The first week of the Overwatch League is over and the LA Valiant played two matches in the first week. This will be a weekly article series that normally recaps the previous week and prepare fans for the next week’s matchups to ensure that they are caught up on the games. Without further adieu, here’s this week’s LA Valiant PreReview.
Reviewing Week 1
LA Valiant (1-0) defeat Dallas Fuel 3-1 (0-1)
The LA Valiant were not scared of the Dallas Fuel and the crowd at all in this match. Rick “GiG” Salazar mimicked Hulk Hogan and his signature “I can’t hear you” taunt while Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey egged on the crowd to keep on booing. Their confidence was that of a favorite, not an underdog. They lost Lijiang Tower but the Valiant played the Fuel tight with every point coming down to the last one to two fights. Blizzard World, however, was where the Valiant began finding their footing. After quickly giving up first point, they did not allow the Fuel to reach second point. On offense they faced a similar situation but managed to clutch out the final fight though in the end. McGravy specifically did work this map, eating Decay’s Blizzard in the final fight and had the play of the weekend.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) February 9, 2020
The Valiant slammed the door shut on the Fuel after Halftime. On Two CP, they speedily finished their first attack round only to allow the Fuel to finish the map and allow them one more bite at the proverbial apple. The Valiant won the map in the same fashion as blizzard world, barely managing to win the map in a final fight scenario. LAV carried all of the momenta into Junkertown. They had won the last two maps in final fight scenarios denying Dallas a chance at being on match point twice in front of their home crowd. After nearly finishing the map on their attack round, the Valiant almost allowed Dallas to claim the map. In the end though, KSP claimed five kills over the course of the final fight to stop the Fuel’s push and win the match.
Player of the Match: Kai “KSP” Collins
KSP is one of two players who deserve this award for the Valiant. KSP had the most impact visually on this match. After mixed results during the first half of the match, he warped the match to his will during the second half. KSP demanded so much respect from Fuel, that Gamsu came up to the high ground and solo Earthshattered him because he was creating so many problems for the Fuel. Many fight wins can be attributed to a play by one of KSF or KSP, but KSP had the bigger impact overall of the two.
The more subtle option would be McGravy. He was the one consistent performer across every map. His impact could be felt every time he was on screen. His massive DV.a bombs won the Valiant many fight, specifically on the first two maps. In the second half though, McGravy went from playmaker to the ultimate pest. He still made his plays, but he contributed more on a micro-level. He constantly pestered Decay making sure he could not have an impact on the Valiant DPS. If you want to watch McGravy at full annoyance level look at the game on Junkertown. Junkertown tends to be a good sniper map, but McGravy was a key part of shutting down Decay on Widowmaker.
Vancouver Titans (2-0) defeat the LA Valiant 3-0
There is not much to talk about for this match in all honesty. It was a perfect example of the Titans tour de force. When they are on, they look like one of the best teams in OWL, and man were they on. The first map was relatively close, but in the end the Titans prevailed. What was abundantly clear was that in the first fight on both points the Valiant won easily. As soon as ultimates came into play on control, they began losing fights often never establishing a true advantage again.
What followed was a relatively close map on Blizzard World and a drubbing on Temple of Anubis. On Blizzard World, both teams sped through their first attack rounds, with the Valiant finishing in near-record time. But when the second attack rounds came, the Valiant were not able to muster enough offense to match the Titans and it went to match point. Temple of Anubis was just the Haksal show. The Titans star flex DPS single-handedly dominated the Valiant with his Dragonbaldes on Genji and took the map in a quick 3-2. Temple of Anubis was just another example of the Valiant not managing to muster enough offense. If this series showed anything, this team will need to be carried by their DPS because unless they are getting picks this team will not be winning many six versus six fights.
Player of the Match: Hyojong “Haksal” Kim
Haksal is one of the five to ten best DPS in the league and he showed why in this series. He demonstrated great blizzard usage on Mei to pair with his signature Gengi to great effect. If you want the best example of his greatness look at Blizzard World. His wall usage was excellent and he split the Valiant in half multiple times leading to picks for the defense. The efficiency with his Dragonblades is superb. He almost never got less than one kill with a Dragonblade, it was always multiples. With Haskal, when it rains it pours hard. Whenever he Dragonblades doesn’t just get one kill, he gets three or four. He was by far the best player in the match. He was the one player the Valiant simply couldn’t stop.
Previewing Week 2
The LA Valiant will go undefeated in week two, just kidding. They will not be playing this week because of the Coronavirus. This resulted in cancellations of all Chinese homestands till April. Be prepared for a long layoff Valiant fans, the team won’t be playing for seven weeks. Plenty of time for the team to collect scrim bucks.
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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