Slowly but surely, the Los Angeles Gladiators are moving up in the standings. After defeating the Dallas Fuel last weekend, the Gladiators currently sit at 9th place. The Gladiators beat the Dallas Fuel, but it was not as solid as the 3-0 score indicates. On Oasis, especially, the Fuel gave the Gladiators a run for their money. Once again, Kim “Doha” Dong-ha and Jang “Decay” Gui-un broke their backs, trying to carry the Fuel to victory. Doha’s Doomfist terrorized the Gladiator’s backline until Son “OGE” Min-seok had enough.
Landing multiple shatters on the Fuel nabbed the Gladiators the first round. However, Dallas continued to make things too close for comfort. On City Center, the point was constantly flip-flopping between the two teams. Surprisingly, Decay ran Tracer against Chris “MirroR” Trịnh’s Torbjorn and made it work. This seemed to throw the Gladiators for a loop. It seemed like the Dallas Fuel would take the point, but OGE and Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara on Moira saved the point at the last possible second. From there, consistent play from OGE and Kim “birdring” Ji-hyeok secured the Gladiators their 3-0. Even though the Fuel gave the Gladiators a tough time, the boys in purple are still feeling confident going into their only match of the weekend.
It's safe to say @BigGoose wasn't impressed by the reigning Champs.
An all new episode of The Armory comes out this Thursday. pic.twitter.com/AntuGCWXiU
— Los Angeles Gladiators (@LAGladiators) April 7, 2020
San Francisco Shock (2-2)
That confidence is something the Gladiators will need going into their rematch against the San Francisco Shock. The meta played a big part in the Gladiators victory over the 2019 Grand Champions, who have since bounced back. The Shock breezed through their rematch against the Los Angeles Valiant, who also pulled an incredible upset victory over the Shock the same weekend that the Gladiators did. With Grant “moth” Espe back on Lucio, the Shock were almost back to their standard gameplay. However, the Valiant uncovered cracks in the Shock’s gameplay, and they managed to take Paris, which resulted in a 3-1 match score. The Valiant proved that the Shock are not as indestructible as they were last season, which is good news for Gladiators fans.
With this week’s hero pools, the Gladiators have another good chance going into this matchup. Although Reaper is banned this week, the Gladiators should be able to go back to running solid Mei and McCree DPS compositions. Since the Shock’s return, they’ve been experimenting in terms of their DPS line with different player combinations subbing in and out each map. That inconsistency is something that the Gladiators can capitalize on, so long as they don’t try to force specific compositions. One of the Gladiator’s biggest struggles continues to be their stubbornness. During their game against the Dynasty, they were determined to run Chris “MirroR” Trịnh on Doomfist despite it not working. They didn’t try subbing in Jason “Jaru” White until the last second on Volskaya, and the Dynasty still managed to pick them apart.
The Gladiators seemed to have learned their lesson during their game against the Fuel. However, the Shock are another beast entirely. Losing two games in a row seems to have lit a fire under the Shock, and they’ll be hungry for revenge.
Player to Watch: Space
With D.VA banned, it is more than likely that teams will run double shield compositions this weekend. There is a huge chance of seeing Indy “SPACE” Halpern’s legendary Sigma. During the 2019 World Cup, SPACE showed his prowess on the hero. The tank lineups for both teams will be interesting to watch. However, in terms of the Gladiators, the only guarantee is SPACE. Unlike Aaron “Bischu” Kim, SPACE can play more than just D.VA, and he can do it well.
Running his Sigma alongside OGE (or potentially even Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen) on Orisa or Reinhardt will provide the Gladiators with the strong frontline they need to have a shot at taking down the Shock.
Prediction: Los Angeles Gladiators 3-2 San Francisco Shock
Follow me on Twitter: @Sybil_OW for all things Gladiators and Contenders! I also like to yell about the Fusion and Paris Eternal. Feel free to message me on Discord @ Sybil#3517 – I am always happy to discuss anything I have written!
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