Los Angeles Gladiators (9-4) vs Chengdu Hunters (5-6)
Gladiators 3-1 Hunters
The Los Angeles Gladiators came into this matchup looking to stay undefeated in Stage 2. They handily defeated the Florida Mayhem at the beginning of the week, and looked to keep that momentum going against the Hunters. Chengdu is known for their lack of 3-3 composition, instead favoring DPS heroes and the Wrecking Ball for a tank. The Gladiators have been experimenting with interesting DPS compositions (see Lane “Surefour” Roberts playing Mei on Hanamura), so fans were excited about the multitude of heroes that hopefully would be played in this game.
Busan: Gladiators 2-0 Hunters
Gui-un “Decay” Jang on the Sombra kicked off the map with a kill while Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye followed up with another, and the Gladiators were able to quickly take the point. However, the Gladiators seemed to fall asleep and the Hunters immediately took the point back. Chengdu continued to do most of their fighting on the point, and took the point back after the Gladiators had amassed 66%. However, after some cheeky attempts from the Hunters, the Gladiators took the first point.
On Shrine, Chengdu came in on a DPS composition, and the Gladiators continued their anti-DPS composition. Los Angeles played very aggressively, making sure that the Hunters Widowmaker could not have any sightlines. The Gladiators completely shut down the Hunters on the second point. Main tank rOar did not die the entirety of Busan.
Hanamura: Hunters 2-1 Gladiators
Surefour was subbed in by the Gladiators, as he has done for the past few games for them on their second map. Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara started the map as Roadhog, and Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni as Baptiste. The Hunters played great defense, and the Gladiators barely scraped by. After a battle-Mercy kill from BigGoose, the Gladiators somehow took point A with only a few seconds to spare. Chengdu’s Pharah, Yi “JinMu” Hu, was playing out of his mind on this defense. With 30 seconds left, the Gladiators started their final attack, taking their first tick on the point. After an intense overtime, the Gladiators finished with just over two ticks.
Surefour ran the Mei once again, while the Hunters opted for a Symmetra to get behind the Gladiators. João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles was able to get multiple kills as Junkrat, and Decay showed his prowess as Widowmaker. The Hunters were able to take the first point with just over 1:30 in the timebank. The Gladiators stalled as long as they could, but they were overpowered by JinMu and the Hunters.
Eichenwalde: Gladiators 2-1 Hunters
Chengdu started this map on attack, and were able to find the kill on Decay early. The Hunters found a way to get two ticks on the point, but the Gladiators were very much in control for most of the defense. With just under 30 seconds, the first point was taken by Chengdu. LAG continued their aggressive play style, holding the Hunters at the first gate. Decay got a lot of great hacks off as the Sombra, making sure the Hunters did not have a player advantage. Chengdu were able to push the payload to the first corner of the castle, but a strong defense from LA stopped them quickly in their tracks.
The Gladiators took the first checkpoint in the first fight, giving them just under five minutes to push just past the castle. Los Angeles were able to keep the Hunters separated while Hydration and the rest of the Gladiators strolled into a victory.
Junkertown: Gladiators 1-0 Hunters
The Gladiators aggressive defense seemed to fail them early on as rOar and Jun-woo “Void” Kang fell, but picks onto a few members of the Hunters led to a reset for the attacking team. Los Angeles showed their ability to run the 3-3 composition, with Decay switching over to the Zarya. Everything the Hunters tried seemed to fail them, with the Gladiators having an answer to each and every composition that Chengdu tried. Shaz on the Moira was lethal. Somehow in overtime, the Hunters almost got the first point, but the Gladiators were able to somehow get back to the point. Just before the first point, Los Angeles held firm.
Hydration started off as the Bastion, and they handily took the point. With almost no time at all, the Gladiators stomped the defense of the Hunters. They quickly finished the game and came out with the win.
This match had almost every hero played, with the exception of Ashe and Reaper. The Gladiators continued their aggressive playstyle, and it worked for them. Their ability to match up with everything the Hunters threw at them was impressive. Hydration played extremely well, as did Decay. There was nothing the Hunters could do, and the Gladiators improved to 6-0 this stage. Can anyone stop the Gladiators? Los Angeles has a bye week in Week 4, and return against the Boston Uprising in Week 5.
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Featured Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators
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