The Los Angeles Gladiators will be facing off against the Seoul Dynasty on Feb. 14 for their first game of the Overwatch League Season 2. There is immense pressure on both of these teams as they look to start their season off on the right foot. They will have a tough test against a Dynasty team that has made many good changes to their roster. Here is a look at the three keys that the Gladiators will focus on to beat the Dynasty.
The main component that will make or break the Gladiators in Game 1 is their chemistry. The communication needs to be clear and concise, meaning that Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni will have a tough job, as he is balancing new teammates with the original roster. The Gladiators brought in their biggest new signings in October, giving them a little over three months to adjust to playing with their new team. Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye will have a starting spot to fill. His ability to communicate clearly with his team, along with his ability to play well with them, will be tested.
The synergy will not be hanging in the hands of the new players only, however. The Gladiators players from last season will also have to adjust their play styles to these new teammates. Both flex tanks for the Gladiators, Jun-woo “Void” Kang and Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim, experienced splitting time at that position last year, and that may happen again this season. Void previously played with rOar, and Bischu is fluent in both English and Korean. This could make Bischu the best player to help bridge the gap between the Korean- and English-speaking players.
Next up is the tank line. As previously mentioned, rOar will be playing main tank for the Gladiators, while Bischu and Void will split time at the off tank position. In a typical 2-2-2 format, or a dive comp, this lineup is set well. However, with GOATS comp, where three tanks are played, who will the Gladiators play? The two options the Gladiators could go with are to either play both Bischu and Void, or play one of their DPS players as a tank.
Bischu and Void would work well together in a GOATS meta, as both play D.Va and Zarya. Both of these tank players are vital to a typical GOATS comp. With this strategy, the Gladiators would focus heavily on the tank players that they brought on. However, this would leave the DPS players completely on the bench. New signing Gui-un “Decay” Jang has a very solid Zarya, as he has shown previously with KongDoo Panthera.
Finally, the Gladiators will have to face Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek for the first time since Stage 1 of last season. Fissure is widely regarded as one of the best main tanks in the Overwatch League. During the off season, he departed the team to join the Seoul Dynasty. With the addition of Fissure, the Dynasty are looking to secure a spot in the playoffs this year.
The Gladiators are very familiar with Fissure, as he played for them during Stage 2, Stage 3 and Stage 4. If the Gladiators want to beat the Dynasty, their main objective should be to make sure that Fissure is as uncomfortable as possible. They should use their knowledge of his playstyle to their advantage, and hope that they can overpower the Dynasty.
The Overwatch League returns on Feb. 14. The Gladiators host the Dynasty in the third match of the night. The defending champions London Spitfire will take on the Philadelphia Fusion in a rematch of last years finals to kick things off. New York Excelsior will take on Boston, and the Shanghai Dragons will close the day out against the Hangzhou Spark.
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