The Los Angeles Gladiators went 1-1 in their first week of the Overwatch League. They lost to Seoul, playing somewhat clumsily and not together. They got their feet under them by Sunday when they took on the San Francisco Shock, finishing 3-2 in that game. The Gladiators will play the Paris Eternal on Saturday, who defeated the London Spitfire last week.
Week 1 Review
Seoul Dynasty: 1-1
The Gladiators fought well against the Dynasty, losing 3-1. This scoreline seems unfair, as both teams fought hard and it was one of the most entertaining games of the weekend. After some promising tank play from Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye, he was not able to fight toe to toe with Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek. One bigger player that night was Jun-woo “Void” Kang, who filled in well in the D.Va spot, where he played 82% of his time. Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni and Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara showed great synergy between them. BigGoose had some great boops as Lucio throughout this match.
The Gladiators looked a bit off , with many attributing that to the loss of Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim to illness. His ability to translate would have been vital to the Gladiators, especially in the first game of the season. Going forward, Bischu will have a hard time fighting to secure his starting spot if Void keeps playing the way he did in this game.
In the end, the Gladiators were not able to match the energy that the Dynasty was bringing, and fell in their Map 4 on Route 66.
Player of the Game:
The player of the game has to be Void. His stellar play on the D.Va, which included many great D.Va bomb ultimates, helped the Gladiators stay in that match. The game showed that the Gladiators were struggling on the GOATS comp, but Void showed that he is ready to be the starter on the off tank role. His D.Va play was unmatched, and the Gladiators would have been doomed from the start.
San Francisco Shock: 1-1
This was the turnaround game for the Gladiators. After the Gladiators lost to the Dynasty, and the Shock destroyed the Dallas Fuel, many fans of the Overwatch League thought the Shock would roll over the Gladiators easily. That was not the case. Bischu was still out sick, and the Gladiators did not change their lineup at all. This was one of three games that went to a Map 5 on Sunday.
After losing out on Ilios for the first map, the Gladiators responded well by taking Hollywood 3-1. Map 3 saw the Gladiators pull out the win on Horizon, and Map 4 saw them fall on Rialto. The final map, Busan, was a hard fought one. The Gladiators ran GOATS to start, and eventually shifted into having Lane “Surefour” Roberts on Sombra. A combination of the EMP and rOar’s Primal Rage as Winston helped the Gladiators secure the game.
Player of the Game:
The player of the game easily has to be Shaz. He has played 93.3% of his time as Zenyatta, and is 2nd in the league in healing per 10 minutes. The Finnish off healer is part of the Finnish support duo with BigGoose, who also played great this game. Shaz outhealed and did more damage than his Shock counterpart. His ability to keep his teammates healed as Zenyatta, while dishing out incredible damage truly kept them in the fight against the Shock.
Week 2 Preview
Paris Eternal: 1-0
The Paris Eternal took down the defending champions London Spitfire last week, putting them at 1-0 in the standings. Their incredible ability to run GOATS, which is highly popular in Europe, showed that they are fit for this meta. They handedly took down the Spitfire 3-1, only losing when the Spitfire threw in their new signing Hee-dong “Guard” Lee was introduced, playing Sombra.
The Eternal are looking to continue their positive momentum against the Gladiators on Saturday. The Gladiators will also be riding the wave of momentum after their win against the Shock. The Gladiators will still be without their new signing Gui-un “Decay” Jang, as he does not turn 18 until February 27. Expect the Gladiators to return with the same roster, with Void starting as the off tank. Hopefully Bischu will return from his illness, and be there as a substitute for Void or one of the DPS players that are flexing to an off tank in the GOATS meta. The Gladiators will need to play as a unit like they did against the Shock, unlike how they did against the Dynasty. Surefour often looked for big plays by going out on his own against Seoul, but improved his team play in the teams second game.
Prediction: Gladiators defeat Paris 3-1.
Fun fact of the day:
The Paris Eternal are the only team in the Overwatch League that hosts an all-European roster.
Player to Watch:
The player to watch against the Eternal is Surefour. If he is playing well, and playing with the team, the Gladiators should be able to make quick work of the Eternal. Using Surefours’ Sombra might prove crucial against the all-European roster that will thrive playing GOATS.
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Featured Image Courtesy of the Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
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