Now that May Madness is beginning, the Valiant have a chance to make a statement now that they are not stuck playing the same three teams on loop. Their first matchup though is the hardest one they will have during qualifiers. Their cross country foes from the peach state the Atlanta Reign are in their way. Here is a preview of what to look out for.
This matchup is significant for multiple reasons. It is not only the Valiant’s first chance to play a team outside of the Gladiators, Shock, Fuel bubble they were stuck in, but also a chance to face a top team in the Atlantic. Additionally, this will be the first OWL match to occur with teams on other sides of the country. The Fuel and Justice have played twice, but the two teams are closer to a common server than these two. It will be interesting to see how many pauses potentially occur if there are technical difficulties on the team side.
Aside from the narratives not related to gameplay, this match is a chance for the Valiant to prove they are better than their record. Their support line is very underrated, they have extremely talented DPS like KSP and KSF, McGravy is a budding star at off-tank, and they have two solid main tanks. Instead of playing against Super, OGE, Space and Choihyobin they get to play Gator, Pokpo and Hawk. Those players are good in their own right, but are not as good as their Pacific counterparts.
Another interesting storyline to follow is Dogman. Last week he had a horrid performance versus the Fusion where he finished with 4 final blows and 26 deaths, the worst ratio in the whole match. Yes, he is a flex support, but he was commonly the first person to die in so many fights. McGravy will terrorize Dogman if he gets the chance, just ask Crimzo. McGravy terrorized him incessantly which helped the Valiant beat the Fuel 3-1. That is an interesting side matchup.
Matchup to Watch: The Main Tank Battle
Both teams have similarly talented support lines so that matchup is not significant. The DPS matchups are more interesting. Erster is going to be better than Shax or KSF on pretty much any hero but KSP is arguably the most talented hitscan DPS in this matchup. At off-tank McGravy is actually closer to Hawk then people would like to admit. He is just as talented as Hawk. That is why the main tank matchup can swing the series. Both teams have two main tanks they can play in any given set up.
Who starts for Atlanta; Pokpo or Gator? Do the Valiant ride with Gig or Dreamer? If the Reign default to double shield, both will likely be in. The onus then goes onto the Valiant on what they are going to play. The main tank decisions of these teams could swing the series, so only time will tell. This very well could be a close series, but something about that feels hopeful.
Prediction: 3-1 Reign
Who do you think wins? Tell Christian on Twitter at @TheWiz_SPM
Featured image courtesy of Overwatch League
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