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Los Angeles Gladiators Overwatch

Los Angeles Gladiators Countdown Cup Recap

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The Los Angeles Gladiators come into the second to last tournament of the season with still a lot to prove. The team managed to play two feisty games this weekend, looking to find their footing before they fight to continue their season later in the month.

Reviewing Week 27

Toronto Defiant: 8-12

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Image courtesy of Toronto Defiant

The Toronto Defiant are in a similar spot to LA, full of hungry veteran talent who are looking to be on the up and up. The winner of this match advances to a bracket of eight in the North American region. This game was a very close one; just as the seeding suggested. Former Gladiator Surefour did not play.

Here is how the game went down:

Map 1 – Lijiang Tower

Mirror drew first blood as he played as Junkrat on Round 1. They were prepared for whatever Toronto threw at them. The Yaters were able to stop any Rip-Tire and Gravitic Flux, which didn’t allow them to lose the momentum for long in this one.

Ol’ Toronto made bigger mistakes than a misspelled Joe Carter jersey in Round 2. Firstly, they were not able to find Mirror on the map and subdue him, which causes the Glads to take control of the point. Secondly, Roky and Kruise were on the wrong side of Logix’s Symmatra’s Photon Barrier. The Defiant couldn’t find a leg to stand on this map, as the Gladiators score first.

Map 2 – King’s Row
In a questionable decision, Mirror is moved to support, replacing BigGoose. Chasing the ghost of Hydration aren’t we? Kevster also comes into play as DPS. On offense, the Gladiators played soundly, as Kevster’s Genji was able to take command. This map went for two rounds each, so on the second go, Kevster was taken out by Kariv on Zenyatta, where the payload stopped halfway on the path to Point B.
On defense, the team was able to stabilize well in large part from Birdring as Ashe taking a high ground. Once that first point was lost, their defending play declined, as they were not able to prepare for a Defiant team on the move. For point C, Toronto splurges their ultimate abilities to guarantee a quick path to the goal. Toronto fends off LA in Map 2 to tie up the game.
Map 3 – Anubis
Mirror stays in to play as Brigitte. The saving grace for the Yaters on defense was Birdring as Junkrat. Once the Defiant damager players put out the Rip-Tire, the ball went rolling for a Point A capture. Toronto gave it their best for Point B, but LA made it a struggle until the end. The Defiant only gets above 75% of Point B.
Toronto certainly shown a stronger defense. Agilities as Genji demonstrated his sharpshooting in order to pick off Gladiators and delay their attacks. Numlocked also was able to keep the team stabilized as the Glads fall one after another. Time expired as the Glads still tried to take the point. Both the Gladiators and Defiant happened to be at the right places for a Point A capture for LA. The Glads try to farm for Ultimate Abilities but they just didn’t have enough time. Defiant hold and win the map.

Map 4 – Watchpoint Gibraltar

Mirror switches to flex tank while Space takes a breather. BigGoose returns on support. Regardless, the Glads played like a cohesive unit on offense. Multiple players had a turn to shine leading up to the goal, namely OGE, Birdring, and Kevster. A gradual march of ultimate abilities allowed the team to advance to the end. With over 90 seconds on the clock.

The plan for LA on defense was to be aggressive and stall time. This strategy worked for the most part. Toronto came prepared, though, and while the Gladiators didn’t dominate, they still slowed the momentum down and built the pressure. With the help of Birdring as Sombra, the Yaters were able to stop the payload around the last corner and tie the game once more.

Map 5 – Nepal

For all the marbles. BigGoose comes off the bench in place of Mirror. While the Defiant get the point first, they don’t keep it for long. Space and Birdring were able to deal a lot of damage to the crowds of Toronto players as they were looking for a breach. Gladiators get Round 1.

Round 2 was the BirdRing show. Firing off explosives and making four-legged robots fly. Junkrat has a large range of attacks, abilities, and firepower, and with the right player in Birdring, he excelled here, for LA. Later on in the map, Birdring launched a Rip-Tire that he drove through a Symmetra portal and tacked on four more eliminations. Glads win and move on in the Countdown Cup.

Player of the Match: Birdring

Birdring gets the game ball with his clutch performance on Junkrat. Birdring has had a history with the scrappy hero dating all the way back to the start of the league and Yaters fans should be thankful he has not lost his touch just yet. Rip-Tires, concussion mines, the works. Birdring made magic happen.
Birdring played as many other heroes, including Sombra, Widowmaker, Ashe, and Symmetra in this game. He made not one mistake, and certainly made up for a couple of others.

Philadelphia Fusion: 21-2

Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
The Gladiators’ next opponents were the Philadelphia Fusion, and rather than a 5-map tiebreaker, it was rather a short, one-sided affair. The last match proved that the Glads have the potential to be an elite team, but it’s the results that matter in the end. The team still insists on using Mirror for specialty roles.
Here is how the game went down:
Map 1 – Oasis
Arguably the best map of the game for LA, the Glads used strategies early on that gave them early boos in momentum. The high ground was the main factor in how they were able to win Round 1. OGE and Kevster were also difference-makers in decimating Philadelphia forces.
In Round 2, Carpe brought his gun; to be specific, McCree’s gun. He went uncontested for most of the round, which allowed the Fusion to defeat LA in a number of team fights. Kevster was playing as Echo these first two rounds, despite Mirror having a positive history as this hero; he is playing as Zarya.
Round 3. The Fusion beat LA to the point first and held it for a lengthy period of time. The combination of heroes that LA used did not look appealing on paper. The strategies they used when planning their ultimate ability usage also did not deliver the goods. The Fusion get on the board 1-0.
Map 2 – Numbani
Mirror moves over to support once more in place of BigGoose. Space comes in to play flex tank. The Yaters start on offense first. The Gladiators start off strong taking Point A with ease thanks to Birdring as Ashe. On the payload sections, the Fusion were able to hold, more on the way to Point C than B. The Glads had five minutes to take the payload to the end and they needed nearly four. Gladiators make it to the end with 1:05 remaining.
The Fusion are next on offense and Poko was the man of the hour as Sigma. The Glads waste ultimate abilities in order to stay in it on the way to Point B, but to no avail. Philadelphia exploited a straggling Shaz and used it to their advantage multiple times. The cherry on top was the Gladiators’ failed plan for Point C which didn’t even involve guarding the payload. Fusion cruise to the goal with over 4 minutes remaining.
Needless to say, the extra rounds did not work out well in LA’s favor. Philadelphia is up 2-0.
Map 3 – Anubis
Mirror stays on support. No lineup changes. Gladiators start on offense first. There were many opportunities for LA but nothing came of them. Alarm’s Baptiste’s Amplification Matrix for one turned the tide on a nearly guaranteed takeover. Four minutes go by, and the Glads can only stay on the point for a little over a third of what they needed to to take Point A. DPei must love that.
On defense, Alarm’s Amplification Matrix was also LA’s downfall, as OGE, Birdring, Shaz, and Space all go down one at a time. A quick stomp gives Philadelphia the win 3-0.
Player of the Match: Birdring
One hero in particular caught the attention of Gladiators fans this game, which was Sombra. Birdring was able to utilize her well this game despite the team’s decline in performance. His flanking is done well, he is able to avoid enemy fire well, and usually he is considered an asset rather than a liability. Birdring has been able to exceed our expectations through the season on more than one hero nonetheless.
None of the other players were able to make a statement much this week, and that can be traced back to giving Mirror duties he doesn’t need to fulfill. What is wrong with BigGoose on support? What is wrong with Space on tank? This experiment should have only lasted for one game, but management insists they still try to make it work.

Previewing Week 28

There are five games remaining in the Gladiators’ regular season, spanning across two weeks. For next week, LA takes on Dallas, followed by Boston the very next day. The following week will feature a three game stretch where the Gladiators will face Florida, Atlanta, and the LA Valiant in that order.

Dallas Fuel (7-10)

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Photo: TYLER DEMOGENES for Activision Blizzard Entertainment

The Gladiators defeated the Fuel in a 3-0 shutout in week 9, taking place in early April. Since then, the Dallas team acquired support player Paintbrush from the Gladiators. They also signed DPS player Onigod. Onigod is a Norwegian player with a celebrated developmental career for Team Doge and Angry Titans.

The main lineup for Dallas wasn’t as similar compared to the start of the season. What was once a Korean-centric lineup is now one that is Western-centric, likely having to do to address communication problems on the team. Nevertheless, LA needs to come prepared.

Prediction: Los Angeles Wins 3-2

Boston Uprising (2-17)

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Overwatch League 2019 Season Stage 3 photo:Stewart Volland for Blizzard Entertainment
Amusingly, the Uprising have yet to win a game since they beat the Glads back in May, winning only control map in a 3-2 stalemate. What might surprise the casual Overwatch fan, the Uprising have made no changes to the lineup in months.
Expect Boston to give their hardest towards the end of the season to avoid getting in dead last place and enter the playoffs with some momentum. DPei and the Gladiators can’t afford to take teams lightly based on their records. Boston will certainly be on their game, so LA bringing theirs is all fans can ask of them.
Prediction: Boston Wins 3-1

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