Stage 2 has not been kind to the Defiant. Since their appearance in the Stage 1 quarterfinals, The Defiant have won only one of their past five matches in Stage 2. The unexpected retirement of Do-hyung “Stellar” Lee and integration of replacement DPS Jin “im37” Hong each contributed to Toronto’s struggles through the stage. After a week of rest through the Dallas Homestand, Toronto must now fight for their lives against Vancouver and Paris to close the stage.
Vancouver Titans (5-1) 12-1
The highly anticipated Battle for Canada stands to potentially be more lopsided of a matchup than the Night King and his army of the dead marching against the Unprepared northern forces of Westeros.
The Titans remain undefeated heading into Week 5 and have only surrendered two maps throughout Stage 2. Toronto, on the other hand, have yet to win a map since Week 2 of this stage. With the Titans looming overhead, Toronto’s hopes of returning to the postseason seem dashed regardless of their final result against Paris.
Prediction: Defiant- 0 Titans- 4
Paris Eternal (2-4) 5-8
The final match of Toronto’s stage stands to be a more competitive matchup than the the previous. After two defeats at the hands of the Hangzhou Spark and Dallas Fuel in Texas, the Paris Eternal find themselves in a similar position to the Defiant.
Since parting ways with Head Coach Julien “daemoN” Ducros, some new faces have joined the lineup in Paris. Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen has replaced Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait at main tank for Cloudy’s superior Winston play, and Luís “Greyy” Perestrelo has found some success beside Harrison “Kruise” Pond in Stage 2 as well.
Following their bye week, the Defiant’s focus needs to be exiting Week 5 with a win. A victory against the Eternal would allow Toronto to enter Stage 3 with momentum against a familiar foe, the Paris Eternal.
Key performances from main tank Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo and both DPS, Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee and im37 will be essential to finding victory over the Eternal. With shaky performances from these three plaguing Toronto’s stage, neither Se-hyeon “Neko” Park nor Joo-seong “RoKy” Park have been able to generate any value from the support line.
Their week of training away from competition should have helped build a much needed rapport for the squad. Despite their shaky stage performance, the Defiant have a fine chance to close out the stage with a win if they play their cards right.
Prediction: Defiant- 3 Eternal- 2
Week 5 Players to Watch: Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee & Jin “im37” Hong
Ivy and im37 will need to find their stride this week if Toronto wants to stand any chance of victory against Paris. The sudden role swap mid stage between the two similar players clearly affected the team’s overall synergy negatively.
An opposite example of this swap would be London Spitfire’s Joon-yeong “Profit” Park and Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim. Since moving birdring to Brigitte and Profit to Zarya, they’ve seen massive success. Once Ivy and im37 get on the same page, Toronto should once again regain their rhythm. Until that happens, it may just be more of the same.
Don’t miss the Toronto Defiant close out their Stage 2 against the Vancouver Titans May 3, @ 10:15 P.M. EST and the Paris Eternal May 5, @ 3:00 P.M. EST. Check back with The Game Haus to recap action from each match.
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Player Image Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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