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Los Angeles Gladiators Overwatch

2020 Los Angeles Gladiators Summer Showdown Tournament Recap

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The Overwatch League community was treated to the Summer Showdown Tournament during America’s Fourth of July weekend. The Gladiators were given the privilege to choose their first opponent, but they bit off more than they could chew by picking to face the hungry Justice for a third time.

Reviewing Week 22

Washington Justice: 3-13

Hangzhou Spark Sign Ado
Courtesy of Blizzard

This was a regrettable showing for the Gladiators this week as they were nowhere near the performance compared to when they played the same team the previous week. As the author mentioned last week, the Justice were going to try something new against LA, and because LA was complacent, they got their prods handed to them. This is the third team that the Gladiators have lost to that has a 33 percent win percentage or less at the time that they have played them.

Here is how this match went down:

Map 1 – Busan
On Round 1, Kevster and Space made their presence felt. Birdring as Widowmaker was also pivotal. They could only keep the momentum going until they got the point to 57 percent. The Justice since were not willing to give up the point.
On Round 2, Kevster was the MVP for the Gladiators, helping in winning several team fights. Busan is one of the maps that LA excels in. Once they are in control, they have a plan for how to stop the other team form advancing quickly and aggressively. Birdring also was a contributor by sniping from the rooftops as Ashe.
Round 3 was a back-and-fourth bout that could have went either way. Kevster as Genji was the X-factor here. He managed to take out the right Justice members at the right times with Dragon Blade to save LA in the worst of situations. The Gladiators win Round 3 by holding the Justice far back enough to keep them from touching the point. Gladiators score first 1-0.
 
Map 2 – King’s Row
The Yaters manage to secure Point A in the final seconds on offense. The path to point B consisted of just one team fight, which LA won decisively thanks to a Dragon Blade from Kevster. Justice gave LA a rough time, but the offense here didn’t quit. Gladiators with the limited time they had made to to outside of Point C.
Gladiators are on defense next. The Justice steamrolled the Gladiators on the first fight for Point A. LA was also to halt the payload inside the tunnel. Stitch’s B.O.B. and Ttuba’s Dragon Blade made short work of the purple and black, winning the next two team fights to get the payload to Point B successfully. Point C was looking ugly for LA at first, but the trade-off of eliminations was crucial to keep the Glads in this map. Unfortunately Ttuba was lucky this time with another Dragon Blade, while Kevster came up short. Justice prevails and tie the game 1-1.
Map 3 – Anubis
Gladiators start on offense. There were times here and there were they could have defeated the Justice but just came up short. Kevster pulled out a Dragon Blade after four of his teammates were KOed, which made for some bad timing. They did not meet expectations on this map and failed to even reach Point A. This is certainly not like the team in previous seasons, nor with the talent they’ve acquired before the season start.
On defense, the Gladiators had no chance once OGE and Space went down in the middle of the first fight inside the cornered hallway. The ball rolled from there for a 2-1 Washington lead.
Map 4 – Junkertown
Like King’s Row, the Gladiators were struggling to get to Point A. They needed all the time on the clock to do so. Whenever they were planning an attack, the Justice answered back soundly. The Justice had an easy strategy where they divided and conquered members of the Gladiators. They only managed to make it half-way to Point B. While Shaz did play some late-game heroics, they were ultimately shut down. It did not seem like they came prepared against a team that was simply playing fundamentals with serviceable talent and realistic goals in this match.
Defense was very tumultuous for LA. They went down in two team fights against Washington for them to make it to Point A. While LA did manage to win the next team fight, they needed to prevent Washington to getting to a short win goal in over 4 minutes. Washington once again outplayed the Glads and were able to win the game easily. This is largely due to Stitch on Ashe sniping at the team from a distance. Justice win and move on in the Summer Showdown Tournament 3-1.
Player of the Match: Kevster
 

Considering that Genji is a primary part of the current meta, it would feel cliche to be the player of the match. However, he has done arguably better than other DPS on the Gladiators would have, such as Mirror and Jaru. He contributed in most of the team’s bright spots in this match, namely winning team fights with his Dragon Blade. I felt that the team brought in an excessive spot on the roster when it happened, as his hero pool compares to the three other DPS players. However, the team did lack a Genji player that they likely need to get through the rest of the season.

The rest of the team just wasn’t playing to their full potential. One could argue that this was a fluke and that Washington found their element. Many fans assumed this to be the case when LA lost to Boston and Houston. While this is the third time the Gladiators played Washington, in a short period of time no less, the results became less favorable each time. This should be a big cause for concern. If they’re not able to beat the most beatable of teams, then what chance do they have against the likes of Philadelphia, San Francisco, Guangzhou, and Shanghai?

Expect a scary slip in the rankings for the Yaters this week, not only due to their current woes, but from other teams gaining steam such as Houston, Toronto, and even the once hopeless Vancouver. Coach DPei should make a decision quick; He should put his politics to the wayside, place all his focus on the team, and change up the way he and his assistants coach to suit the team better. If not that, he should consider finding a suitable head coach that might give the team what they’ve been looking for. No matter what happens, the team cannot afford to carry on with their current plans and strategies. It’s not that this is a bad team, but the direction needs to be better, and that is 100 percent on the officiating.
 

Previewing Week 23

Overwatch League returns to action mid July in exhibition matches leading up to the latest gimmick the Countdown Cup. Los Angeles’s next opponents are the Vancouver Titans, whom they will play on Saturday, July 18th.

Vancouver Titans: 4-8

Vancouver Titans
Courtesy of the Vancouver Titans

 

The Vancouver Titans are a completely different team compared to when the Gladiators played them at the beginning of the season. They released their entire Korean roster and staff and signed talent and staff that previously played in North American Contenders. This team is 2-6 with its current roster, suffering five straight losses from its apex.
Shockwave is arguably the team’s star damage player, specializing in Heroes such as Tracer, Echo, and Hanzo. Alongside him on DPS is Dalton, whom played for Gladiators Legion in 2019. Shredlock is the Titans’ main tank, while KSAA has flex tank duties. Carcar is their first support player who mains Lucio, Brigitte, and Mercy. Finally, Roolf is their other support player, another former Gladiators Legion player that specializes in Ana and Zenyatta. Tsuna is their reserve DPS player.
Once again, the Gladiators shouldn’t be underestimating their opponents. While the new Titans haven’t had much time together, they’ve seeded better in the NA Summer Showdown tournament to suggest this. Fortunately, the Yaters have multiple weeks to prepare for this encounter.
Prediction: Vancouver Wins 3-2
 

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