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
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 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
Philadelphia Fusion: 21-2
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)
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.
Boston Uprising (2-17)
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