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OWL Stage 2: The Valiant suffer crushing defeat

Valiant

UPDATE: Saturday has come and gone, and the Valiant went 3-0 to best Shanghai. Shanghai looked good, but after disappointing showings both Verbo and Agilities looked great. Kariv also drew in to the starting line-up alongside Verbo and Unkoe. Kariv did not play his typical support role however, and the series saw him play both DPS and the third tank in a triple tank composition. For all the thoughts that maybe the Valiant’s coaching change and new meta had upset their chemistry, they showed with a vengeance that they’re still the same team from stage one.

 

Verbo hadn’t seen much playing time during the first stage of the Overwatch League. He drew into the lineup during week four while Unkoe sat out with an injury. He looked fine during their match-up with the Philadelphia Fusion. Against the Boston Uprising, Verbo looked severely outmatched as the Valiant were steamrolled with a 4-0 Uprising victory.

Verbo Starts for Stage two

Valiant
Source: Los Angeles Valiant and Blizzard

It was a surprise to many to see Verbo on the starting lineup for Stage 2. This was likely due to the fact that the most recent patch was added between stages, making Mercy a much less attractive pick. With Kariv’s focus on Mercy, it made sense for Verbo to draw in and play Lucio.

Unfortunately for the Valiant, Verbo looked out of place on the Overwatch League stage. The first map, Volskaya Industries, saw Verbo look outmatched as he made mistakes against Seoul. Seoul’s defense saw them playing Zenyatta, Lucio and a Sombra, which proved to be kryptonite for the Valiant. In the end, the Valiant failed to even capture point A on the map.

Verbo drew back in for control on Nepal, and his mistakes continued. Seoul handily took Nepal 2-0, and the Valiant headed to half-time down 2-0. Verbo wasn’t the only player making mistakes during these games, as Agilities found himself out of sync with his teammates. Broadcasters suggested that the possible switch of both Verbo and Agilities for Kariv and Silkthread was more than likely for the second half.

More of the same

Valiant
Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

OH how I wish that had happened. Verbo and Agilities were both back to fight in Dorado to try and take map three from Seoul. To their credit, they looked much better than they did in the first two games. Unfortunately, Valiant still lost the map and had effectively lost the matchup. Verbo’s play, although better, was severely outmatched by his Seoul counterpart on Lucio. Their healing discrepancies were about 5,000 total points of healing. That is an incredible difference for the same hero over the course of the same time-frame.

They could still try and take map four to improve their overall map differential however. With pride the only thing left to play for, and Verbo’s poor performance, Kariv still did not appear. Once again Seoul would run a double support and Sombra defense. Once again, the Valiant failed to even take a single point.

What happens next for Valiant?

There’s a lot of questions to ask as the Valiant look to rebound against the Shanghai Dragons on Saturday. Will Kariv and Silkthread start, or even draw into the lineup? Will the crushing defeat start an avalanche of losses for the Valiant? Will they figure out how to adapt to the new meta and start challenging teams?

As we wait for the answers, the Valiant have to prove themselves. The team’s confidence was not in a good place following their 4-0 defeat to Seoul. One can only imagine the kind of damage they might suffer should they be the first to fall to Shanghai.

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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul and Blizzard Entertainment

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