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Los Angeles Gladiators Overwatch

Genjis Return As Gladiators Defeat Justice In Week 21

Los Angeles Gladiators

The Los Angeles Gladiators were at it once again, this time versus the Houston Outlaws. Last week was very satisfying against the Atlanta Reign, but it was a different story here, largely in part due to Tracer specialist Danteh. This was the same difference maker when the Glads played Houston last year, with Danteh being the man of the hour.

Reviewing Week 21

Washington Justice: 3-12

Hangzhou Spark Sign Ado
Courtesy of Blizzard

The Gladiators shut the Justice out during the May Melee Tournament. The Washington roster has gone unchanged since their previous encounter, with Roar and Jjanu as their tank duo, Ttuba and Stitch as their damager dealers, and Ark and Aimgod as their Support players.

Here is how this match went down:

Map 1 – Lijiang Tower
Round 1 was a bittersweet moment for the Glads. Birdring played a clever flank play to give the team the momentum early on. They did make a mistake by stepping off the point, and Justice capitalized, without the Gladiators being able to answer. LHCloudy had two key Earth Shatters to stop the Justice from taking advantage.
Round 2 saw the Gladiators take the point early as the pendulum swung their way. Kevster and LHCloudy managed to keep the momentum up for LA in the early parts of this round. Unfortunately, LHCloudy struggled to escape from the Justice. He wasted an Earth Shatter and caused the team to lose the point to Washington. Fortunately, Birdring led the team to take the point back, and LA gets the point to 100 percent. Gladiators score first 1-0.
Map 2 – Volskaya Industries
Birdring was benched for the very first time this season. Mirror replaced him on this map. OGE also took over LHCloudy in the main tank role. Gladiators first start on offense. The purple and black were able to win a long, hard fought fight on the first go to take Point A. OGE as Winston getting his Ultimate Ability early gave the team the early advantage. On the battle for Point B, they basically farmed Ultimate abilities for the rest of the team. As things were going well for LA on the second fight, they failed to take out the last remaining Justice player in time, that being Jjanu as D. Va. Momentum slowly tilted in the favor of Washington. The third time is the charm, as they managed to power through and force themselves onto the point long enough for the score.

On defense, the Galdiators took advantage of the high ground and managed to pick off members of the Justice. Kevster as Echo was able to get an Ultimate Ability early, duplicating Ttuba’s Genji. Ttuba got his revenge and used Dragon Strike to hack apart the Glads’ defense, causing them to lose Point A. Defense was going good for LA, stopping any attempt at a takeover. The Gladiators’ aggressiveness got the better of them as they lost Point B prematurely.

Gladiators go back on offense, and they could not get a single third on Point A. They had just a minute and were not able to get anything.

On defense, the Gladiators held on as long as they could. Sombra was considered a big risk on defense for this map, but it paid off in the end. OGE as Winston nearly took a nap in the middle of the first fight. Kevster and OGE were able to survive and pounce at the right times and against the right players to coordinate a successful defense. Space was also a playmaker with another D. Va Self-Destruct. In multiple instances, it looked as if Washington has this map in the bag. LA had other plans, and they were able to quash any plans for a takeover on point A until the very end. The map is a draw.
Map 3 – Rialto
Birdring returns, replacing Mirror. The Glads begin on offense. Stitch as Widowmaker was able to stifle LA’s offense on the way to Point A. Ttuba was also a problem as Genji, getting multiple Dragon Blades to stop the Glads from advancing. This is a running theme now; the Gladiators not having an answer to unorthodox damage players. Embarrassingly, the Gladiators were not even able to make it to point A.
On defense, LA had no chance, since they did not move the payload very far on offense. Effortlessly, Ttuba and Stitch paved the way to take out the Gladiators one by one after the payload turned the corner, and from there, the cart didn’t have to travel far. Justice tie the game 1-1.
Map 4 – Hollywood
The Gladiators start on defense. The first fight was messy, with OGE and Kevster requiring their Ultimate abilities already to take down Washington. The Justice were able to take Point A after another long fight, thanks to Ttuba being hard to shoot climbing the buildings. On to point B, Los Angeles was able to answer back with a stable defense led by Space as Sigma. The Justice looked as though they were going to win the next fight. However, Ttuba went chasing down Gladiators on the rooftops, leaving other Justice players without allies. Afterwards, the Justice looked to go on another attack, but they were able to stop Ttuba again before his did enough damage. All in all, the cart stops outside of Point B.
On Offense, the Gladiators were able to prevail on another long, first fight. They managed to take Point A with the team around the payload. Point B required a bit of work to move towards, as Ttuba once again made the flashy plays to stop them. The Gladiators’ DPS players were able to take out the Justice DPS players in unison. Once the numbers game played in the advantage of LA, they were able to move towards their goal outside Point B. Gladiators move up 2-1 in this match.
Map 5 – Busan
On Round 1, the team put their faith in the sharpshooting heroes of Ashe and Hanzo. Kevster as Hanzo delivered a nice headshot on Ark as Brigitte. They take the point first. Washington conveniently takes it back thanks to Jjanu as Sigma, using his Gravitic Flux. Moments later, Birdring and his weapons were able to turn the tide so LA could take the point back. Yaters get Round 1.
On Round 2, the Glads win the fight on the plaza to secure the point first. This was a tale of two Genjis. Kevster was able to make a difference early on for LA, while Ttuba was struggling. Eventually, it wasn’t until the Gladiators got to 99 percent when Ttuba came alive as Genji with a crucial Dragon Blade of his own. The Justice switch characters to attempt a dive composition. Roar’s Gladiator woes followed him here as Birdring eliminated him early and away from the rest of his team. Thus, the Gladiators get the point, the map, and the game.
Player of the Match: Space
While D. Va is Space’s first choice, he played lights out as Sigma on Saturday. For instance, he’s had tremendous self-awareness, managing to place barriers in the right spots at the right times. He also stoned 25 Justice players throughout the match. Also, he was certainly outplaying Jjanu on Sigma, which was how the Gladiators were able to stay in the game for as long as they have.
The Gladiators should enjoy this win, but they still face problems with the league’s bottom-tier teams. Critics will agree that LA should have won this match in three maps rather than five. At this point, I’m not sure where the root of the problem is, but the kinks need to be figured out if they want to have a shot against the upper echelon of teams.

Previewing Week 22

Next week, the Gladiators will play the Washington Justice once again. Following their lost to LA, Washington have defeated the Boston Uprising the day after.

Washington Justice: 3-13

Overwatch League Power Rankings
Image courtesy of DreamSeat
For The Overwatch League Summer Showdown tournament, the Gladiators finished in the #6 seed. There are twelve other teams in the tournament, bar the Boston Uprising whom lost a qualifying match to determine the final seed. The Gladiators had the privilege to choose their first round opponents and they have decided to choose to face Washington once again.
It is almost a guarantee that the Justice will try a different approach next week. Therefore, LA should definitely be on their toes and still study hard. This week was nearly an upset, so we hope that there were more reasons why the Glads picked the Justice rather than simply due to their head-to-head record. Whoever wins this match will move on in the playoff bracket.
Prediction: Gladiators win 3-0.

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