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Los Angeles Valiant Overwatch

Inside the Clutch: How the LA Valiant beat the Dallas Fuel

In week one the LA Valiant played the Dallas Fuel in what could only be described as a close blowout. Many of the maps were close, they just came down to a few outstanding plays by outstanding players. In this article is an examination into the best team play of the match. Yes, this is about the Final Fight on Blizzard World.

The Setup

Courtesy of Overwatch League

To understand how this fight came to happen, the facts need to be laid out. After speed running the first point, the Dallas Fuel stalled out on second point and set the Valiant’s victory condition. Much like the Fuel, The Valiant did their own speed run on first point and similarly stalled out. Now all that stood between the Valiant going into halftime tied or down two maps was this last fight.

Going into this fight, both teams were running similar compositions. Both teams were running an Ana Lucio support line, a Reinhardt as main tank, and a Mei as a flex DPS. Where they differed though was the flex tank and second DPS. The Fuel opted to go with Doha on Doomfist, one of his best heroes. Additionally, Dallas opted for a Zarya to pair with the Reinhardt and a potential Doomfist ultimate. The Valiant meanwhile opted for what became the standard comp week one. They played a Reinhardt D.Va tank line which allowed for mobility and counter play against the likes of Mei. In addition to the tanks, the Valiant showed the standard Lucio Ana support line and the Mei McCree DPS line. It is important to note that KSP just switched to McCree after a poor stretch on Widowmaker. In the final fight, his flashbang could be the difference between a win or a loss.

The Engagement

Courtesy of Overwatch League

As the team fight began, both teams started on somewhat equal footing. Looking in the picture above the Fuel had no support ultimates up, but they had Blizzard ready and are about to have Gravitation Surge up. Either of those ultimates could win the Fuel the final fight if used properly. The Valiant meanwhile only had Sound Barrier up, but are about to have Earthshatter and possibly Blizzard up if KSF can get it quick enough.

As the teams began to engage, both teams used Mei’s ice wall to disengage from the fight. Of the two teams the Valiant had the better Ice Wall, blocking the retreating Fuel’s line of sight to not allow one of their team members to be picked.

The Rotation

Courtesy of Overwatch League

The Valiant’s Ice Wall walking blocked half of the area to rotate, necessitating a decision. That decision was, how would the team rotate and win this final fight? The majority of the Fuel dropped to the payload except for one person. Note, playing Zarya, decided to rotate away and drop away from the rest of his team to protect a early death. Seeing this, the Valiant decided to send the Reinhart, DV.A and Ana together at the bulk of the Fuel. In addition, the Valiant decided to have Lucio and Mei attempt to kill Note’s Zarya while McCree rains terror from above.

The First Pick

Courtesy of Overwatch League

Note rotated with no support and his likelihood of having Graviton Surge made him a clear target for the Valiant. Note attempted to rotate and drop, but he was Lucio booped onto the other side of the overpass. Now the Fuel were split and in a rough spot. Note ended up dying just shy of having his ultimate because no one could peel for him. Why could no one peel for him? They couldn’t help because they Valiant’s tanks drew all of their attention. Note was killed by the Lucio and Mei giving the Valiant the man advantage.

The Ultimate Fiesta

Courtesy of Overwatch League

Now it was time for the core of the fight. Being up one player, the Valiant finally fully engaged on the Fuel. First, GiG used Earthshatter and caught only Doha. While under normal circumstances a one man shatter is sub par, it is perfect in this case. After killing the Zarya, KSF killed the stunned Doha giving the Valiant a two man advantage. The next play finally clinched the fight.

Courtesy of Overwatch League

With the Fuel down two players, Decay attempted to use Blizzard in the fight and swing it in the Fuel’s favor. That didn’t happen though. When he committed Blizzard, McGravy was immediately ready to use Defense Matrix and eat the Blizzard. After Decay finished the animation, he was immediately stunned and killed by KSP on McCree. All that was left was Crimzo, Closer and a frozen, slept and Nanoed Gamsu. After the Valiant finished off Gamsu, they captured the map before any of the Fuel members who died could respawn.

Why Did the Valiant Win?

The Valiant won this map and in the end the match because the showed great teamwork on all levels. On every map different players made great individual plays, but to win Blizzard World in the way they did took massive amounts of teamwork. If someone looks back on this match, the Valiant had much better team play in comparison to the Fuel. In the end that made all the difference. Now, the Fuel are not as bad as people predicted them to be, but that is a team that needs to work on it’s synergy. Want to see the whole match, check it out at this link.

Need More?

What do you think the Valiant will do over the break? Tell me on Twitter at @TheWiz_SPM

Featured image courtesy of Dallas Fuel

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