Action returned to the Overwatch League with a total of ten games taking place this past weekend. On Saturday, the Gladiators took on last year’s champions, the San Francisco Shock. The following evening, they went up against the Seoul Dynasty. Each game had very surprising results but on different sides of the spectrum.
Reviewing Week 8
San Francisco Shock: 1-0
On Saturday, the Gladiators and Shock have been waiting for more than a month to play their second match each, and for one team, the wait was well worth it. Each member of Los Angeles had a job to do, and they did just that on each map played. Here is how this performance went down on Saturday.
Map 1 – Ilios
The Shock were able to get the upper hand early in Round 1, but LA forced a strong comeback to take the lighthouse right away from them. As San Francisco tried regaining the point, the team in Purple and Black were one step ahead of them, securing Round 1. Round 2 started off with the Shock dominating, as ANS as Widowmaker took out the Gladiators one by one with terrific sharpshooting. Mirror on Doomfist and OGE on Reinhardt managed to help the Gladiators take the point, and they never lost it either. Gladiators steal Map 1.
Map 2 – Route 66
Through Map 2, LA continued to force their superiority over the defending champions. They stopped the Shock on defense halfway through the path to point A. Mirror shined on this map with a clutch Dragonstrike through the narrow passageway to foil San Francisco. Space on Sigma and Birdring on Tracer were also able to contribute towards this big victory on Map 2. Gladiators get ahead 2-0.
Map 3 – Numbani
Gladiators defended first on Map 3, just like Map 2. LA was holding strong until the 11th hour. The Shock orchestrated an attack to pick off Mirror and OGE and take point A. The Shock took the payload all the way to the end with over three minutes remaining. On offense, the Yaters struggled, with Striker eliminating a sleeping Space, and then shutting down Birdring after a pivotal Death Blossom. While LA did manage to take point A, their effort came up short of the goal. Shock get on the board.
Map 4 – Volskaya Industries
Both teams got to the end on the first go, and then came up short on the second. It was Jaru’s turn to shine on Hanzo, as he managed to make a difference in several team fights. Space was also prolific on Sigma, eliminating one Shock member after another in battles for the point. Shaz on Zenyatta also released a clutch Transcendence to save a faltering squad late in the map on defense. Gladiators and Shock tie, with LA still with a map to go for the win.
Map 5 – Oasis
The Gladiators secured the point early for Round 1, and played aggressively throughout. Super had managed to catch the Glads in a bad moment with an Earth Shatter on Reinhardt. Birdring answered back with a Death Blossom on Reaper to shut down any San Fran comeback. Round 2 started out as an old fashioned brawl, but the Gladiators were able to take control. The Shock took the point with the Glads at 96 percent after a defective Death Blossom from Birdring and a coordinated attack from the Shock, led by Sinatraa. Their time didn’t last long, however, as an opportune Earth Shatter by OGE shut the Shock down and put them away. Gladiators win 3-1.
Player of the Match: OGE
The entire team deserves a pat on the back for doing their part in soundly dethroning the defending champions. Therefore, this was a very hard decision this week. The honor goes to OGE, for coming up strong as the main tank in a week where they are playing a well-oiled Shock team, and without his favorite hero, Winston. Winston was among the players out of rotation in the hero pool, along with Sombra, Lucio, and Soldier 76. OGE also managed to be reliable on Orisa as well as Wrecking Ball, while still giving the team a commanding position through most of the match.
Seoul Dynasty: 1-0
The Gladiators have tried to repeat their masterful performance the next day against the Seoul Dynasty. The Dynasty, however, had proven they are a completely different animal. The outcome left much to be desired for LA, riddled with kamikaze plays, wasted Ultimates, and missed opportunities that the team would like to have back.
Map 1 – Nepal
The Map started out strong with LA showing signs of promise. At 50 percent, they lost control of the point to Seoul, and never got it back in Round 1. In Round 2, a couple of reckless moves cost the Glads the point. They were able to win the point back as Mirror found his mojo on Doomfist. Round 3 is where the Gladiators faltered, with Marve1 on Sigma picking off four didn’t opponents, giving Seoul the lead. After a few failed attempts at retaking the point, with Mirror getting vulnerable on each, Seoul wins with first Map 1-0.
Map 2 – Rialto
The Gladiators struggled on both sides of the map in Rialto against Seoul. The Dynasty were able to exploit several weaknesses in LA’s lineup. This led to a dominant performance on offense and a very little leeway on defense. The Purple and Black Pack were not comfortable on this map. Certain players were left to face three or four-on-one battles and Ultimate abilities were wasted. Los Angeles came up short on defense and the Dynasty gets away with a 2-0 lead.
Map 3 – Eichenwalde
Disappointment continued into Map 3, where defense could not get it together at the most opportune of times. The Gladiators had a chance to hold in the middle of Point B on defense. But nearly winning a team fight, the payload still kept moving as reinforcements returned for the Dynasty. Los Angeles dominated for the most part on offense. Cruising through the first two sections of the map with five minutes to take Point C, they needed nearly four. The map ultimately ended in a draw, with the Gladiators failing to score yet again.
Map 4 – Volskaya Industries
Jaru comes in. in place of Mirror for Map 4. While the Yaters have been able to win a few team fights for Point A, they were not able to prevail on Point B, failing to secure a single third. While LA played a good defensive game, Dynasty were able to power through on offense. Los Angeles eventually crumbled, with their guards let down at the hands of a Blizzard from Profit on Mei. Because of this, the Dynasty put away the Gladiators 3-0.
Player of the Match: Jaru
While only playing on one map, Jaru has been as sharp as the previous match on Hanzo, with his impeccable sniping skills. Hopefully, he will get more playtime in the coming weeks. His glimmers of hope after what had been a rough-n-tumble match for LA overall against Seoul make the seat next to Birdring more competitive. Fortunately, Hanzo has not been rotated out of the hero pool for the time being.
Previewing Week 9
Currently, the league is still determining the schedule in the foreseeable future due to April’s canceled events. We will keep you posted on a fresh preview of your Los Angeles Gladiators’ upcoming matches when they become available.
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