Shock 2-3 Gladiators
The Los Angeles Gladiators returned to the stage for their second match of 2019. Their opponents, The San Francisco Shock were coming off of a decisive 4-0 victory over the revamped Dallas Fuel. With Hyung-seok “Bischu” Kim still sidelined, the Gladiators entered their second match with Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye at main tank, accompanied by Jun-woo “Void” Kang on off tank once again.
Gui-un “Decay” Jang’s absence was already felt in the Gladiator’s loss to the Seoul Dynasty. Los Angeles relied heavily on Lane “Surefour” Roberts in Game 1,
Ilios: Shock 2-1 Gladiators
On Ilios, the Gladiators chose to utilize their flexibility at DPS with Surefour selecting Sombra and João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles on Pharah. The composition offered immense damage potential, but San Francisco’s 3-3 composition with Myeong-hwan “smurf” Yoo on Winston was too much for LA to handle on Ilios Lighthouse.
Heading into Ruins, Shock’s Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi continued to display his talents by leading a 3-3 composition substituting D.Va with his Hammond. San Francisco’s ability to displace the Gladiators defense was countered by the Gladiators’ own classic 3-3 composition. Midway through the map’s second stage, the Shock elected to make the change for a D.Va. With Los Angeles at 99%, the switch payed off resulting in a capture. The Gladiator’s reengage boasted four ultimates. After cleaning up the point following Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni’s successful Sound Barrier to win the fight, Los Angeles forced a third stage.
On Well, San Francisco took control of the point with an Orisa and Lucio. They were dispatched as Surefour’s Zarya really began to shine at this point. San Francisco quickly retook the point and forced the Gladiators to engage. Big eliminations from BigGoose again offered opportunities for the Gladiators, but the Shock’s final assault proved too strong. San Francisco claimed Map 1.
Hollywood: Shock 1-3 Gladiators
Los Angeles opened Hollywood as the attacking team, and both teams begin on classic 3-3 comps yet again. BigGoose separated the newly subbed Shock main tank Matthew “super” DeLisi for the easy elimination to open the early capture. BigGoose really showed why he is regarded as a top tier main support in the league. His Lucio nearly eliminated Nikola “sleepy” Andrews after the Gladiators recent team fight win. A clutch Bubble from sleepy’s teammate Jay “sinatraa” Won prevented the elimination just in time. The Gladiator’s finished their assault with just over a minute to spare. San Francisco prepared for attack hoping to find more success with Super in at main tank.
The Shock opened their attack with a Hammond, but ChoiHyoBin’s decision to switch proved to be a solid move, as he ate Surefour’s Graviton Surge shortly after his change to D.Va.
With three minutes to work with, the Shock began their push through Hollywood. The Gladiators’ aggressive play at the first choke decimated the Shock for two teamfights. San Francisco’s door opened once their ultimates started connecting, but LA’s focused attack’s on Super would simply break the assault before it ever began. The Gladiators managed to tie the series going into halftime.
Horizon Lunar Colony: Shock 4-5 Gladiators
After the half, Surefour selected Reaper to up their damage potential for their attack of Horizon. Paired with the rest of his squad, Surefour’s Reaper popped off for two quick captures on Horizon. Throughout the match, the Gladiators’ supports also had a major effect on the match. At Halftime, Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara’s overall hero damage on Zenyatta was double that of his Shock counterpart, Sleepy.
Shock’s first assault at point A easily dispatched rOar’s Winston to take the point. Now being snowballed themselves, the Gladiators were able to rebound having only surrendered one tick on point B. The next assault from San Francisco resulted in a capture.
The Shock stayed on offense, this time with footing found by the Gladiators at point A. Inopportune ultimate usage plagued the Shock on their second attack. Void took advantage and finished off several opponents in the deep vacuum of space while even escaping death himself. With a full hold at point A, the Gladiators took a commanding position on Horizon and potentially, the series.
After some mixups in spawn, The Gladiators opted to work with a classic 2-2-2 composition with Surefour on Hanzo and Hydration returning to Pharah. Hydration’s massive Barrage kill on Sinatraa’s Bastion helped create an opening for Los Angeles. The failed assault forced the Gladiators to switch back to 3-3 setup. Min-ho “Architect” Park’s Rip Tire double kill prevented the LA commitment as time wound down for the Gladiators. Despite the stout defense from the Shock, Los Angeles finished their capture and took a 2-1 lead against San Francisco.
Rialto: Shock 4-3 Gladiators
One win away from victory, Los Angeles defended first on Rialto. The onslaught from the Shock quickly pushed through point A and nearly to Point B. Clutch eliminations from ChoiHyoBin and Sleepy gave the Shock their early advantage. Los Angeles did not have a very good showing on their first Rialto defense. Super’s Reinhardt found so much space in a map filled with so many key chokes. The final Shock assault was highlighted by a triple kill from ChoiHyoBin’s Self Destruct.
On attack, Los Angeles moved much slower than the Shock’s initial engage. They failed to gain any footing until Void’s Self Destruct found three and the Gladiators pushed onto the second Checkpoint. After some strange positioning in battles, BigGoose managed to reach the payload just in time while his team swung the fight. A slow assault managed to work it’s way to the final checkpoint. In a round where the Shock dominated the Gladiators in ultimate usage for most of the map, the Gladiators managed to outplay San Francisco on their final assault to take the third point of Rialto.
The Gladiator’s second attack was short lived as their small allotment of time expired before rounding the first choke on Rialto. San Francisco looked poised to force a fifth map; but on defense, a clutch EMP from Surefour was followed by a massive Shatter from rOar. Despite this, the Shock’s persistent advances won them the map and a chance to win it all on Busan.
Busan: Shock 1-2 Gladiators
Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim and Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon subbed in for the Shock on Busan. Their known abilities on damage heroes resulted in usage of Pharah and Widowmaker respectively. The Gladiators opened Busan Sanctuary on a 3-3 composition with Surefour on Sombra. LA gained first control and easily dispatched the odd composition from San Francisco.
After the shock change, Surefour moved back to Zarya to build a Graviton for fight advantage. Ultimates began exchanging and ChoiHyoBin’s EMP fliped the point at 99 percent for the Gladiators. Despite the clutch play from the Shock’s Sombra, Sinatraa’s absence was felt once San Francisco moved back to their 3-3 comp. Without the talented DPS on Zarya, the Shock dropped Sanctuary to the Gladiators.
On MEKA Base, the Shock seemed adamant to incorporate DPS into their comp. Striker returned to Widowmaker for the initial capture of the point. After the Gladiator’s retake, they failed to hold the point before the shock would force a final map.
The Gladiators open the final map evading Striker’s pinpoint Widowmaker on Downtown Busan. Once they claimed the point, LA wouldn’t give it up. ROar’s Primal Rage and Surefour’s EMP won a decisive teamfight midway through the round. The final engagement from San Francisco seemed a bit disjointed and forced. With a weak engagement, the Gladiators claimed victory against the San Francisco Shock in Week 1. Los Angeles happily recorded their first win of the 2019 Season.
Featured Image and Player Photos Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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