Defiant 3-2 Outlaws
The Toronto Defiant began their conquest in the big leagues against the Houston Outlaws for their inaugural season. With star flex support Se-hyeon “Neko” Park suspended to start the season, the Defiant needed to steal a victory from the veteran Outlaws squad.
With a majority of Toronto’s roster locked in their role due to Neko’s absence, DPS Do-hyung “Stellar” Lee fills the only flexible position for the Defiant over the veteran Joon-seong “Asher” Choi. This Victory for Toronto really showed off their resilience and overall ability as a team. Despite the impressive victory, work will still be needed to build team synergy within squad. The miraculous reverse sweep helps Toronto immensely as they head into next week’s difficult matches still, without Neko.
Nepal: Outlaws 2-1 Defiant
Toronto opened up on Nepal with a very DPS heavy lineup. Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee entered in on Hanzo, while Stellar followed suit with Sombra. Curiously enough, off tank Kang-jae “envy” Lee displayed his flexibility with his Pharah usage while attacking.
To open Nepal: Village, their Dive was very coordinated and effective. Between envy’s engagement on Pharah and Stellar’s effectiveness on Sombra, Houston seemed to have no response. The first stage was Toronto’s but Houston responded quickly. Following Village, both teams mirrored GOATs on Shrine. Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo’s switched to Winston creating a very popular Winston GOATs setup for Toronto. Although hard fought by Toronto, Nepal fell Houston’s way behind the tank performances of Austin “Muma” Wilmot and Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen.
Numbani: Outlaws 5-4 Defiant
Needing to bounce back swiftly against a veteran roster, Toronto continued using the Winston lead GOATs composition to start on defense. On Numbani, both teams seemed to struggle to bolster a defense after each accumulated ultimates. Toronto swiftly defeated Houston on their first push with neither team using a single ultimate. Once the second assault began, the flood gates opened.
Time and time again, the attacking side would bowl over their defenders with their GOATs variations. Dante’s Sombra proved to be a major difference maker for Houston throughout Numbani. On both attack and defense, a team fight was won or lost with a perfectly placed EMP very commonly throughout the map. Both teams had their opportunities to put away the win but unfortunately for Toronto, their best chance couldn’t beat out the respawn for Houston. The Outlaw’s second chance seemed to deflate Toronto as Houston took a commanding 2-0 lead going into halftime.
Volskaya Industries: Defiant 1-0 Outlaws
Toronto returned from halftime poised to attack first on Volskaya. Swiftly, Toronto captured the first point with 6 minutes and five ultimates in tow. With Beat, Trance and Shatter, Toronto failed to snowball their assault onto the second point against Muma’s aggressive Rein. Dante “Danteh” Cruz’s Zarya was a crux for the Toronto Defiant at Volskaya’s second point. Several pushes were halted by a powerful Gravaton Surge from Danteh throughout the map’s progression. Again and again with ultimate’s available, Toronto were halted by the Houston defense on Volskaya. Houston merely needed to finish the map to claim the map and the series.
Muma teased fans with a potential Symmetra attack, but quickly swapped to Rein for the their assault. However, Houston changed up their typical composition with Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin’s Reaper selection. Toronto’s response to the reaper was very effective. This left the Outlaws without the time to switch back to their successful natural GOATs composition. What started as a difficult defense for Toronto resulted in a full hold on Volskaya and their first map victory of the season.
Route 66: Defiant 2-1 Outlaws
Toronto began Route 66 looking to continue towards a potential reverse sweep. Yakpung’s Winston had meshed well with envy’s aggressive D.Va but Toronto shifted their main tank to Reinhart for their initial attack.
The Defiant’s attack on Route 66 was disjointed and staggered. The Outlaw’s defense managed to slow Toronto’s progress immensely. In the second stage of Route 66, the map opened up allowing Toronto to quickly move past the second checkpoint. Ivy’s aggression on Zarya was put on full display as he helped maintain Toronto’s momentum. Despite their efforts, Houston once again pulled out a close defense with spawn advantage.
Both teams opted to work with an Orisa on defense, but just like NYXL the day prior, Toronto opened with a Bastion as well. The creative comp was quickly dispatched by Danteh’s Pharah. His versatility was proving too much for Toronto’s defense in most occasions.
Houston advanced towards the second checkpoint and once again faced a rejuvenated Defiant squad finally removed from an ugly first checkpoint. Aid’s performance on Zenyatta in the final minute of Houston’s attack helped push Toronto to their second map win, and a tied series.
Busan: Defiant 2-1 Outlaws
Heading into Map 5, Toronto needed to take advantage of their damage output by synergizing their strategy if they wanted to complete the reverse sweep. On Busan, Jake returned and offered a more DPS centric composition with his confidants Linkzer and Danteh still present. Both teams opted for Hammond and high damage but Linkzr showed off his precision by winning the opening fight for Houston with two picks on Ivy and Stellar. Toronto failed to recapture the point in Downtown Busan and went down a stage in game five.
Ivy ran Tracer for much of Busan with Stellar once again supporting with a Sombra. Lunkzr’s Widowmaker was just superior to Toronto’s young DPS to start. Houston’s composition simply countered Toronto’s with ease to start the map. However, with Aid switching to Moira and Yakpung’s swap to Winston, Toronto managed to find their stability and keep their chances alive with a win well fought win on Busan’s Sanctuary stage.
Down to the wire, one final map decided the victors. Both squads stuck with their DPS focused compositions for the entirety of the fifth map. As both team’s engaged in MEKA Base, Yakpung began to find his stride on Hammond. Several multikills swung the fight in Toronto’s favor. Against the odds, Toronto utilized interesting compositions and defeated the Houston Outlaws as Ivy found several key elimiations on Houston on the final map. Envy’s EMP sealed the deal for the Toronto Defiant’s first victory in the Overwatch League!
Featured Image Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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