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Los Angeles Gladiators Overwatch

The Gauntlet: Gladiators Legion March On

Intro: Still Alive

The first two days of the Contenders Gauntlet is officially over. After group play, six teams have advanced into the knockout bracket, while two teams — Europe’s HSL Esports and China’s LGE.Huya — have been sent home. And throughout the many series that have already been played, the Gladiators Legion still remain in the chase for the title.


Group B for Brooms

While Group A was full of long, drawn-out series, Group B was full of sweeps. The Gladiators Legion kicked off the second day of the Gauntlet against Team Envy, their North American counterparts. Unfortunately, the Gladiators Legion started off on the wrong foot and were quickly felled in a 3-0 loss. While the Gladiators Legion showed signs of life on every map, Envy’s off-tank player Hafþór “Hafficool” Hákonarson seemed uncontested in his Sigma play.


“I think we beat ourselves,” head coach Thomas “maid” Mok simply admits.


Head development coach Gannon “RaptorZ” Nelson had more insight to offer about the enemy team.


“Envy plays a reactive style that allows them to read an opponent’s moves and counter them, usually by giving some space,” RaptorZ explains. “Giving opponents space [also] baits them in, [where] Envy can then collapse and counter.” 


The Gladiators Legion had no time to mope, however. The team then set off to play against LGE.Huya, a team that also had lost their first match. If the Gladiators Legion wanted to stay in the tournament, they would have to win this next series.


In what seemed like a complete 180°, the Gladiators Legion proceeded to sweep LGE.Huya, 3-0. While Min-Sung “Water” Lee seemed to falter in the Doomfist matchup against Team Envy, the star-studded DPS player came alive versus the Chinese representatives, delivering a performance worthy of praise. The entirety of the Gladiators Legion found their footing to secure their first win of the tournament.

“The big difference for us was that LGE.Huya’s style was more direct, and so we could really play the explosive way we wanted,” RaptorZ elaborates. “We feel strongly as a team that we were able to get back into our skin vs LGE.Huya and play to a level closer to what we were at the end of the bootcamp, which was pivotal.”


Envy-ous for Revenge

Staving off elimination, the Gladiators Legion were set to play one last match to determine seeding in the knock-out stage. And as a series of events would unfold, they found themselves against Team Envy once more.


“We’ve fixed things and were confident our rematch,” maid stated before the last game of the night. “We are not scared of Envy at all.”

Image courtesy of Overwatch Contenders (

Unfortunately, Team Envy gave the Gladiators Legion a reason to be afraid. In a series just as quick as their first meeting, the Gladiators Legion fell to Team Envy in yet another 3-0. While Hugo “SharP” Sahlberg was maid’s player to watch, it was his DPS duo partner, Jason “Jaru” White, that exploded on the scene. The Gladiators Legion finished third in Group B, but still managed to qualify for the next round.


Onto The Next

Despite a 1-2 record, the Gladiators Legion remain alive in the Contenders Gauntlet. Their next match is against Talon Esports, a talented Pacific roster who had strong showings in their matches. RaptorZ explains that he and the Gladiators Legion have prepared accordingly.


“Talon plays a very similar style to us. It’s going to be a match where the team that is most explosive and aggressive wins,” he predicts. “Because of this, our preparation is a balance of being aware of their DPS’s tendencies, but also a strong focus on getting our match play to the level we think we are on. That will mean engaging first, as well as engaging cleaner to give them no openings.”


RaptorZ also has his eyes on a few key matchups.


“Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong is a key player to look out for on Talon, because in these explosives styles, Doomfist’s effectiveness is pivotal,” he justifies. “Getting the first punch — as well as the better punch — will frame how fights pan out. An honorable mention to this is Hao-Cheng “CQB” Yang, [who] has a strong Lucio and can make impact plays.”

Image courtesy of Overwatch Contenders (

These highlighted players’ counterparts will be Water and Ludvig “Luddee” Håkansson for the Gladiators Legion, who have had relatively strong showings in the tournament so far. Luddee is confident that he and his team will succeed in their next match.


“I feel very confident in winning against Talon as long as we play our game with full energy and stay calm, just like yesterday versus LGE.Huya,” he explains. “We were focused on our game and kept reminding each other to stay calm throughout the series.

If we stay calm, focus on our game, and play as a team, we will win versus Talon!”


The Gladiators Legion are scheduled to play against Talon Esports on Friday, October 11, 2019, 1:30PM KST (Thursday, October 10, 2019, 9:30PM PST). 


The 2019 Contenders Gauntlet continues on


Feature image courtesy of Overwatch Contenders (

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