Los Angeles Gladiators (12-6) vs Washington Justice (2-15)
Gladiators 4-0 Justice
The Los Angeles Gladiators came out with the same lineup that they have been running all of Stage 3. Facing off against the Washington Justice, the 19th placed team in the standings, should be the easiest game of their stage. Washington was looking to play spoiler to the hometown favorites. Fans were eager to see what the Gladiators would do to win this game, and what they would do differently. They still have not played Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim, and have only let Riku “Ripa” Toivanen play 11 minutes on stage. Most importantly, Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara was wearing a Los Angeles Gladiators hat on stage, which paired well with their new alternate jersey.
Nepal: Gladiators 2-0 Justice
The Gladiators did not start Nepal off well, with Gui-un “Decay” Jang falling off the map before any teamfight had begun. Washington took the point first, racking up 99% before LA could retake the point. In Overtime, Los Angeles took the point back, with no Ultimates online. However, the Gladiators lost a big teamfight, as well as control of the point. Fighting in Overtime, Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni found himself two boops, and the Gladiators took control again. Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye used his Primal Rage to clear the Justice off the point and take the first round.
The Gladiators were able to take the point after a hard-fought teamfight that saw both teams use many Ultimates. Fighting on the top, the Graviton Surge was thrown out, and Shaz got caught on the architecture of the map, unable to heal his teammates with his Transcendence. After 77% by Washington, LA found their way back to the point. The Gladiators held on to win the first map of the series.
Horizon: Gladiators 2-0 Justice
The Gladiators started with the same lineup as Nepal, not substituting João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles in. They started out by going out to space, splitting into two groups; top and bottom. The plan did not quite work out, forcing the Gladiators to reset. rOar found the first kill which snowballed into Los Angeles taking the first point quite easily. As they were attacking the second point, Jun-woo “Void” Kang ate the Graviton Surge and the point was taken extremely quickly.
On defense, The Gladiators were able to shut down the first attack convincingly, with Decay finding three. Los Angeles held firm again, and even followed the enemy Zarya back to spawn to stagger the Justice. Both Graviton Surge’s came out at once, and rOar was killed. However, the Gladiators held firm, and force Washington to reset with only 30 seconds left. A final Grav secured the victory for Los Angeles.
Numbani: Gladiators 1-0 Justice
The Gladiators continued with the same starting roster for Numbani. Shaz and BigGoose were picked off very early, forcing them to reset. Washington continued to defend well, and with Overtime looming, the Gladiators staggered in. The Gladiators somehow found their way to take the point, killing most of the Justice before the rest of the team finally jumped off the edge to reset. On the trip, Decay had his Grav eaten, and the Gladiators fell back. Over and over, the Gladiators were not able to advance the payload, only moving it 52 meters. On the final push, the Zenyatta for the Justice, Nikola “sleepy” Andrews, found three to end Overtime.
After almost being full held on Numbani attack, the Gladiators would need something spectacular on their defense. The Gladiators held on during the first teamfight, which was messy on both sides. Lane “Surefour” Roberts finished off various members of the Justice, playing much better than he had on the attack. A well timed Grav from Decay resulted in a full team kill on Washington. Sleepy used his Transcendence, and BigGoose was able to isolate two members of the Justice, resulting in another teamfight in the Gladiators favor. The Gladiators full held the Justice on Numbani.
Havana: Gladiators 3-1 Justice
The final map of this series saw the Gladiators still make no changes to their roster. Coming out of the gate swinging, the Gladiators found two kills and began to advance the payload. Taking the next teamfight, they moved the payload through the distillery. A big Earthshatter from rOar led to a kill onto the Lucio of Washington, further favoring the Gladiators as they steamrolled through the map. rOar was able to find another large shatter, resulting in Los Angeles getting to the second checkpoint. Each teamfight that happened kept going in the Gladiators favor. As Ultimate’s flew, and the payload was almost there, the Justice were able to stop the Gladiators, and force them to reset. Decay had a second Grav eaten, but the Gladiators finished the map on the back of a Void Self-Destruct.
Shaz found the first kill as the Gladiators defended on Havana, which quickly turned into a team kill. Each time the Justice walked out of spawn and onto the payload, the Gladiators were there, finding the first kill. Washington focused on killing rOar and were able to take the first point. The cart was stalled just under the bridge in the distillery, as both teams fought valiantly. Overtime began, and the Gladiators were able to finish off the Justice to close out the series.
As the crowd chanted “Daddy-ators” throughout the match, the Los Angeles team was able to do what they were expected to do; beat Washington. Though the Justice showed signs of promise, and often pushed the Gladiators to the edge, the experience and skill of the Gladiators showed in this game. Fans would have loved to see Ripa or Bischu finally play, but their dreams did not come true. The score may have been 4-0, but the game was much closer than the score reflects.
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”