This game was important for the Toronto Defiant, who have been struggling to prove their worth in the second stage of the League. Unfortunately, this series didn’t play out in their favor, and the Toronto Defiant vs Dallas Fuel matchup brought to light some important internal issues the Defiant could be struggling with. They showed promise, and put up a worthy fight on every map that they could. In the end, however, the Fuel bested them, and swept the series in a pinch.
Oasis Toronto 0-2 Dallas
The game started at the Gardens. In a swift move, Dallas rotated onto the point with their DPS heavy composition. Toronto took their time to back off and regroup, focusing more on ultimates they had building up. Lead by Kang-jae “envy” Lee and Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo, the Defiant charged in, getting the picks they needed to flip the point in their favor. Things seemed strong when Jin-ui “im37” Hong used his EMP. However, Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo used one of his own, and found bigger value in the team fight. Dallas reclaimed the point for their own, and despite an effort to hold their ground, the Defiant couldn’t break their stronghold. A massive graviton from Dylan “aKm” Bignet wiped them out, and Toronto lost the point.
City Center was next, and Toronto had another strong showing by taking the point first. With a GOATs composition, they were able to keep the Fuel at bay until 40%, when Dallas grouped up for a team wipe. Despite their best efforts, Dallas refused to let them gain any advantage from necessary picks. Though Toronto managed to earn a flip at 99%, the Fuel were ready to strike. With a quick rotation, they nudged them away from the point, and Dallas were quick to clean them up. Toronto ended up losing the map, 0-2.
Paris Toronto 4-5 Dallas
Down after round one, the Defiant were poised to even the playing field. With Dallas choosing a bunker composition on defense, Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee and im37 chose Genji and Sombra in an effort to shake them up. Though ZacharEEE’s Bastion managed to nudge them away, im37 got his revenge. Ivy and envy piggy backed off his first pick, and Toronto was free to take the first point.
Their initial push was stalled by a massive EMP from aKm, which sent them back to spawn. However, upon returning, envy decided it was their turn. A double kill with Self Destruct led the charge, and the Defiant worked quickly to take the second point for their own.
On defense, the Defiant changed things up by putting ivy on Junkrat. The damage output seemed to swing in their favor at first, but aKm’s Widowmaker is not to be taken lightly. With two picks, the Dallas Fuel were free to charge forward and claim the point. The second point gave more of the same—despite a triple kill from Ivy on Junkrat, the Fuel could not be stopped. Another huge graviton from aKm, followed with the necessary kills from Minseok “OGE” Son, proved too much. The Dallas Fuel were then free to complete the second point.
With Toronto having a smaller time bank, their second attack was first at hand. Facing another bunker comp from Dallas, the Defiant struggled once more against ZacharEEE’s Bastion. In overtime, Ivy kicked into high gear. Leading the charge, he and Yakpung banded together to wipe the Fuel, and earn the first point. A necessary steamroll soon followed, with im37 switching to McCree. Easily, he found the picks, and his double kill earned the Defiant another point in overtime.
On their second defense, the Defiant seemed strong, and needed to full hold Dallas to win the map. Despite losing the first two ticks, envy managed to get the kills that sent them back to spawn. Unfortunately, when Dallas came back, their tanks were ready. OGE and Lucas “NotE” Meissner both worked together for environmental kills, and Dallas managed to take the rest of the point. The steamroll continued, with efforts from aKm and NotE to keep the Defiant away from the point. They succeeded, and earned another point.
The Defiant had one last stand on defense to hold them, and possibly stall out a draw. After watching Dallas’ success, they tried their own bunker composition. It seemed to work at first, though a boop onto Neko from aKm’s Pharah started what they feared. Without their support, the Defiant crumbled under the pressure, and Dallas quickly took the tick they needed. The Defiant ended up losing the map, 4-5.
King’s Row Toronto 0-3 Dallas
Down at the half, the Defiant needed to band together in order to keep their heads above water. Subbing in Jaeyoon “Aid” Go for Joo-seong “RoKy” Park, their defense on King’s Row seemed flimsy at best. The Fuel had no problems breaking through, and aKm’s Sombra play kept Aid out of the fight for a long while.
After the first point was taken, Dallas showed no mercy. Tank duo OGE and NotE traded kills for another wipe, and a second point capture. Despite envy’s best efforts with a Self Destruct double kill, aKm couldn’t be stopped. A massive EMP shattered the Defiant, and Dallas were free to finish the map.
On attack, things didn’t bode very well for Toronto. With ZacharEEE on Baptiste, their heavy hitting damage was negated by the immortality field. The Defiant showed signs of life by breaking through, and earning themselves two ticks off of crucial plays from envy and Se-hyeon “Neko” Park. Once the overtime meter started ticking away, Neko tried his best with a double kill to swing things in their favor. NotE, however, used his bomb to zone them away from the point. They couldn’t get back in time to tough, and the Defiant lost the map, 0-3.
Rialto Toronto 2-3 Dallas
With the series lost, the Defiant tried their best to rally together one last time. Their best efforts were quickly stomped out, however, when Dallas came out of the gate swinging. The first point was taken with ease, and Toronto had to regroup around the second point to prepare for a stall. A glimmer of hope was shown when Aid kept the team up during a graviton and bomb combination. However, OGE came out swinging with another Shatter, and the Defiant were wiped once more.
Team fights earned OGE more charge, and sneaking around the side, he delivered another Shatter. im37 suffered the most, getting pinned out of place and dying because of it. With their Zarya down, the Defiant couldn’t compete. ZacharEEE’s flail kept them away from the point, and Dallas completed the map.
On attack, the Defiant opened with an interesting rotation around their back line. By attacking from the defender’s point of view, they managed to rattle Dallas’ cage just so. Ivy and Aid worked together to clear the point, and earn the Defiant the first point.
The second point wasn’t as easily obtained, with aKm and Closer both banding together to clear the map back to back. However, Yakpung wasn’t down for the count just yet. A Shatter put the Fuel on the ground, and the Defiant were free to take the second point.
Things looked promising for Toronto, but NotE can never be counted out. A quadruple kill with a Self Destruct sent them packing, and a last minute effort to regroup stalled them just beyond the end of the map. A graviton from aKm grouped them together, and the Fuel made quick work of sending them away. Toronto lost the map, 2-3.
The Defiant show promise, but their communication seems to miss the mark. More than once, ultimates and resources were used when they weren’t entirely necessary. Their GOATs play is getting stronger, and when im37 is allowed to do his thing on DPS, they look exceptionally strong. However, there’s a synergy issue that’s causing them to fall apart in high pressure moments. If they can work through some of these internal kinks, they can prove to everyone why they deserve a top spot in the League standings.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Toronto Defiant Twitter.
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