The Los Angeles Gladiators may be slightly disappointed heading into Stage 3. They have lost two games in a row; a regular season game against the Boston Uprising that saw them lose a perfect stage, and the playoff match against the New York Excelsior. The Gladiators have not won a playoff game in their time in the Overwatch League. However, with the Gladiators sinking down to back to back losses, they may find the motivation to see them back to top form. This stage will not be the easiest one Los Angeles plays in, as they face the Vancouver Titans twice. Here is a look at the Los Angeles Gladiators’ Stage 3 schedule.
Hardest Game: Vancouver Titans (6/9 & 6/30)
The Los Angeles Gladiators face the Vancouver Titans twice in Stage 3. The Titans are undefeated in regular season play, and have only lost one game; the Stage 2 Final against the San Francisco Shock. These two games will be the hardest that the Gladiators have faced this season. They have already faced the Shock once this season; a 3-2 win in the first week of Stage 1.
In the first matchup of the season, the Gladiators will need to analyze how their strategies work against the Titans, but there are only a few scenarios in which the Gladiators can realistically win this match. If the Gladiators only drop games this stage, they can still finish 5-2, which should be enough for a good spot in the Stage 3 Playoffs. With an overall record of 9-5 through two stages, the Gladiators are in an automatic Season Playoff spot, rather than playing in the bracket for the final two spots. The Gladiators should still give these games their all, but not be overly disappointed if they cannot tackle the Overwatch League giants from Vancouver.
Easiest Game: Washington Justice (6/16)
The Washington Justice currently have a record of 2-12, putting them in 19th out of the 20 teams. This should be the easiest opponent that the Gladiators face all stage. This is the first time these two teams have met, and most likely will be the last, seeing as Washington cannot reasonably get into a playoff spot without a miracle. This game should be a breeze for the Gladiators, but they cannot fall asleep. They need to stay sharp. The game should hopefully allow for the Los Angeles players that are on the bench to step up and get some playing time. Players such as Lane “Surefour” Roberts and Riku “Ripa” Toivanen will potentially have a chance to get a map or two in. The Gladiators will also hopefully be welcoming back Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim to the main roster. Bischu suffered from illness during Stage 1, and played with the Gladiators Legion in Contenders during Stage 2.
Most Important Game: Dallas Fuel (6/7)
The most important game for the Gladiators in Stage 3 is against the Dallas Fuel. The Fuel currently sit in sixth place in the standings, and did find a playoff spot in the Stage 2 Playoffs. This is the opening game of Stage 3, and the first time the Gladiators will play on stage since May 10. With almost a month break, the Gladiators will have had plenty of time to strategize and practice. If the Gladiators can best the Fuel, that should put them in a good place in the standings. The Gladiators should be able to beat the rest of their opponents, but this game may come down to the wire. This game will set the tone for the entirety of Stage 3.
Los Angeles Gladiators Full Schedule
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Dallas Fuel (Friday, June 7)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Vancouver Titans (Sunday, June 9)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Philadelphia Fusion (Friday, June 14)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Washington Justice (Sunday, June 16)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Shanghai Dragons (Friday, June 21)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Toronto Defiant (Friday, June 28)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Vancouver Titans (Sunday, June 30)
The Los Angeles Gladiators will need to play the best Overwatch possible to get their first playoff win. This stage will not be as easy as the last, but they should be able to come out of it with a 5-2 record. If Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara, Jun-woo “Void” Kang and Gui-un “Decay” Jang continue to play at the extremely high level that they have been, and if Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni and Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye continue to improve, the Gladiators are in good shape. One main question the Gladiators will have to answer is who will be playing D.Va. Void has shown that he is one of the best D.Va’s in the league, and deserves to be starting. However, Bischu was important for the Gladiators in Season 1, and should finally be back to the main roster.
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Featured Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators
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