- If there is one meta that has truly taken Overwatch by storm, it is the GOATS meta. The GOATS meta consists of three tank and three support Heroes. It was originally made popular by the North American team GOATS, hence the name.
When it first started to take shape, the team consisted of Reinhardt, Zarya, and D.VA in the tank roll. In the support role, Brigitte, Moira and Lucio would handle the healing. This team comp has various substitutions that can be made, such as adding Winston, Roadhog, or Ana.
With the way that this meta has taken over the game, how will the LA Gladiators be able to handle not using many DPS Heroes? Let’s take a look at the Gladiators lineup, and see how each player could be a viable part of this strange setup.
First up we have the supports. The Gladiators started last season of the Overwatch League with only two supports; Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara and Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni. This season, they have brought in fellow Finnish support player, Riku “Ripa” Toivanen. When it comes to variety, the Gladiators support players cover all the bases. Shaz plays Ana and Zenyatta. BigGoose plays Lucio and Mercy. Ripa plays Zenyatta and Moira. These three players will be the backbone of the team, and not just in the GOATS meta. Their wide Hero pool is something for other teams to fear. The addition of Ripa brings solid Moira play, which can be very important when running GOATS.
One hindrance that the Gladiators will have to face is the five-match ban that Ripa will have to serve. Ripa was handed the ban for “throwing matches and toxicity,” according to the Overwatch League. This will limit their support Hero pool, and the Gladiators will have to substitute the Moira for another support character. This has a silver lining however. The absence of a Moira from their team comp could lead to some interesting combinations of Heroes, leading to a breakthrough or even confusion for the other team.
Overall, the Gladiators should not have to worry about their support players when it comes to the GOATS meta. The duo of Shaz and BigGoose will be strong as always, and adding Ripa only strengthens that. For a look into the third support Hero that will play with the Finnish Duo, head down to the DPS/Flex section!
The Gladiators did not have the most consistent tank lineup during Season 1 of the Overwatch League. Season 2 is looking to be a completely different story. The Gladiators boast Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim and Jun-woo “Void” Kang, both off tanks, from Season 1. In the offseason, they brought in Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye, a main tank, and promoted Byung-ho “Panker” Lee from the Gladiators Legion. Panker was given a two-way contract between the LA Gladiators and the Gladiators Legion.
The Gladiators decided to double down in the tank category. Both Bischu and Void specialize in D.Va and Zarya. During the first season of the Overwatch League, Bischu played 97.3% of his time playing as D.Va. Void, who arrived in March of 2018, played 69.4% of his time as D.Va and 29.6% of his time as Zarya. Both of these Heroes are integral for a GOATS comp, so expect to see a solid rotation from these two players. However, Void does have a connection with his former KongDoo Panthera teammates (rOar and Gui-un “Decay” Jang). This could lead to him having the starting spot over Bischu.
The Gladiators main tank duo does not have experience in the Overwatch League, but that does not mean they should be overlooked. Panker and rOar play Reinhardt and Winston. Reinhardt is a key part in a GOATS comp. Expect rOar to have the starting edge, as Panker will be playing most of his games with the Gladiators Legion. With three former KongDoo teammates, rOar should feel comfortable jumping into this new team.
The tank lineup for the Gladiators is a mix of experienced Overwatch League off tanks, and rookie main tanks. The communication could be the biggest issue that the Gladiators face, as five of their ten players are Korean. Bischu could play an integral role in translating for the team, as he is fluent in both Korean and English. The third tank in the GOATS comp could very well be one of the two off tanks that the Gladiators have signed. However, it could just as likely be one of the flex or DPS players the Gladiators have.
The DPS players for the LA Gladiators are highly regarded among Overwatch fans and professionals. Lane “Surefour” Roberts and João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles were the DPS players for the Gladiators in their first season. These players also represented their national teams, Canada and the USA, respectively. In addition to these two, the Gladiators brought in Decay from KongDoo Panthera. With DPS players not having as much time on the Heroes they usually play, let’s take a look into the various support and tank Heroes they can play.
Surefour has one of the widest Hero pools in the Overwatch League. On the updated website for the Overwatch League, he is now listed as a flex player, rather than a DPS player. He can play Heroes that range from Widowmaker, to Tracer, to Sombra, to Zarya, to Brigitte. Surefour can flex onto either the third support or third tank role. The Gladiators would be foolish to bench a player like Surefour, so expect him to be in the starting lineup, regardless of the comp.
Hydration plays a very different set of Heroes than Surefour. He specializes in projectile characters, such as Pharah, Junkrat, and Doomfist. However, he has shown his ability to flex onto different characters, as we saw during the first season of Overwatch League. He played 11.4% of his time as Brigitte and 5.8% as Roadhog.
Decay has a wide Hero pool as well. He can play a mean Tracer and Widowmaker, but also spends a large portion of his time, mainly thanks to the current GOATS meta, on Zarya. His Zarya is not one to be brushed off either. He played Zarya for most of the final series when KongDoo took on Team Runaway in Korean Contenders. His strong Zarya play makes him a viable candidate for the third tank spot.
Overall, the Gladiators should be able to handle the GOATS meta just fine. The strong core, combined with the addition of new players, should lead to success for them in Season 2. A lineup of BigGoose, Shaz, Void, rOar, Surefour and Decay would be a deadly one. Not to mention, there are plenty of options on the bench.
The Overwatch League returns on Feb. 14, when the London Spitfire take on the Philadelphia Fusion. The LA Gladiators will have their first match of the season that day as well, taking on their former main tank Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek and the Seoul Dynasty. That same week, they face off against a state rival in the San Francisco Shock.
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Featured Image Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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