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Dissecting the LA Gladiators Unbreakable Defense on Hanamura

LA Gladiators

As of Stage 4 Week 2, the Los Angeles Gladiators look dominant on the control point map, Hanamura. When the Gladiators played the Florida Mayhem and Houston Outlaws, they managed to fully hold both teams on their first point defense, only then having to take the first point against the other team to win the game. Neither the Florida Mayhem nor the Houston Outlaws could find a way to break the Gladiators defense in Week 2.

The Los Angeles Gladiators have a 100% win rate on Hanamura. As such, let’s dissect what makes their defense so successful.

Surefour the Deadly Sniper 

One reason that the Gladiators are so lucrative on Hanamura is that they play around Lane “Surefour” Roberts’ Widowmaker. The Gladiators support Surefour’s Widowmaker play by providing an Orisa Protector Barrier or a D.Va Defense Matrix on the high ground, which helps negate any incoming damage.

In addition, Hanamura only has one entrance, so Surefour doesn’t need to worry about flanking heroes such as Tracer or Genji. Rather, he only needs to focus on what is in front of him, like when enemy heroes are diving in. Unless the enemy team makes a nearly perfect dive, Surefour, or any of his other teammates, can pick off and eliminate an enemy diver, completely stopping the push. A stopped push for the Gladiators means that the enemy team must regroup and lose valuable time. If the Gladiators get at least one kill without losing anyone, the enemy push is over.

A Team that Adapts

Another thing that makes the Gladiators so triumphant is their in-game adjustments and adaptations. The Gladiators like to keep enemies guessing by switching up their position during and after team fights. It is not uncommon to see Surefour eliminate a player and then relocate to a different position on the map to pick off another enemy. This not only keeps the enemy guessing, but it also removes the focus that enemies put on his other teammates, freeing them up to deal more damage. The clip below showcases Surefour’s awareness during and enemy dive by the Florida Mayhem.

More so, if the enemy team makes a composition adjustment, the Gladiators play accordingly around it. For example, if the enemy team is running dive or double snipers, the Gladiators will position to set up their defenses farther back. If the enemy team tries to run quad tank or more shields, Surefour will position differently to setup a crossfire for his team. Whatever teams try to throw at them, the Gladiators are always willing to change their strategy, so that they can be successful. The clip below showcases how the Gladiators as a team adapt and move their defenses.

Looking Ahead 

With a 2-0 record in Week 2 of Stage 4, the Los Angeles Gladiators are poised to make the Postseason Playoffs. The Gladiators have shown how dominant of a team they can be when playing on a map like Hanamura. More importantly, when looking at the big picture, the Gladiators have shown that they can and know how to adapt against enemy teams, a crucial characteristic of the best Overwatch League teams.

To keep up with the Los Angeles Gladiators and see how the rest of Stage 4 shapes out for them, tune into the Overwatch League.


For more esports news and coverage, follow The Game Haus on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to keep up with my posts or myself, come check out my twitter:@J02Armstrong.

Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch

Video Credit: Overwatch League

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