The Toronto Defiant entered Blizzard Arena prepared for a tough match. With Sehyun “Neko” Park out until next week, this would surely be one of the toughest matches of the season. The Los Angeles Valiant, though win-less in Season 2, were still performing admirably. The Valiant were also determined to finally secure a win, which meant they were desperate for victory.
Ilios: Toronto Defiant 2-1
The Valiant struck first on Ilios Lighthouse, and they struck hard. Kang-Jae “Envy” Lee bought his team some time with a strong self-destruct, but the advantage didn’t last. Kyeongmu “Yakpung” Cho was consistently focused and eliminated early by the Valiant. With a dead main tank and little follow up on their key ultimates, the Valiant took the first round.
On Ilios Well, Toronto once again struggled to take control initially. After losing the first fight, the team regrouped and focused on charging their ultimates. With a graviton surge ready to go, the Defiant managed to surprise the Valiant and finally take control. Once they gained that control, the Defiant switched to a more defensive play style. Dohyung “Stellar” Lee consistently shut down Pan Seung “Fate” Koo’s Winston, allowing Toronto to take the second round.
Once again, the Defiant struggled initially on Ilios Ruins. However, SeungHyun “Ivy” Lee built an insanely quick Graviton Surge which the rest of the Defiant capitalized on. Once again, they switched to a defensive play style once they established control. The Valiant’s aggressive ult usage couldn’t penetrate Toronto’s defenses, and the Defiant won the map in the end.
Hollywood: Draw 3-3
The Toronto Defiant were the first to defend on this map. Envy and Ivy seemed to be outperforming the Valiant’s tank line for most of this defense. It wasn’t until JooSung “RoKy” Park was picked off by a self-destruct that the Valiant were able to capture point A. Toronto played very aggressively for the rest of their defense. While this was effective at wasting the Valiant’s time, they slowly pressed forward. Finally, they overcame the Defiant and capped point C in overtime.
For the Defiant’s attack, the team decided to attack from the high ground. They managed to build ultimates fairly quickly, but the Valiant repelled their attacks. Eventually Envy managed to land two kills with a self-destruct to secure point A for Toronto. The Valiant responded with an aggressive defense which blocked the Defiant for quite some time. As the time started to run out, Envy was picked off early as Sombra. With the map on the line, the Defiant held firm against the Valiant’s onslaught. Against the odds, they survived long enough for Envy to return with an EMP to drive back the Valiant and capture point B. The Valiant lost point C in overtime thanks to some outstanding Sombra play from the Defiant.
With only one minute for each team, the Defiant swapped to a defensive play style as they prepared to repel the Valiant. Following an early pick on Valiant’s Brigitte and a lightning-fast Earthshatter from Yakpung, the Defiant held in round three. However, they failed to outperform the Valiant in their second attack phase, forcing a draw for map two.
Horizon: Toronto Defiant 4-3
The Valiant managed a quick capture of point A, which allowed them to dedicate most of their time to capturing point B. The Defiant were backpedaling, but barely managed to repel the Valiant’s snowball attack long enough for them to stabilize. By juggling support ultimates and coordinating their counterattacks, the Defiant burned several minutes off of the clock. Finally, with one unified attack, the Valiant pushed through Toronto’s defense and capped point B.
The Defiant seemed to struggle to gain traction on their attack phase. However, with the help of Ivy’s Graviton Surge, the team capped point A. The Defiant continued to struggle on point B, with several wasted ultimates and fruitless team fights. With less than one minute remaining, Toronto finally capped point B and prolonged the map.
Knowing they would need to pull out something unique to gain the upper hand, Jae Yoon “Aid” Ko left the spawn as Moira this round. While initially it seemed like the Valiant would prevail, Moira’s healing output kept the Defiant alive long enough for the tank line to respawn and stabilize the team. With the Valiant caught off-guard, the Defiant pressed onward to cap points A and B with their minimal time bank.
The Valiant responded with a unique team composition of their own. With YoungSeo “KariV” Bak on Hanzo and Brady “Agilities” Girardi on Pharah, They overwhelmed the Defiant and capped point A. The Defiant stabilized, however, and held the Valiant back at point B. With Stellar on Sombra to shut down the new threats, the Valiant finally succumbed to the Defiant’s defense, and Toronto won the map.
Dorado: Los Angeles Valiant 3-2
The freshly-energized Defiant began the final map with an aggressive defense on point A. This aggression seemed to backfire, as the Valiant slowly but surely made it all the way to point C. While Toronto’s aggression left the Valiant with no extra time, it did let them finish the map.
The Valiant played a similarly aggressive defense. However, the Defiant were a bit more sluggish to respond. They reached point C with little time to spare, and didn’t have the ultimate advantage necessary to overcome the Valiant’s defense. The Valiant won the final map, but lost their third match in a row.
The Toronto Defiant showed lots of promise in this match. Ivy’s Zarya was particularly impressive, shattering previous Overwatch League records for damage dealt in a single map. Their ability to adapt to their situation and coordinate their ultimates outmatched the Los Angeles Valiant. With Neko joining the roster going forward, the Defiant are beginning to look like a force to be reckoned with. This force will be put to the test next week against the New York Excelsior.
Featured Image courtesy of the Toronto Defiant
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