The Los Angeles Valiant left Stage 2 with now three wins to their name, all of which were earned during that stage. Stage 3 will pit the team against plenty of formidable opponents, and truly test not only how much the Valiant have improved, but also how much cohesion they have created with their new pickups.
The LA Valiant’s first match will put them head to head with the Shanghai Dragons. Currently, the Dragons sit at 13th on the rankings. This means that the Valiant have a real chance to snatch another win this season. Right now, Shanghai do not look like anything special, and Los Angeles have brought on three new players, one of which is a new talented main tank in Russell “FCTFCTN” Campbell.
Their second match has them facing off against the Chengdu Hunters. As of now, the Hunters sit just under the Shanghai Dragons at 14. In the Valiant’s last match of Stage 2, they defeated Chengdu 3-2 in a very close series, therefore it’s hard to tell how this one will pan out. Though, if the Los Angeles Valiant could do it once, they can do it again.
The LA Valiant have only one match in Week 2, and it’s against the Guangzhou Charge. The Charge are currently at number 15 on the rankings, which is yet another single step down from who the Valiant will face before then. Aside from an upset victory against the Atlanta Reign, Guangzhou have looked rather weak. In these two teams’ last bout, the Charge came out on top, but the LA Valiant have improved greatly since then. Overall, Guangzhou have been on a downwards trend, with Valiant on an upwards one. This match certainly looks more favorable for Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Valiant will once again face the Shanghai Dragons for their first match of Week 3. How their Week 1 match goes will no doubt play a great role in determining the outcome of this encounter.
Match two will feature the Vancouver Titans, who will be the LA Valiant’s toughest opponents of the stage. Not much can be said about this series other than that it will be rather rough for the Valiant. Even with improvements and new pickups on the LA Valiant’s side, Vancouver are at number one in the league and have only ever lost once, which was in the finals of the Stage 2 playoffs.
The Valiant’s first match of Week 4 will be a rematch against their first opponents of the season, the Hangzhou Spark. The Spark are sitting at eight on the rankings and even made it to the Stage 2 playoffs. Unlike their first match in Stage 1, this one might not be close. Hangzhou have been looking consistent, and the Valiant are only just now looking like they can put up a fight.
To finish out the regular Stage 3, the Los Angeles Valiant will face the London Spitfire. The Spitfire are number four in the league, and also made it to the Stage 2 playoffs. Based on this, if the Valiant’s match against the Spark goes how it is expected to go, then they will struggle greatly against London.
Stage 3 shows a mix of both outstandingly strong and somewhat weak teams for the LA Valiant, with most of the lower tier team matches happening earlier into the stage. This will most likely not be another winless stage for the Valiant thanks to their already shown improvement and recent roster changes. However, there will be no free wins.
Featured image courtesy of the Los Angeles Valiant on Twitter