Atlanta Reign (5-6) vs (1-10) Washington Justice
Atlanta Reign 3-1 Washington Justice
The Atlanta Reign have been stuck in a downward spiral in the last few weeks. After stumbling through the end of Stage 1, they have been unable to regain their footing in Stage 2. This losing streak culminated in a loss to the Los Angeles Valiant earlier in the week, handing them their first win of the season. The Washington Justice had only secured a single win, however, and Atlanta needed this win to start to salvage their poor recent performance.
Busan – Reign 2-0 Justice
Busan looked exactly like what the Reign would want from an opening map. Sanctuary opened the day, and they were able to hold the Justice off without losing a single percent of progression. Pokpo played a strong Winston, which would hold true across the maps, while Babybay was able to flex off of the typical Zarya pick and onto Sombra.
Meka Base looked a bit more attainable for Washington, with Corey absolutely popping off on Widowmaker. Even with headshot after headshot coming in from him, Atlanta was still able to outplay their opponents and take the round win. The team seemed happy to have an early lead, and for a squad that has shown emotional highs and lows, this boded well.
Paris – Reign 0-1 Justice
If the opening of Busan was a high for the Reign, then Paris was certainly a low. The Justice started on defense with a Bastion focused bunker comp that the Reign could not figure out. Even after multiple hero swaps and strategies attempted, Atlanta continued to lose key players before their pushes could ever really start. The Washington Justice full held the Atlanta Reign on Paris.
Atlanta attempted a similar bunker comp on defense, with Erster on the Bastion. Unfortunately, they could not replicate the Justice’s defense against their swarm of an offense. After not securing a single tick on the point, Atlanta failed to prevent Washington from doing the same and end up tied 1-1 going into the half.
Eichenwalde – Reign 2-1 Justice
Eichenwalde is where the Reign from the early parts of the season showed up. After a decent hold on point A, the Justice finally captured the point and swapped from their DPS heavy attack comp to a 3-3 comp for pushing the second point. Washington had reset their ultimate economy and Atlanta was not interested in waiting. They proceeded to engage and win fight after fight with the Justice at their own spawn.
After stripping a ton of time off of the clock, Washington was able to push through and finally get the payload moving. Even though the Reign had caused the push to take place almost entirely in overtime, the Justice were able to push it to just before point B, necessitating the Reign to secure the capture to take the map.
Atlanta was able to do just that, and they did it with style! After initial struggles securing point A, and with about a minute remaining, the Reign needed a strong push. Erster showed up and delivered with a 4 person pulse bomb kill followed by finishing off the remaining members of the Justice on the point. The solo 6k seemed to demoralize Washington, and they were unable to stave off much more from the Reign. Atlanta didn’t have much more trouble with the Justice as they were able to decisively push the cart to point B to take the lead.
Rialto – Reign 4-3 Justice
It was match point for the Reign, and a shot to stay alive for the Justice as they moved to Rialto. Atlanta showed up strong, marching across the stage while only losing a handful of fights. The Justice slowed them down a bit, but were unable to hold them from completing Rialto with over two minutes left on the clock.
Atlanta did a bit better on defense, but eventually fell to Washington’s momentum. After several strong defenses from the Reign, the Justice started finding their footing and winning fights back to back. They were finally able to push the payload easily to the end of the map, but not before Atlanta drained all but about a minute from the clock.
The Justice’s second attack did not find it’s footing nearly as well, however, as the Reign were able to find early picks to stunt ultimate charge. This really hurt Washington, as they only had ults starting to come up at the end of their time bank, and they were still being picked off before being able to use them. The Justice’s saving grace was a Pharah barrage that was completely shut down by Dogman’s sleep dart on Ana. This allowed Atlanta to only need a short push on attack, and with two and a half minutes on the clock, they were able to do so without much pressure or problem. Atlanta won Rialto and the day 3-1.
The Atlanta Reign have shown real struggles adapting to a new meta with new players on the roster. While other teams are looking better than they did in Stage 1, Atlanta is having to rebuild and it’s been showing. Today’s match, however, showed more of what the Reign have the capability to do when they trust themselves and play together. They’ll have to tighten up even more as they face one of the juggernauts of the league, the New York Excelsior, next week.
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