The Overwatch community this past weekend was treated to an appetizer for the upcoming Overwatch League Season thanks to the SteelSeries Invitational. Four teams (the London Spitfire, Paris Eternal, Boston Uprising and the L.A. Gladiators) competed in a best of three single elimination bracket in which the Gladiators were victorious. This is the second preseason event the Gladiators have won this off-season; the first being the Valiant Winter Ball. With eight maps played this past weekend, these are the key takeaways for the Gladiators.
Moth has Brought the Clutch
There are many ways to describe the San Francisco. One of the most apt descriptors is clutch. It always feels like they can turn the fight even if they are at a disadvantage. It seems that gene may have transferred to the Gladiators with the pick up of Grant “moth” Espe. The most notable example was the Quadruple 2K on Eichenwalde during the match against the Uprising.
There was also a moment during the London game during Temple of Anubis. The Gladiators are down both Reinhardt and McCree and Baptiste is extremely weak, but Moth comes in for the Sound Barrier anyway and turns the fight. The Gladiators are known for their aggressive playstyle, and now with the addition of Moth, any fight has become that much more winnable.
The Gladiators Seem Meta Proof
The two major compositions that were ran this weekend were Reinhardt Brawl and “Double Bubble” (Winston and Zarya dive) and the Gladiators looked great on both. Young-hun “MuZe” Kim feels right at home whether he was playing Reinhardt or Winston, Kevin “kevster” Persson put on an absolute clinic with Echo and Jin-seo “Shu” Kim was practically a third DPS with his Baptiste play. Though there was minimal bunker style comps run, that shouldn’t be an issue for a team as skilled as the Glads to figure out should it become meta.
We apologize in advance for your ranked games. pic.twitter.com/xpRUpOLQkd
— Los Angeles Gladiators (@LAGladiators) February 28, 2021
The one issue for the Gladiators this weekend was playing Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim on the Sombra. He often struggled to find value to build for EMP and even when he had it, they were mostly hit or miss. This may have been a bad read on the Double Bubble composition from the coaching staff and there may be an adjustment towards fielding a Tracer instead. Notably, the Boston Uprising also struggled with Jin-ui “im37” Hong’s Sombra as well. Regardless, the Gladiators will be hard pressed to find a meta where they struggle.
They Are Still As Aggressive As Ever
As mentioned above, the Gladiators are still as manic as ever to initiate fights and put their foes on their heels. MuZe in particular looks like he is having a great time being able to swing with reckless abandon and charge with gusto. However, the team still has lapses in judgement from time to time that have cost them.
The most glaring example came again on Eichenwalde where the Gladiators on defense pushed past the bridge to try and catch Boston out. The Uprising kept their cool and simply had their way with the Gladiators. These kinds of mistakes are okay to make now so that they can be ironed out come the start of the season, but they will most definitely need to be gone by the time the Gladiators play against the best of the best.
Overall, Gladiator fans have a lot to be excited for. All of the new players are slotting in nicely and the boys in purple have never looked better. The Gladiators will open their season going up against Moth’s former team and reigning champions, the San Francisco Shock on April 16 at 4:30 P.M. EST. Tune into the Overwatch League YouTube channel as well as the Overwatch League website for all the latest updates.
Follow writer Brad Killion on Twitter @BradKillion for the latest opinions and musing in the world of esports.
Featured image courtesy of Los Angeles Gladiators
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