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Los Angeles Gladiators Overwatch

Gladiators Take Big Risk, Prevails Against Atlanta Reign in Week 19

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Your Los Angeles Gladiators played against the Atlanta Reign to kick off the second half of their 2020 Overwatch League Season. This was a pivotal game for LA as they looked to bounce back from their recent struggles.

Reviewing Week 19

Atlanta Reign: 5-5

atlanta reign
Photo Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The author of this article predicted a 3-1 defeat against a disciplined Atlanta team, but he was glad to be proven wrong this week. Unpredictability was the strategy the Gladiators tried this week, as they opted to swap out OGE in favor of LHCloudy for the second half of this match. While LHCloudy has a reputation for just being a Reinhardt specialist, he is arguably a better Reinhardt player than OGE, which they felt was necessary for this match in particular.

The Gladiators say goodbye to support player Paintbrush, who has started playing for the Dallas Fuel in a starting / regular role. The Gladiators have also signed Overwatch League analyst Sideshow to a 14-day talent contract. Though, do not really expect any play time, as the move was in correlation to a charity stream hosted by Gladiators coach DPei.

Map 1 – Ilios
In a rare feat, the Gladiators have managed to prevail on a control map. This was a very thrilling map, as all three rounds could have gone either way. Mirror opted to play as Pharah in the first round as he was able to deal damage from up top. Birdring also contributed as Ashe, managing to pick off Reigns players that were looking to flee or cover. LA gets the round 100-17.
Round 2 was the lighthouse section where Mirror also played as Pharah. The Atlanta tanks were the highlights of this round, managing to hold down the fort against the likes of Mirror, Shaz, BigGoose, and Space. OGE as Wrecking Ball delivers a last-second minefield which takes out three, but Space was not able to step inside the house in time. Atlanta wins the second round 100-33.
Round 3 saw the return of Birdring as Widowmaker, as he was able to pick off Reigns players from the other side of the map. He makes sharpshooting look so easy against Masaa’s moon jumping. BigGoose also was able to make plays of his own, by bumping several Atlanta players off the side of the map.  BigGoose also prevented Gator as Wrecking Ball from reaching the point by pinning him to a wall with another bump. The Glads take round 3 100-56 and score first 1-0.
Map 2 – Blizzard World
Jaru comes in, in place of Mirror this map. The Yaters start on offense and while taking Point A was painless, moving the payload to Point B was a different story. With Hawk as Sigma, and Gator as Orisa, they were able to hold the payload to keep LA from advancing. LA was able to power through, but also struggle on their way to point C, managing to get to the goal with seven seconds remaining.
Atlanta gets a league record-setting time on BlizzardWorld in this match. On defending point A, Babybay went uncontested as he picked off Gladiators as Ashe. On defending Points B and C, the Reign kept the momentum while the Yaters could not answer. The Reign finish with a whopping 5:25 remaining.
Atlanta had all that time to take a third of point A in overtime, and they did just that in order to get on the board. The Glads did not break for the first few attempts. It all went downhill from there, however, after Jaru bailed before he could release B.O.B. The game is tied 1-1.
Map 3 – Anubis
LHCloudy comes in to replace OGE. The Gladiators begin on defense first and get slaughtered right away whilst defending Point A. Atlanta has nearly a whopping 6 minutes to take Point B. The Gladiators kept it together and never allowed Atlanta to take even a third of Point B. This is in large part due to Mirror on Doomfist antagonizing as well as LHCloudy catching other Reign players by surprise with Earth Shatters and charges.
On offense, the Gladiators allowed LHCloudy to lead the way to take Point A. The stubbornness of LA showed this match as they once again wasted some Ultimate abilities. This made it longer for the team to take Point B, but they eventually were able to. Mirror as Mei was able to stop both support players of the Reign, leading to the defense crumbling and allowing Birdring and Space to pull through. The Gladiators score again 2-1.
Map 4 – Junkertown
LHCloudy remains in OGE’s seat as Map 4 begins. Atlanta put up a strong fight through each leg of the map. It required a really clever flank from LHCloudy as Reinhardt to get the team to the goal. LHCloudy finished off Dogman while Birdring took out Masaa to remove the support of the Reign’s defense. The Glads make it to the goal with 35 seconds to go.

On Defense, the Glads were not able to get it together. Birdring was on Widow for the first stretch, but did not produce with the spots he was standing in. The Reign make it to the goal with just under three minutes remaining.

Back on offense, the Gladiators practically were trying to make it as far as possible without stepping off the payload. Very crucial situation to have LHCloudy being Reinhardt. Mirror as Tracer was able to get LA to Point A. Space and LHCloudy contributed greatly as the team also made it to Point B. They protected the payload while also penetrated Atlanta’s defense. The payload wasn’t able to move past Point B however, as the Reign quickly subdued the Gladiators at the right time to pounce.

Back on defense, the Gladiators decide to start the map up in the Reigns’ grill. The idea is to chew the clock on Atlanta. Birdring was able to stop any momentum that Atlanta were building by picking off the Reigns’ smaller heroes as Widowmaker. Atlanta were able to push through to Point A. Halfway to Point B, however, is where the game ends as time expires after BigGoose as Lucio stops BabyBay as McCree in the middle of a tear. Once Masaa moved himself off the payload, the Gladiators win 3-1.
Player of the Match: Birdring
Vintage Birdring. In this match he opted to go back on watch as Widowmaker  and Ashe, and as a result, he made a huge difference in maps such as Junkertown and Ilios. Managing to give headshots to nimble heroes as well as slower ones, Birdring has proven he has not lost his magic touch.
LHCloudy delivered in the clutch for LA in Maps 3 and 4. Even so, we really consider his contributions as part of a team effort. Birdring was able to demonstrate his sharp accuracy and eliminate opponents from long distance. The team did manage to deliver no matter if the fights were up close and personal or spanning across several blocks. The whole team deserves kudos in this regard.

Previewing Week 20

Next week, the Gladiators face the Outlaws. While the Outlaws have struggled for a good part of the season, it’s been proven that anything can happen in the Overwatch League, and Houston is still stacked with skilled veterans.

Houston Outlaws: 5-10

outlaws playoffs
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Houston has a total of 11 players on its roster as of this writing, featuring one of the deepest DPS classes in the league. Hydration is a familiar face, previously playing for the Gladiators the previous two seasons. He also is an occasional tank player. Linkzr is the team’s sharpshooter while Danteh is one of the best Tracer players on the planet. Muma and Meko are the team’s regular tank players. The latter spent the previous two seasons on the New York Excelsior. Jecse, Repel, Boink, and Rawkus are the team’s interchangeable support players, with Jesce and Repel previously playing for Seoul and Vancouver, respectively.
The Outlaws have upset the Gladiators in the past, so LA should find it very important to not repeat history. With the Outlaws having a lot of usable players, the Gladiators must work on the maps that they struggle most on so that Houston’s best won’t be good enough. Echo, Sombra, D. Va, and Brigitte will remain unusable for next week.
Prediction: Gladiators win 3-1.

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