Reign- 3 Defiant- 1
With Houston behind them, Toronto faced a difficult matchup against an impressive expansion team. The Atlanta Reign looked to build off of their impressive performance in Week 1. Without Neko, Toronto were against the odds by not being at full strength for the second game in a row. After impressing early, Toronto struggled to close out their match against Atlanta.
Busan: Reign- 1 Defiant- 2
Jumping into the first round of Busan, both teams choose to utilize a Wrecking Ball mirror. Do-hyung “Stellar” Lee opened up dueling Ilya “NLaaeR” Koppalov on Widowmaker, while Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee would seekout Daniel “dafran” Francesca’s Tracer. With Atlanta at 97 percent, the Defiant managed to flip the point for a chance to take the first round for themselves. Atlanta managed to retake and claim Meka Base behind their DPS.
On Sanctuary, an early composition switch from Atlanta to mirror Toronto’s 3-3 comp would lead to an ultimate advantage from Toronto and the first capture. Atlanta’s engage would be met by a flurry of ultimates. Kang-jae “envy” Lee’s Self Destruct gave the Defiant the early advantage. The ensuing teamfight was won by the Defiant. Atlanta managed to retake with Toronto’s capture stalled at 99 percent. A swift reengage from Jae-yoon “Aid” Go’s Coalescence found two early eliminations and the Defiant took map 2.
As the team’s went into Downtown Busan, the Defiant’s 3-3 comp simply outplayed the Reign’s mirror. They captured the point early and never allowed Atlanta to even reach the point. Several key Graviton Surges came in from Ivy as his Zarya dealt a massive amount of damage to the captured Reign. Toronto claimed map 1 decisively.
Numbani: Reign- 2 Defiant- 1
Dong-hyeong “DACO” Seo joined the fight alongside Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman for Atlanta for map 2. On Numbani, Toronto began on attack and were quickly stifled by Atlanta’s mirrored Winston 3-3 comp. Like their previous match against Houston, Toronto struggled once again on Numbani. A Grav from dafran opened up an opportunity for Dogman to drop some massive damage on the trapped Defiant to end a teamfight. Nearing a capture at Point A Joo-seong “RoKy” Park’ Sound Barrier bolstered his squad’s push. They successfully repelled the Atlanta defensive reengage.
Rounding the first corner of the push to the first checkpoint, Atlanta won the opening teamfight and continued to apply spawn pressure. Dogman once again punished the exposed Defiant with three quick kills. Atlanta stopped Toronto just short of their second checkpoint and prepared for their attack.
Toronto began their defense with Yakpung on Winston but Hyun-jun “Pokpo” Park’s Reinhardt and Dafran’s Zarya quickly countered and dispatched Toronto’s defense. As Atlanta began their march, both teams used Grav and Transcendence. This brought out the remaining ultimates during the ensuing final fight. Without fear, Atlanta’s tanks pushed through the Defiant to tie the series at one. Numbani remains an unfavorable map for the Defiant.
Horizon Lunar Colony: Reign- 6 Defiant- 4
At halftime, both Zarya players remained even in stats overall. Both Ivy and dafran had surpassed 20,000 damage with Ivy averaging fewer deaths than Atlanta’s dafran. Toronto’s attack on Horizon started with a composition change. Toronto responded to dafran’s Bastion with a standard 3-3 comp once again. A decisive Charge from Yakpung eliminated the Bastion threat. Toronto’s quick engage of point B was met with dafran on high ground and NLeeaR disrupting the low ground with Mei. With a swift engage needed for a successful capture, Toronto managed to flank to the defending high ground and play around the disruption from NLeeaR’s Mei. The patient Defiant withstood the Atlanta ultimates and engaged the fortified position to gain control of the fight and capture point B with just under two minutes remaining.
Pokpo’s Reinhart met Yakpung’s Winston once again, and the result was no different. Yakpung answered with a Reinhardt mirror for the fight on point B. Toronto surrendered a tick to Atlanta but managed to find their footing. Despite multiple successful Earthshatterers from Pokpo, Toronto’s Kang-jae “envy” Lee managed to zone dafran’s Zarya and prevented two Gravs for his team’s defense. Atlanta finally broke Toronto’s defense in Overtime.
With only one minute for the Atlanta attack, Toronto started in an aggressive position to force Atlanta to burn their available time. Atlanta finally reached the point in overtime and captured both points with their ultimate advantage against Toronto. A devastating attack from the Reign.
Toronto’s responding attack capped point A faster than their opponents. With nearly 6 ultimates online, Toronto attempted their own assault on point B. An early Grav from Ivy wasn’t paired with envy’s Self Destruct and their advantage was lost. Eventually Toronto simply ran out of ultimates and lost the fight. With under a minute left, Toronto managed to quickly retake the point behind a massive Earthshatter from Yakpung. With both team’s with a minute in the time bank, the map was then tied 4-4.
Decisive play from Massa’s Lucio pushed Toronto from the High Ground on Atlanta’s third attack. Atlanta’s aggression certainly took Toronto by surprise. They failed to defend either point once again. Toronto’s engage came and went. With only a minute on the clock, they scouted and changed composition. Their switch cost them valuable time and lead to an easy defense for Atlanta. Atlanta took Horizon and a 2-1 lead over the Defiant.
Dorado: Reign- 3 Defiant- 0
Toronto’s Defense opened Dorado with more standard 3-3. When met by Atlanta’s mirror, Atlanta moved to engage away from the cart. Ivy found Petja “Masaa” Kantanen’s Lucio and this loss held the Reign back initially. Ivy’s high charge on Zarya allowed him to commit his Graviton Surge and begin building another. With Dafran only at 40%, Ivy’s second Grav showed up. Atlanta’s push still managed to overwhelm Toronto’s defense. After two team kills, Atlanta managed to advance to the first checkpoint.
Toronto’s reengage seemed sloppy and was easily countered by Atlanta. After failing to dispatch the Atlanta offensive before the second checkpoint, Atlanta opened the fight at the final checkpoint with another massive Earthshatter. It was a decisive capture for Atlanta, as it seemed as if the Reign had stolen every ounce of momentum the Defiant thrived on so much throughout their win against Houston.
On attack, they mirrored a classic 3-3 once again. Despite an early death from dafran, Atlanta pushed back Toronto’s initial attack at the first choke. A key Transcendence from Dogman allowed for the Atlanta reengage to finish off the remaining Defiant pushing the cart. Impressive performances from Pokpo and Dogman helped close out the map with a full hold against Toronto to take the series 3-1
Toronto’s inability to respond to Atlanta’s onslaught in the final two maps seemed to revolve around a stack of small mistakes. That accumulation simply crumbled their composition before it even had a chance to really produce. Remember to understand their match against Atlanta was expected to be difficult. It seems Neko’s return can’t come soon enough for the Defiant. Both RoKy and Aid have performed well in their effort to fill throughout Neko’s suspension, but Neko will certainly outperform his teammates once the Defiant can return to their complete starting roster. Week 2 will prove to be the toughest challenge this Toronto team will face all season. With Los Angeles next up, Toronto will need to iron out some issues before Sunday’s match.
Featured and Player Images Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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