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Los Angeles Gladiators

Gladiators Bounce Back With win Over Titans in Week 24

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After a week of rest, the Overwatch League returned to action as the playoffs creep closer. Your LA Gladiators’ next opponents were the Vancouver Titans, a fresh, young team with immense shoes to fill following a falling out of the team’s previous established players.

Reviewing Week 24

Vancouver Titans: 4-9

Los Angeles Gladiators
2019-06-09 – Overwatch League 2019 Stage 2 Playoffs / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

LA did not have the best showing in the Summer Showdown Tournament earlier this month, losing to the team they picked to play in the first round, the Washington Justice. The team needed the week off to focus and that’s what seemed like they did, as they handled Vancouver with ease, whom came off the tournament with quite a ball rolling.

Here is how this match went down:

Map 1 – Lijiang Tower
Bischu started the game in place of Space on flex tank. This is Bischu’s first appearance this season. In Round 1, the Gladiators were nearly perfect, managing to win each team fight with hardly any problems. Shaz’s favorite hero, Zenyatta was brought back into the mix to counter Sigma’s Gravitic Flux ability. The Gladiators had plans for every fight this round and executed decently each time. Gladiators take Round 1, 100 to 17 percent.
On Round 2, the Titans gave more of an impact. While the Yaters were able to secure the point first, Shockwave as Echo paved the way to get the point back. LA was able to win back the point by targeting Shredlock as Winston, whom was misplaced with the rest of his team. Once again, the Titans wrestled the point back in their possession and got it to 99 percent. Bischu and Kevster however worked together to eradicate Vancouver from the tower interior with the Minefield Ultimate Ability and the Duplication on Shredlock’s Winston, respectively. Gladiators win Round 2 100 to 99 percent and take the map.
 
Map 2 – Anubis
A map that the Gladiators are historically favorable on, but not in recent times. Space replaces Bischu in the game. Mirror also substituting for Kevster. Gladiators start first on offense. Birdring as Ashe is able to get a flank onto the Titans on the archway. From this happenstance alone were the Gladiators able to easily take Point A. Point B was more of a challenge, as the Titans were able to farm most of their ultimate abilities and use them to halt LA before they could do further damage. Moments later, Space as Sigma was able to successfully use Gravitic Flux. From there, the Yaters got the ball rolling and secured point B with 3:28 remaining.
On defense, it was a hectic outing from the get-go. The titans were melting the Gladiators’ defenses. The remaining Gladiators retreated back into buildings near the point. Mirror as Junkrat unleashed a Rip-Tire but it only managed to hold the Titans back momentarily. Shaz and Mirror were able to flip the script on Vancouver. Birdring somehow got near the Titans base and pulled off a circus elimination on Shockwave as a flying Echo. Mirror had another game-changing Rip-Tire along with an Earth Shatter from OGE to stop another attack. The Glads’ defense bends but doesn’t break. They move ahead 2-0.
Map 3 – Watchpoint Gibraltar
Gladiators start on offense again. Kevster substituting for Mirror. The road to Point A was a rocky one, as it required a number of team fights to get there. Winston’s Primal Rage from OGE was needed to make it there. Point B was another story, as Space and OGE were able to clear the way for the payload to reach the point. Point C was a repeat of Point B, with the Gladiators getting tot he goal with 3:45 remaining.

The Gladiators stumbled when it was their turn on defense. The Titans managed to get to Point A while many Gladiators were in the area. Shaz even expended a Transcendence. On the way to point B, the Titans were lucky with their ultimate abilities while the Glads were not as much. Dalton got a clutch Pulse Bomb on Shaz. Roolf also was able to provide significant damage with an Amplification Matrix. While Kevster got a Dragon Blade, it wasn’t enough to slow the momentum. The Titans get to Point C with 3:06 remaining.

Extra rounds. Titans are on offense once again. The Gladiators brought it to them, but diligently they were able to get towards Point A. As the clock winds down, a fight breaks out on the off-beaten path. LA gets the upper hand. KSAA as Sigma attempt to foil LA’s plans, but they hold with 90 feet from Point A.

Gladiators go on offense. Titans play a very great defensive game as players such as Space and Birdring create some errors. Shredlock as Winston gets off a late Primal Rage to keep the Gladiators away from the payload. Down to the last play before time expiring, Birdring and Kevster score some big eliminations to move the payload past the mark. Gladiators enjoy the 3-0 win this week.

Player of the Match: Space
 
While Space is known for being an excellent D. Va player, he showed up for the Gladiators as Sigma today. He happened to always be front and center in every pivotal moment in this game, whether firing projectiles, absorbing or blocking oncoming damage, or using Gravitic Flux. Space is a workhorse on this team, and while LA also has Bischu, the team is thankful for Space as well.
It’s slowly shifting into a damage-centric meta with Genji, Echo, Tracer and others getting the spotlight, but the tanks certainly are not taking a backseat, as they are important as they always have been to the Gladiators.
 

Previewing Week 25

Next week, the Gladiators have not one, but two games. The first being against the Philadelphia Fusion, and the second against the Paris Eternal.

Philadelphia Fusion: 17-2

Overwatch League Power Rankings
Image Courtesy of Stewart Volland for Blizzard Entertainment

One of this year’s elite teams, the Philadelphia Fusion sport master players across all six seats. EQO, Ivy, and Carpe are in the basic rotation of damage dealers. Fury, Poko and Sado are the team’s reliable tank players. Finally, Boombox, Alarm, and Funnyastro are the team’s supports.

The Gladiators had no chance against the Fusion earlier on in the season, falling 0-3 in the May Melee tournament. There’s a chance that LA can shock the world against this elite team, as they have pulled off large upsets in the past. The author of this article just does not count them out given their unmatchable playstyle.

Prediction: Philadelphia Wins 3-0

Paris Eternal: 14-6

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Paris Eternal were the North American winners of the Summer Showdown Tournament, besting the San Francisco Shock. They have been gradually rising up in the ranks this season, improving as they gain more availability to their Korean players. Star player Spark1e turned 18 in May and has been playing lights out since.

The Gladiators also fell to Paris earlier in the season 3-1, without the services of Spark1e. The Eternal is a tougher team than before, so the Gladiators will have their work cut out for them. A lot of planning needs to be made for Paris in addition to Philly.
Prediction: Paris Wins 3-0
 

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