The final Stage is here. Though Toronto is in 18th place, they are only two wins behind the 11th place Atlanta Reign. The race for a spot in the Play-In Tournament is very close. On top of the now enforced 2-2-2 role lock, it’s anyone’s game. Luckily for Toronto, their opponents this week have more going against them than for them. A 2-0 week for the Defiant is not out of the question. And Toronto need all the wins they can get.
Washington Justice (2-19, -44)
Washington are already eliminated from playoffs, but that doesn’t mean they’ll just roll over. With the additions of Elliot “ELLIVOTE” Vaneryd and Lukas “LullSiSH” Wiklund, the Justice have greatly upgraded their support line. Even still, Washington suffer from fundamental problems that even 2-2-2 lock won’t erase. The Justice have looked uncoordinated all season. Adding new players only increases the time necessary to get the team on the same level.
Toronto should look to exploit Washington’s tanks since it is their weakest position at the moment. ELLIVOTE and LullSiSH lack the on-stage time that their teammates have and may slip as a result. If the Justice decide to stick with Song “Janus” Jun-hwa and Kim “SanSam” Hyang-ki, all the better for the Defiant. The Korean tanks for the Justice have not looked good all season. Either pair have weaknesses that the Defiant must be prepared to abuse.
Prediction: Toronto 4-0 Washington
London Spitfire (12-9, +6)
Many agree that London are one of the teams that will benefit the most from 2-2-2. Park “Profit” Joon-yeong is one of the Leagues top DPS players and now he no longer has to play Zarya. Hong “Gesture” Jae-hee has also shown to have a stellar Orisa, who may become the main tank for this meta.
However, London have one key problem that a shift in meta cannot solve, and is actually exacerbated by. London are slow to adapt. It was seen in Stage 1 when they looked lost playing the GOATs meta. And it has been seen throughout Season 1 that whenever the meta shifted, London took their time to react. Even though the team has shown that they are still good individually, they have only made one Stage playoffs this season and lost in the quarterfinals. Perhaps a 2-2-2 meta will mean that players like Profit can carry their teams similar to how Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok carried Philadelphia. Regardless, this match-up is much closer than people might think.
Prediction: Toronto 3-1 London
Toronto’s Keys to Success
A new meta is always a wild ride to start. Teams will be looking to find what’s best, and the Defiant may have a head start. Clockwork Vendetta’s famous composition of Orisa, Mei, Torb, Mercy, Hog, and either Widowmaker or Hanzo may not be available for teams anymore, but some tweaking may result in the next meta composition. Toronto have already shown that they are willing to run the composition on maps like Volskya during the Atlanta Homestead. If they continue to iterate on where they’ve already started, Toronto may become meta front runners.
Toronto will also want to figure out who exactly will play on what roster. Normunds “sharyk” Faterins has not seen much play in Stage 3, but he may return depending on what tanks are strongest. He already has synergy with his former Montreal Rebellion teammates, Andreas “Logix” Berghmans and Daniel “Gods” Graeser. If Reinhardt still sees play in Stage 4, sharyk might see a return to the stage.
Toronto have had several weeks now to break through the language barrier and shake off the new team jitters. The team showed signs of life during the Atlanta Homestead. The Defiant are looking to do what their name suggests and defy everyone’s expectations by beating the likes of Houston and Atlanta for a slot in the Play-In tournament.
Follow Brad on Twitter @BradKillion for the latest opinions and musing about the world of esports.
Featured image courtesy of The Overwatch League
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