The Los Angeles Gladiators had one of the biggest single stage turnarounds in the Overwatch League. After they finished 3-4 in Stage 1, they turned around and finished 6-1 in Stage 2. This was good enough for a playoff spot, with them finishing as the fourth seed for the Stage 2 Playoffs. However, despite their turnaround, the Gladiators fell in the first round to the New York Excelsior. Here is a look at the Gladiators Stage 2 conquest, and a look into their best and worst games.
Best Game: Seoul Dynasty (Week 1)
The Seoul Dynasty were one of the toughest opponents that the Gladiators faced in Stage 2. Coming fresh off of an upset victory over the New York Excelsior in the Stage 1 Playoffs, they had momentum on their side. However, the Gladiators did as well. They were on a three game win streak, continuing from the latter half of Stage 1, and had handily beaten the Shanghai Dragons earlier in the week.
This was their a true test to see if the Gladiators were legit. They fought valiantly, and ended up taking the game 3-2. This match solidified what the starting roster would look like throughout the stage. Throughout the stage, they would substitute Lane “Surefour” Roberts in for the second map. They took Paris 2-1 from Seoul, and the trend continued.
Gui-un “Decay” Jang proved time and time again that he was the superior Zarya, and that the Gladiators made the correct decision signing him. He was the only Gladiator to feature in the All-Star break, and has shown that he should be considered for Rookie of the Year.
Worst Game: New York Excelsior (Stage 2 Playoffs)
The toughest opponent faced by the Gladiators this stage was easily the Excelsior. Both teams were coming off of losses, and were meeting in the Stage Playoffs. New York had much pressure on them, having lost to the Atlanta Reign twice in the stage, as well as losing to the Seoul Dynasty in the Stage 1 Playoffs. The matchup did not seem to favor either team, as the Gladiators looked hot for the entirety of Stage 2, and New York has a history of being a top tier team.
Overall, the Gladiators play looked somewhat sloppy, as if they did not believe that they could take it. They were not able to handle the pressure and calculated pushes that New York threw their way. Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni was very off and on the whole game, and main tank Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye was not able to continue his Stage 2 form. Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara played well, but was overshadowed in the Zenyatta duel, as he was going up against the former MVP, Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang. Finding that crucial piece that will push them through to their first playoff victory will be important going into the Stage 3 Playoffs.
Looking Ahead to Stage 3
For the Season Standings, the Gladiators currently sit fifth, with a 9-5 record. They will have a much more difficult schedule than Stage 2. They play the Vancouver Titans twice, the Dallas Fuel, the Philadelphia Fusion and the Shanghai Dragons. Unlike last season, where their toughest opponent was the Boston Uprising and Seoul Dynasty. It is hard to imagine anyone other than San Francisco being able to best the Titans, so that is already double the amount of losses that the Gladiators had in Stage 2. With that in mind, head coach David “dpei” Pei will be looking to focus hard on the other top matchups and secure a spot in the Stage 3 Playoffs.
If the Gladiators are able to win the rest of the games in Stage 3, that should still put them at a top playoff spot, hopefully against a team that is not the New York Excelsior, Vancouver Titans or San Francisco Shock. This will not be an easy journey for them, as they still have much to work on. However, with the return of Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim to the main team, meta changes that hopefully diverge from the standard 3-3 composition and their roster depth, the Los Angeles Gladiators should still contest for a Stage 3 Playoff spot.
Follow me on Twitter @lilkhobs I would love to hear your thoughts.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators
Follow The Game Haus for more sports and esports coverage.
Twitter: TGH Esports
Facebook: The Game Haus
“From our Haus to Yours”