston 3-3 compositions. Hydration was the first to fall, and the Charge took the point as soon as it opened. ROar snuck onto the point in overtime, forcing the Charge to split up and go after the point. The Gladiators took back the point from the Charge, who claimed 99%. ROar was able to use his Primal Rage to knock Jung-woo “Happy” Lee off the the map. The Gladiators were able to get 99% on the point themselves, but the Charge won the final team fight, and took Nepal.
King’s Row: Gladiators 4-3 Charge
The Gladiators started defending King’s Row, and came out with the Reinhardt 3-3, and were met with a mirror image from the Charge. Void found Jin-seo “Shu” Kim for the first pick of the map, and followed up with a kill on Seung-pyo “Rio” Oh. After BigGoose fell early in a team fight, and Decay found no one with his Graviton Surge, the Gladiators lost the point, and the Charge had just over four minutes to lead the cart. The Charge continued to follow the strategy that most teams have used against the Gladiators, and focused on rOar early in the team fight. Just before the first checkpoint, Void was able to find two with his D.Va ultimate. In the final fight before the point, Shu found both Shaz and Roar, and the Charge were able to complete the map in overtime.
The Gladiators were able to take the most of the point in the first fight. However, Guangzhou were able to regroup right before Los Angeles took all three ticks and push them off the point. BigGoose was able to get another great boop to push two Charge players into Void’s Self-Destruct. Decay placed an impressive Graviton Surge, and the rest of the Gladiators were able to easily clean up the Charge, giving them about four minutes in the final push. Los Angeles finished with just over two minutes left in the time bank. The Gladiators were able to get their 33% on the point to take King’s Row.
Anubis: Gladiators 2-0 Charge
The Gladiators started out on offense on Anubis. They started with the Reinhardt 3-3, while the Charge ran the Winston 3-3. Rio was able to get his Primal Rage, and take out two members of the Gladiators. Guangzhou took the high ground above the point, but were unable to stop the Gladiators from taking Point A. The Gladiators first push saw them take two ticks of progress before having to reset and regroup. After a few unsuccessful pushes, the Gladiators took Point B in overtime.
The Gladiators started off with rOar on the Winston, and he had many successful ultimates. They had an answer to everything the charge threw at them. After a long stall at the end, the Gladiators held the Charge fully on Point A.
Rialto: Gladiators 2-1 Charge
Attacking first, the Gladiators came out swinging. ROar had a huge shatter right before the first checkpoint, and the Gladiators continued to progress. BigGoose continued to get environmental kills galore, booping the charge off the map. The Charge were having none of it though, with back-to-back team fight wins before the second checkpoint. Decay found Kyb just before overtime started, and Rio fell as well. The Gladiators pushed their way to the second checkpoint, giving them 90 seconds to make their way to the final checkpoint. In what proved to be the final fight, Hotba killed a member of the Gladiators, and the Charge were able to slowly pick off every member of the Gladiators team. Los Angeles found themselves about as close as they could get without getting the last checkpoint. The Gladiators decided they wanted to use the other team’s strategy
The Charge’s attack started and both teams mirrored each other with Reinhardt 3-3 compositions. ROar fell first again, and the Charge were able to push the cart to just before the checkpoint. The Gladiator’s regrouped 1.7 meters before the checkpoint, and a massive team fight commenced. The Gladiators held firm, and one last fight began in Overtime. BigGoose was the first to fall, but a massive Earth Shatter and Graviton Surge turned the fight around for the Gladiators. BigGoose returned to the fight, but Decay was booped off of the map. The Charge were able to get the first checkpoint, as the Gladiators were forced to regroup. Right before the Charge were able to turn the corner on Rialto, the Gladiators held firm again, and forced Guangzhou back. The Gladiators decided they wanted to use the other team’s strategy, and focused Rio early in the fight. Once again, overtime began. Hotba was the first to fall, followed by Rio. Happy and Kyb followed as well, and the Gladiators were able to win the match against the Charge.
Overall, this looked like a much better Gladiators team. They seemed rejuvenated. BigGoose looked much more confident than earlier in the stage. ROar also showed that he can be relied upon, getting many important kills. This was the perfect way for the Gladiators to end their Stage 1. They have plenty of momentum going forward. Similarly, the return of both Bischu and Riku “Ripa” Toivanen should do nothing but help the Gladiators going forward.
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Featured Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators
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