After finding their footing following their playoff defeat to the San Francisco Shock, Toronto opens Stage 2 with an excellent chance to return to their winning ways. Prior to their loss to the Shock, the young roster cruised into the playoffs behind a dominant three game winning streak. This week, they will face a new opponent and the chance to seal the season series with a familiar foe.
Washington Justice (1-6)
Toronto opens Stage 2 with their first matchup of the season against the Washington Justice. Despite their mediocre record, Washington is certainly not a team to underestimate. Having addressed a portion of their Stage 1 struggles with their acquisition of former Excelsior main support Yeon-joon “ArK” Hong, the Justice could potentially surprise some unprepared opponents in Stage 2.
Apart from the recent departure of Strategic Coach Dong-wook “Don” Kim, the Defiant stand relatively unchanged from Stage 1. With such a dedicated and organized coaching staff, Don’s absence shouldn’t immediately impact Toronto in Stage 2.
Stage 2 brings a new patch, new hero and new strategies. With obvious success stemming from their impressive Stage 1 performance, fans may not see Toronto deviate from their effective and innovative 3-3 composition very much. As for the Justice, if they cant grasp the meta properly, they may attempt more creative strategies to confuse and surprise their opponents. If the Defiant enter this match focused, they should start their stage on a rather high note.
Prediction: Defiant Win 3-1
Boston Uprising (4-3)
Despite meeting in Stage 1, this rematch will bring a new element for both teams. After recently dealing long-time off tank Lucas “NotE” Meissner to the Dallas fuel in exchange for rookie Richard “rCk” Kanerva, there will surely be growing pains to follow.
Although Toronto exited Stage 1 victorious over Boston, rCk is an immensely talented and flexible player. Similar to Kang-jae “envy” Lee, rCk’s Sombra can be just as deadly as his standard DVa pick.
Last stage, Boston was regularly exposed to aggressive and relentless Sombra engagements. What once was their weakness, is now a tool of their own. If rCk can gel with his new teammates early, his talents will offer the Uprising a much more versatile off tank to play around. To win this matchup, the Defiant are going to have to pressure rCk and force mistakes out of Boston’s new addition. If he can be singled out, Boston should struggle mightily in this Atlantic Division rematch.
Prediction: Defiant Win 3-1
Week 1 Player to Watch: Kang-jae “envy” Lee
After a poor performance against the well prepared San Francisco Shock, envy will be looking for redemption of his own. The Defiant Captain’s Sombra was turned away time and time again by Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi and the rest of the Shock. Without any value gained from hacks or EMP, San Francisco dismantled Toronto swiftly on their way to the stage finals. Envy is a leader for the team. With visible weaknesses to both opponents, he could have a very impressive performance in store to open Stage 2.
Don’t miss the Toronto Defiant kick off Stage 2 against the Washington Justice April 5, at 8:30 p.m. EST. Check back with The Game Haus to recap the week’s action
Featured Image Courtesy of the Esports Observer
Player Images Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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