Stage 2 was another disappointment for the Washington Justice, an expansion team still trying to find their footing. In both stages, the Justice finished with only one win. Each time, they only won in the last game of the stage. While their stages were mirror images, that is not indicative of a team remaining stagnant.
Washington is working to improve their team moving forward. Before Stage 2 began, they traded for Hong “ArK” Yeonjoon, who made an instant impact on the team. His Lucio play and leadership has earned him favor amongst teammates and fans. He was elected as a starter for the Atlantic All Stars.
In addition to ArK, Washington traded for former San Francisco Shock all star support player Nikola “Sleepy” Andrews. Sleepy brings experience and leadership to the Justice. With ArK, these two star players should form a solid support line moving forward.
In Stage 2, the Washington Justice lost to the Toronto Defiant, Chengdu Hunters, New York Excelsior, Atlanta Reign, Los Angeles Valiant and Shanghai Dragons. Five of these losses saw the Justice lose 3-1 while the other was a 4-0 loss to NYXL. One theme carried across their losses. Washington is not nearly aggressive enough and they need to get a true shot caller.
Never was this more evident than in their match against the Excelsior. On Hanamura, the Justice pushed onto point B. Corey “Corey” Nigra scored three picks turning the fight in Washington’s favor. In most cases this 6-3 advantage would yield major capture percentage however the Justice held back and allowed New York to respawn and find their footing. Instead of diving onto the point to end the round, they failed to even register a single tick. This lack of communication and aggressiveness is what separates the Justice from the average teams in the league let alone the top-tier teams.
The Boston Uprising are a team known for dramatic wins. So it was only fitting that the Justice were able to flip the script and pull off their own reverse sweep to secure their second ever win. On the first two maps, things went as poorly as many fans expected. However, the Justice began focusing their attacks on Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth after halftime. Once they took him off the board, the rest of the Uprising began falling as well. Impressive and aggressive defense on Blizzard World and Rialto was what carried the team. Afterwards, Nikola “Sleepy” Andrews rewarded his new squad with ice cream.
The win saw the Justice live up to the potential they’ve shown all stage. Often times from a fan’s perspective, they have been intensely frustrating. This is especially true when they pulled off solid map wins after matches were already lost. While they never looked dominant, they did look competitive.
Boston is a solid team that were were previously unbeaten on the stage before their match against the Justice. A win over the Uprising is something Washington can hang their hat on heading into Stage 3.
The future is bright for the Washington Justice, currently they are coming off their biggest win in Franchise history. The victory over the Boston Uprising showed the potential the Justice has when they can put it all together. There will be more to celebrate in the future and perhaps more ice cream.
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