Los Angeles Gladiators (10-5) vs Dallas Fuel (9-6)
Gladiators 3-0 Fuel
The Los Angeles Gladiators are looking to start off their Stage 3 campaign with a win over the Dallas Fuel. Lane “Surefour” Roberts was the first one to walk through the tunnel as he returned to the starting lineup for the Gladiators. The main tank battle will be the one to watch in this game. This game sets the standard for both teams going into Stage 3. The Gladiators are expected to lose two games, both against the Vancouver Titans. A win against the Fuel should lead to a 5-2 finish to the stage.
Oasis: Gladiators 2-0 Fuel
The Gladiators came out in the 3-3 composition, with Surefour jumping onto the Brigitte instead of João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles. Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye found the first kill for the Gladiators, as they took control of the point. The Gladiators gathered 61% before Dallas was able to flip. Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara continued to show his dominance and they flipped the point, leaving Dallas with 84%. Gui-un “Decay” Jang had his Graviton Surge eaten, and the Fuel forced the Gladiators to reset. Jun-woo “Void” Kang found Min-seok “OGE” Son and the Gladiators were able to take out the rest of the Fuel to win the round.
On University, Gladiators again took early control of the point. 76% was all the Gladiators could take before Dallas flipped the point. Void found OGE again, leading to a quick turnaround on the point. Decay dropped a big Graviton Surge as the Gladiators were fighting in Overtime, though he was the first to fall. The Gladiators secured the point and took the map.
Paris: Gladiators 2-0 Fuel
The Gladiators subbed in Hydration for Void, interestingly enough. Surefour played D.Va, while Decay hopped onto Widowmaker. Hydration played Bastion, something fans are used to seeing Surefour play. The Bunker composition worked well for the Gladiators, with Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni putting up the Amplification Matrix as Baptiste. A strong defense was put up by Dallas for point B, as they forced the Gladiators back just before the second tick. Surefour found four Dallas players with his EMP, and Decay popped the Tactical Visor, leading to a multitude of kills, and the point.
Hydration started the round as the team’s Orisa, in the absence of Void. rOar played Winston, allowing Surefour to play his famous Bastion. The Gladiators defense started much stronger than the Fuels. However, Surefour found four kills to retaliate. He then was nanoboosted by Shaz, and got a handful of kills once again. Dallas touched the point to begin Overtime, but Surefour continued to mow down enemies, ensuring a Los Angeles victory.
Hollywood: Gladiators 3-2 Fuel
The Gladiators started the round by subbing in Void for Hydration. Starting on the attack, they came out in a traditional 3-3 composition. They steamrolled onto the point, winning the first fight, and taking all three necessary ticks. They began moving the payload, and continued to take fight after fight. Almost effortlessly, the Gladiators took the first checkpoint. They finally were stopped just shy of the final checkpoint, with almost four minutes to work with. Dallas brought the Gladiators to Overtime, but LA were able to push the payload to the final checkpoint.
Dallas began the round with a Sombra, daring the Gladiators to shift their attention. The Fuel began to steamroll the Gladiators, but after getting the checkpoint, Los Angeles regained control. After a huge Earthshatter from Dallas, Shaz perfectly timed his Ultimate to save his teammates. 90 seconds remained as Void ate a Graviton Surge, which snowballed into a huge win for Los Angeles. Overtime began, and the Gladiators cleaned house to clinch the series.
Havana: Gladiators 3-1 Fuel
The Gladiators came out in 3-3 composition. Just before the the first checkpoint, Void found a kill with his self destruct, but LA was held at the gate. Dallas looked much more composed in their defense on Havana than they had on any other map this series. Inside the warehouse, Dallas continued to shut the Gladiators down, winding down the clock. In Overtime, the Gladiators pushed the payload to just before the second checkpoint, and won the fight to take point B. Overtime began again, and LA continued to push the payload further. Somehow, against all odds, the Gladiators finished the map.
The Fuel focused rOar early on their defense, and the Gladiators were forced back at the start of the round. The Dallas team attacking on Havana looked completely different from the one that played the first three maps. With that being said, LA stalled the point out just before it reached the first checkpoint. A timely Grav from Decay shut the Fuel down with only 20 seconds left. A big shatter on the Dallas end was met by the shatter from rOar. However, the Fuel found the checkpoint in Overtime. The warehouse defense was strong from LA, forcing Overtime early on. Decay had a Grav eaten, but gained another one and helped the Gladiators finish the clean sweep.
Though this game did not see the return of Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim, this was an absolutely incredible win for the Gladiators. This will hopefully define their stage, and push them into another spot in the playoffs. Their overall record to 10-6, still in fifth overall. Their next match is against the Vancouver Titans, which does not bode in their favor. If the Gladiators can play at the level that they did today, they may be able to hold their own against the Titans.
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Featured Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators
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