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Overwatch League Recap: London Spitfire vs. Los Angeles Gladiators

Spitfire 2-1 Gladiators

This match started out neck and neck, but by the fourth map London were reigning dominant over the Gladiators. The Spitfire continue to stumble out of the gate before they’re warmed up, but they become hard to stop once they’ve hit their stride. Today’s match showcased London’s ability to perform well in aggressive playstyles, but also highlighted their room for growth on assault maps.

Busan: Spitfire 2-1 Gladiators

Los Angeles Gladiators
Courtesy of Liquipedia

London had trouble getting the ball rolling on Downtown. Every single team fight saw a member of the Spitfire tankline falling first. The Zarya play from Junyoung “Profit” Park was particularly lackluster; the average energy for Gui-un “Decay” Jang was 76%, while Profit’s was only 19%. Unable to properly engage with the Gladiators, the Spitfire lost the point 100-0.

On Sanctuary, London initially continued to struggle against the aggressive pushes of the Gladiators, unable to flip the point until LA had gained 99% capture. Fortunately, once they flipped the point, the Spitfire guarded it admirably. On LA’s final push, London were down two when Junho “Fury” Kim’s quadruple kill turned the tides back in London’s favor. London brought their capture percentage from 0 to 100 without giving it back to Los Angeles, tying up the map.

MEKA Base was back and forth, with neither team able to claim the point for long stretches of time. As the point ticked up to 99-99 in the Gladiators’ control, Seungtae “Bdosin” Choi got the first pick in the team fight onto his opposing counterpart, Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara. This opening allowed London to snowball the team fight and take the map 2-1.

Numbani: Spitfire 3-3 Gladiators

London’s point A defense started out quite similar to last week’s against the Spark. The Spitfire had a decent defense on Point A, then held the Gladiators right in front of their spawn doors until overtime. Unfortunately, once overtime began, the Gladiators won two consecutive team fights, successfully capping point B in the process. Piggybacking off the success of their point B capture, Los Angeles kept up their momentum to steamroll through to point C.

Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Fury started out London’s push with a bang on Wrecking Ball, using his grappling claw to secure a swift environmental kill onto Shaz. When London captured point A, they had more than 5:30 on the clock. They struggled to capitalize on this massive timebank for a while, draining almost 4 minutes before they captured point B off the back of a well placed self destruct from Fury that caught two members of the Gladiators. Not content with just one stellar D.Va bomb, Fury’s next self destruct caught three members of the Gladiators to help close out the map.

The Spitfire only needed to take a single tick on their second offense to win Numbani. As a result, they went with a triple-DPS composition intended to disrupt the LA defense. Unfortunately, they lacked the coordination to overwhelm Los Angeles with this unique composition. They drained their timebank without taking a tick, tying with Los Angeles 3-3.

Volskaya: Spitfire 2-3 Gladiators

Despite getting the initial pick on defense, London were unable to stave off the LA assault for long. After a swift point A take, the Gladiators continued onward to steamroll through point B with 5:16 still in the bank.

While it wasn’t as fast as the Gladiators’ offense, the Spitfire managed to take point A after an extremely drawn out team fight. They weren’t able to fully snowball onto the second point, but still gained two ticks before being forced to disengage. On their next attack though, Guard secured a kill on a poorly positioned Void to start off the team fight. Without their D.Va in play, the Gladiators posed little threat to Profit’s graviton. The Spitfire successfully captured point B, but had less than half the time remaining that Los Angeles had.

After whiffing attack after attack on their second round of offense, London had to prevent Los Angeles from getting a tick on Point A. The Gladiators’ offense started slow, but trading kills between Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye and Guard helped the Glads take advantage of the attackers’ closer spawn. The Gladiators quickly regrouped to take their necessary tick, winning the map 3-2.

Dorado: Spitfire 2-1 Gladiators

London Spitfire
Courtesy of Liquipedia

Dorado saw London put Fury on Zarya, Profit on Briggite and Guard on his signature Sombra. While they let the Gladiators take point A, the Spitfire took extremely aggressive positioning to hold the Gladiators right in front of their spawn. With the help of Guard’s multiple 6-man EMPs, London repeatedly shut down every push until overtime kicked in. Once Los Angeles managed to make it past the point A choke, London were forced to back off. They reengaged as the cart passed the bank, successfully shutting down Los Angeles before point B.

London kept the aggression dialed to 11 on their offense, eliminating the high-threat Decay before even making it past the first choke. From there, the Gladiators struggled to find their footing amidst such reckless aggression from London. The final skirmish as the Spitfire approached the bank drew out ultimate after ultimate from both sides, but in the end London came out on top. The Spitfire matched Los Angeles’ payload distance to win the map 2-1 and take the series.

Conclusion

While it took them some time to get into gear, London showed dominance today with their aggressive playmaking this match. When not relegated to Brigitte duty, Guard has continued to shine as one of the most effective Sombra players in the league. If London can find more opportunities to force high-speed engages and capitalize on their players’ abilities to shut down their opponents, they’ll continue to do well for the rest of this stage.

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