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Los Angeles Gladiators Overwatch

Gladiators Tack On Two Wins Against Dallas, Boston In Week 28

With five games remaining, the Gladiators played two this week and managed to win both of them. They return to .500 in their win percentage as a result.

Reviewing Week 28

Dallas Fuel (7-10)

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

LA’s game with Dallas was short and sweet, but also satisfying, with all the thrills happening at the very start. Dallas tried a strategy that caught the Glads off guard are first but was one that they were able to deal with soundly.

Here is how the game went down:

Map 1 – Oasis

Round 1 was certainly a banger. Doha as Pharah really turned the match on its head already. Both teams played really well and the round came down to Birdring as Widowmaker, shooting down four Fuel players by himself with Dallas at 99 percent. Typically, it’s the Glads that fail to finish control maps with the last man remaining on the opposing team. However, a stroke of luck was what helped them turn it around. A back-and-forth affair that fell in favor of team purple. Gladiators win Round 1.

Round 2 was more one-sided, with the Yaters taming the Fuel more soundly. Mirror was at a mismatch as Junkrat against Doha’s Pharah, but there were no problems here. The Glads succeeding in picking the right spots and choosing the right targets around the point. Once they got in control they stayed in control for the most part. Dallas tried to take over, but OGE was able to survive thanks to Shaz and BigGoose. They use all their available ultimate abilities at the end to prevent Dallas one last time. Gladiators win Round 2 and the map.

Map 2 – Eichenwalde
Map 2 was another nail-biter. Kevster comes off the bench for Mirror. LA is on defense first. Gladiators hold on defense well despite Doha sticking with Pharah. Birdring as McCree prevents Pharah from getting off any big plays. It’s not until 30 seconds remain before Fuel are able to secure down Point A. Despite that, LA managed to successfully hold the payload outside the gates of a period of time before Dallas is able to move it again. Time expires as the cart is stalled on the turn before the castle entrance. Space managed to pick off members of the Fuel from higher ground and the payload stops there.
Gladiators go on offense now. Dallas fares well on defense early. Once LA managed to take down Doha and Paintbrush, they clear the field of Dallas players to take Point A. Note as Space was a big contributor in keeping Dallas defenses resilient. He was hard to take down throughout multiple phases of this map. Despite that, his efforts were not enough. It came down to the wire again as Dallas tried to Nano-Boost Doha and pull off a Rocket Barrage but an emergency Dead-Eye from Birdring’s McCree quashed that. The Yaters inch the payload past the goal-point and move ahead with time expired. Pharah is 0-2.
Map 3 – Anubis

Mirror is put back in the damage seat in place of Kevster. Doha once again chooses Pharah. Mirror was on Junkrat again, but hit a bullseye on Paintbrush as Mercy. At one point, the fuel are able to eliminate Mirror and Birdring, but the Gladiators quickly respond by taking out Doha, Paintbrush, and Gamsu. In one final attempt for Dallas, Birdring comes alive as Ashe and uses B.O.B. to stop most of the Fuel.

With the Glads only needing one-third of Point A, they get it pretty easily. BigGoose on Lucio was enough to distract the Fuel and cause the first team fight to go the way of Los Angeles. Gladiators get the sweep.

Player of the Match: Birdring

The third player of the match award in a row for Birdring, and it is very fitting considering he played as three different characters, all exceptionally well. Birdring had a Pine-like performance in Round 1 of Map 1, but he also was able to make things difficult for Doha and Paintbrush when it is usually meant to be the other way around.
Dallas picked the wrong match to choose a Pharah composition, as Birdring managed to find any enemies in the sky and target them. Last year, Pharah compositions were certainly a weakness for LA, but had they had Birdring in their lineup, they likely would have gained a couple of more wins. Birdring was, of course, part of the London Spitfire following a championship season.

Boston Uprising (2-17)

Overwatch League Power Rankings
Image Courtesy Of The Boston Uprising
The Gladiators’ next opponents were the Boston Uprising. This is the first time that the Gladiators prevailed over Boston, losing the previous seven times since 2018. Boston’s play had to really decline in order for LA to win, which is truly an unpleasing sight to behold.
Here is how the game went down:
Map 1 – Oasis
While the Uprising beat the Gladiators in their previous matchup by beating them in three different control maps, Oasis was the only map they did not play. This map experienced technical difficulties early on, but nothing that affected the actual game. Kevster picked Mei for both rounds and it paid off.
Round 2 was more of the same. The Yaters did not allow the Uprising to control the point even once. While Boston did have some good chances to, OGE and Space were very resilient and didn’t leave room for error.
Map 2 – Eichenwalde
Gladiators start on offense and all throughout the map, it seemed like they had a plan and followed through on it. Kevster continued to play as Mei and provided sanctuary for the team when and where it was needed. Birdring as Ashe also was picking off targets uncontested. Boston just struggled on this map, not being able to find momentum once. The Gladiators got Points A, B, and C with hardly any difficulty and a couple minutes remaining.
On defense, the Gladiators got their rumps handed to them on Point A. After that, it was all LA. The Glads played extremely aggressive in camping outside their spawn zone to drain the clock. BigGoose also put on a show, knocking off nearly the entire uprising team off the ledge with the help of OGE. The Uprising needed to use their ultimate abilities just to regain possession of the payload. Even when the Uprising did get to their payload, LA showed a ton of resistance. Colourhex as Sombra tried to backcap but his efforts were for naught. Gladiators 2, Uprising 0.
Map 3 – Anubis
Gladiators start on offense again. After a couple of failed attempts to take point A, they successfully get it after a coordinated takeover. Gladiators had over 4 minutes to take Point B, but Boston manages to defend well here. The Glads use multiple Ultimate abilities and nothing comes of it. They manage to complete their Point B takeover by using Gravitic Flux from Space to lift the Uprising into the air.
On defense, LA manages to hold on until the final seconds. More questionable decisions from the Gladiators as Mirror as Junkrat uses RipTire to deal with Halo outside the palace. They manage to hold again until the final seconds. The last fight extends about a minute past time expiring but Boston gets the upper hand.
LA had a little over a minute to win the map or else it becomes a draw. They spend most of that time just scrambling back and forth between rooms and Boston manages to shut them down. Absolute foolishness. The game goes to a draw.
Map 4 – Watchpoint: Gibraltar

Glads go on offense once again. In a weird first fight, nobody is eliminated but the Glads manage to push the payload all the way to Point A. LA manages to cruise to Point B without issues with Birdring as Sombra and Kevster as Widowmaker. Point B was taken as half the Uprising squad cowers outside. On the way to Point C, Space brings his vintage D. Va play, strategically using a Self-Destruct to get a hiding Punk. Gladiators make it to the goal with over three minutes on the clock.

On defense, LA once again doesn’t pull any punches. Birdring takes out Kevster and Fusions takes out BigGoose as Boston was about to reach Point A. But once LA takes out Boston’s tank players, they retreat. Another odd decision. Time expires with the payload underneath the passageway. BigGoose and Shaz go down. The remaining Gladiators wait outside to pounce, starting with an EMP from Birdring. Fusions as Winston does the Primal Rage, stepping off the payload. The two other Uprising players at the scene do not notice this either, and the game ends there. Yaters with a 3-0 sweep.

Player of the Match: Space
While Birdring had another great game, Space simply kept this team together to put on a huge performance. He died seldom both as Sigma and D. Va. Shields, absorption, accretion, and Gravitic fluxes; no ability went misused in this match.
The Mirror experiment just did not pan out well, and the team tested it longer than they should have. If role locking wasn’t part of the league, it would certainly be fine for Mirror to choose any character they needed, But when he had to play as exclusively tank heroes, he was simply more limited compared to Space. This phenomenon also is limiting former Gladiator and current Outlaw Hydration, with his abilities being limited if he is given a tank role.

Previewing Week 29

The final week of the regular season will feature the Gladiators in three matches. On Friday, they will take on the Florida Mayhem. Taking place Saturday, it’s the Atlanta Reign. On Sunday, the final match of the season will be another “Battle For LA” as their final opponents are the Valiant.

Florida Mayhem (16-6)

New York Excelsior v Florida Mayhem
Photo by STEWART-VOLLAND for Blizzard Entertainment

The Mayhem are stumbling a bit, having lost in a 3-2 affair vs. the LA Valiant this week. However, after the Gladiators lost to Florida 1-3, it seems like they will have to plan hard if they want to win this one.

The roster hasn’t changed since before the season started, so this is a very content and determined team that was once seen as the league’s laughingstock. This match will certainly come down to which team is coached better and makes fewer mistakes.

Prediction: Florida Wins 3-1

Atlanta Reign (10-8)

Overwatch League Power Rankings
Image courtesy of Robert Paul for the Overwatch League
LA last faced Atlanta on June 13 in a 3-1 victory. Since then, Atlanta signed DPS player Saucy, support player LR1S, and promoted support player Kodak to a coaching position. While Atlanta was predicted to be in the top 40 to 25% of OWL teams, they’ve moved down a bit in power rankings.
The Reign are coming off a bad week, losing a close game to Paris and then to Vancouver. Atlanta will try to bring it on Saturday and it’s only appropriate for LA to do the same. Their roster may be beefier since their last match together, but the Gladiators should still manage to play their roles better than Atlanta.
Prediction: Atlanta Wins 3-2

Los Angeles Valiant (10-9)

Stage 3 Preview

Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Valiant on Twitter
The LA Valiant is another middle-of-the-pack team where you won’t be able to easily predict if they’ll win or lose against certain opponents. In mid-April, the Gladiators defeated the Valiant 3-2.
Like the Mayhem, the Valiant has made no major changes to their roster since they last played their LA rivals. They will play against Vancouver the day before this game. Expect this matchup to be a big one, suitable for a regular-season finale.
Prediction: Gladiators Win 3-2

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