Welcome to the first official LA Valiant pre-review. This will be a weekly review of how the Valiant’s matches went in their previous week, as well as a preview of their coming week. Due to the preseason matches being switched over to the mystery heroes mode after some miscommunication between the Overwatch League staff and teams, this pre-review will lack the review. However, there’s still the Valiant’s premier match on February 16 to go over.
Hangzhou Spark (0-0-0)
This will be the LA Valiant’s only match of week 1, and an important one at that. The first match of any team in the league has the ability to set the tone for the weeks to come. The Valiant have made significant changes to their roster, but losing more than gaining. However, of those lost players, only a couple were part of the starting roster. The LA Valiant still have plenty of firepower to work with, and even made a player pick up of their own, snagging Seoul Dynasty main tank Dae-kuk “KuKi” Kim.
On the other hand, many Overwatch League teams themselves have been labeling the Hangzhou Spark as a “powerhouse”. They even go as far as to crown them the “strongest expansion team”. Without a doubt, this will be a clash of old titans and new. If the Valiant want to take the win in this match, they’ll need to play the way they did during Stage 4 of the inaugural season, possibly even better.
Spent the majority of this week meeting with all the @overwatchleague teams alongside the other casters.
Hangzhou Spark hype is getting pretty real as almost every team has cited them as not only the strongest expansion team but an overall powerhouse.
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) February 2, 2019
In the damage department, they’ll have to make up for the loss of one of their starting hitscan DPS Terence “Soon” Tarlier. DPS players Brady “Agilities” Girardi and Jun-hyeok “Bunny” Chae were always a solid duo throughout Season 1, though. They should perform just as well now as they did then. The Valiant may want to field KuKi, though, who would replace main tank Pan-seung “Fate” Koo. This could prove to be risky against a team like the Spark. If they are as strong as everyone says they are, the LA Valiant will need maximum cohesion to have a chance. Their best bet is to stick to what they used last season, because they know it works.
Prediction: LA Valiant win 3-2
Player to Watch
It’s impossible for any Overwatch League fan to not have already heard about the star Chinese main tank Xu “Guxue” Qiulin. His performance for Team China in the 2018 World Cup was nothing short of spectacular, and he continues to assert his dominance on the NA ladder. This will be his chance to prove himself against one of the strongest Season 1 teams. Not to mention that they have one of the strongest main tanks in the league with Fate.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League
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