Atlanta Reign (2-1) vs (1-1) Toronto Defiant
Atlanta Reign 3-1 Toronto Defiant
The Atlanta Reign came into Week 2 looking to prove that their Week 1 performance wasn’t a fluke. It was a war of attrition, though, and Atlanta was able to prove that they have the resources and stamina to fight until the end.
Busan – Reign 1-2 Defiant
MEKA Base was the first map of the day, and Atlanta looked great out of the gate. With Pokpo on Wrecking Ball leading the charge and ErsTer doing major work on Brigitte, the Reign were able to take the point early. With NLaaeR and dafran able to play their signature heroes (Widowmaker and Tracer respectively), things were looking good for Atlanta.
The Defiant started pushing back and took the point, looking a bit more confident than in their first push. The point was traded a couple times more reaching 99% for both teams, but it was Atlanta in control when the round ended. This victory was short lived, however, as the teams moved on to Sanctuary.
The Toronto Defiant looked angry as they stormed towards the point during round two, both teams swapping to GOATs compositions. Atlanta was only able to gain some ground after Toronto was already at 99% progress on the map. This was thanks to Kodak‘s late-fight Transcendence which gave the Reign a chance to secure kills and take the point. The Defiant weren’t having this, however, and quickly returned and made work of Atlanta taking the round decisively.
Downtown on Busan the Reign were absolutely manhandled by the Defiant. Without ever really finding footing or a solid attack, Atlanta repeatedly fell to Toronto’s stellar point defense. Without ever able to take control of the point, the Reign fell quickly to the Defiant, and started the day behind.
Numbani – Reign 2-1 Defiant
The Atlanta Reign showed up strong for map 2 as the teams traveled to Numbani. Atlanta took the initial defense and held strong until a pause came up mid-fight with just over two minutes left on the clock. Even with Dogman securing two key picks early in the fight, a Defiant Self-Destruct and Primal Rage helped to push the Reign off the point.
Atlanta wasn’t done fighting, however, as they had time to contest the point one last time. They weren’t able to stop Toronto’s push, but they did contest long enough for the Defiant to have less than four minutes to get to point B.
Thanks to some key ult usage and great control, Atlanta held strong just before point B. With seconds remaining, Toronto looked to make a last push to secure the point and push towards point C, but needed to get there to trigger overtime. Roky, the Defiant’s Lucio player, was talked with making sure that happened. What he did not count on was Dogman sitting on the cart waiting for him on Zenyatta. With a charged right click to the body, and a single headshot to finish him off, Dogman secured the point and prevented Overtime.
The sides flipped and Atlanta took over on attack. Masaa was picked off early, which caused the Reign to back out and readjust their attack strategy. They chose to go middle instead of top on Numbani, surprising the Defiant. With a confident push onto Toronto, Atlanta was able to take the point and start the payload moving. The Defiant were unable to do more than slightly slow them down, however, as the Reign took the fights and pushed closer. With one final, scrappy fight that involved both teams having their Graviton Surges eaten, Atlanta was able to secure the fight yet again and take the map.
Horizon Lunar Colony – Reign 6-4 Defiant
Horizon Lunar Colony was by far the map of the week for this matchup. Atlanta started their defense with an Orisa and Bastion composition that the Defiant were not falling for. They slowly but methodically moved onto the point and were able to deal with dafran‘s Bastion without much concern. The Reign decided to keep the Bastion for point B, however, but paired it with NLaaeR‘s Mei. This caused a lot of problems for the Defiant who were consistently stalled and blocked out by her. They were eventually able to overcome the Reign. With just over two minutes on the clock Toronto took point B.
Atlanta had no problem moving in and capping point A, but point B caused them a bit more trouble. With close to seven minutes on the board, the Reign struggled to compete with the Defiant defense. With only about a minute left, Masaa was able to land a monumentally huge boop onto Ivy‘s Zarya, causing his Graviton Surge to miss the entire Atlanta squad, and allowing them to push in and find the kills they needed.
With little time left for both teams, the expectation was that maybe one of them would secure point A and win the map. Instead, both Atlanta and Toronto came out with fire in their eyes on attack. The Reign were able to stabilize on the point thanks to a quickly built Transcendence from Kodak. This allowed them to bank their ultimates and carry momentum into point B. They used their ultimate advantage and, with overtime showing on the clock, they took both points.
Toronto answered with a quicker take of point A, but lacked the ultimate charge of the Reign’s push so they couldn’t plow into point B the same way. Atlanta pushed them back, but couldn’t do it twice. Toronto took point B in overtime as well, setting both teams up for one more attack phase each.
Atlanta, looking like they had finally found what they were looking for, pushed hard yet again. They were able to secure both points A and B yet again off of amazing team play and an amazing boop from Masaa. Atlanta went up 6-4 over Toronto on Horizon, and looked to finish off Toronto with their original Bastion and Orisa composition.
With Daco playing incredibly aggressively, the Reign were able to secure enough kills. Toronto were unable to make a successful push and Atlanta finally put this monstrous round to rest.
Dorado – Reign 3-0 Defiant
By Dorado, Atlanta had found their stride, and Toronto was looking downtrodden and tired. Atlanta started on attack. Although they were held pretty strongly on point A, they were able to eventually get there. Once they made it past that point, though, there was little that slowed the Reign down. The fights halted progress a bit, but thanks to huge Earthshatters by Pokpo, there wasn’t mush the Defiant could do. Atlanta was able to push the payload to completion with time left on the clock.
It ultimately wouldn’t matter, however, as Toronto was running out of steam. Their pushes didn’t seem effective and gave Atlanta a ton of room to work. Atlanta blocked their push every way they tried, and the Defiant seemed to not know how to approach their attack. With Daco dominating the entire point A courtyard, and Pokpo delivering even more huge slams, Toronto were unable to find point A.
The Reign have shown that they still have a few struggles to work through. When they are doing well, though, there is little that can stop them. The Defiant proved to be a tough match, especially when coordinated. Atlanta proved they have the skill and stamina to handle it, though. The ability to continue to play at a high level until the end of the day while Toronto looked like they were fatigued is something that will help Atlanta stay above many other teams.
The standout performances came from the support line as Masaa, Kodak, and Dogman all had huge plays at different times across the maps. Masaa once again showed his prowess in controlling where the enemy team were allowed to be while securing kills. Kodak was terrifying, especially on Horizon, where he was able to time and time again find picks on key targets to allow for big plays. Dogman, while also securing kills, was able to do so in absolutely clutch moments allowing for iffy fights to swing back towards the Reign.
The Atlanta Reign are poised to stay high in rankings if their performances continue to impress.
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