The Los Angeles Gladiators are coming off a substantial break from competitive play to begin Stage 2 of the Overwatch League. They finished the stage with a 3-4 record, which included two wins in Week 4. They had a break with no games in Week 5, and did not participate in the Stage Playoffs. The Gladiators are hoping to continue their momentum into Stage 2, and that starts in their very first game of the stage. Los Angeles plays the Shanghai Dragons on Thursday April 4. Their second game is against the Seoul Dynasty on Friday April 5.
This Week’s Games
Shanghai Dragons (3-4)
The Gladiators will finally have a full roster ahead of their first game of Stage 2. Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim should be ready to play after suffering from illness during Stage 1. The Gladiators will also be allowed to play Riku “Ripa” Toivanen after he served his five game suspension during Stage 1. With LA being at full strength, they should be able to handily defeat the Dragons. However, no one is quite sure how the meta will be affected by the newest patch. If the meta remains primarily 3-3 compositions, the Gladiators should be able to fend off the Dragons, as they found more of a rhythm towards the end of the stage. If the meta does shift, the Gladiators look to be one of the most flexible teams, with the likes of Lane “Surefour” Roberts and Gui-un “Decay” Jang.
Prediction: LAG 3-1 SHD
Seoul Dynasty (4-3)
Los Angeles lost the opening game of Stage 1 to the Dynasty 3-1. Since then, both teams have seen varying degrees of success and adversity. Seoul lost games to the Dallas Fuel, Boston Uprising and New York Excelsior. However, the Dynasty were able to shock everyone in the Stage Playoffs when they beat New York in the first round. Seoul showed that they are a top level team that can hang with the best. This game looks to be the most difficult one for the Gladiators this stage, with the Week 5 game against the Boston Uprising being the next hardest.
If the Gladiators want to beat the Dynasty, they have to continue to work together as a team. Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye seems to be fitting much better in the Gladiators system from where he was during the first meeting between these two teams. Having Decay in the lineup will also help the Gladiators in terms of Zarya play, provided that the meta still leans towards 3-3 compositions.
Prediction: LAG 2-3 SEO
Player to Watch
The player to watch this week has to be Bischu. The Gladiators missed him dearly during Stage 1, as both his personality and skills are important for LA. His ability to speak both Korean and English can help bridge the gap between some of the members of the team, as the Korean members are still learning English. Bischu will be looking to hop into the starting spot over Jun-woo “Void” Kang, which will not be easy. Void showed during Stage 1 that he deserves to start, and the healthy competition should hopefully drive both to play at their highest level.
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Featured Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators
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