Toronto found themselves stumbling out of the gate starting the Stage at 0-2. The team did play well enough to not get 4-0’d and had moments of brilliance. In addition, despite the disappointing week and not winning a game since Stage 2 Week 5, the Defiant are still in the running for the Play In Tournament. However, losses at this point are do or die and the Defiant have quite the mountain to climb in Week 2.
Week 1 Recap
Going into the 2-2-2 meta, many teams were expected to benefit. One of the teams to benefit the most was the Washington Justice. While never able to find success in the GOATs meta due to players playing off role and a lack of team chemistry, the Justice showed excellent individual performances in their match against the Defiant. While the Defiant didn’t look bad, it’s clear that there are still syncing issues between the players. Notably, Andres “Logix” Berghmans did not look comfortable whenever he had to play Mei. Often his wall would block friendly Ana grenades and prevent allies from avoiding danger. It’s too early to tell who should play Mei, but it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
With all of that said about the Justice game, what about London? Well … it’s London. After dropping Map 1, the Spitfire went on to dominate. Players like Park “Profit” Joon-yeong and Hong “Gesture” Jae-hee showed why this was the team that won the Inaugural Championship. Toronto put up a fight, but it was the kind of fight that a high school All-American football player puts up against a Silver back Gorilla. Luckily, this was probably Toronto’s toughest match this Stage. Unfortunately, their only match this week is against their second hardest opponent.
Shanghai Dragons (1-1 +0, 13-10 +1)
Shanghai are a team that play their way and aren’t sorry about it. While it’s looking like the meta demands Orisa, Roadhog and Mei (referred to as Frozen Pulled Pork, Chilly Yoink and Oink, etc.) the Dragons have continued to field Yang “DDing” Jin-hyeok on his signature Pharah. The Defiant should be prepared, but they should also take notes.
If the Defiant want to find success this Stage, they need to play to their strengths. Pulling off compositions that require players to be in sync with each other is especially hard for Toronto since they have had new players starting every Stage. Toronto should figure out their own strengths and play to them à la Chengdu. Toronto have roughly one more time that they can lose and still be in Play In contention. They should use this match to get their players on their specialties and develop a formula specific to the Defiant.
Players To Watch
Logix left a lot to be desired last week. His Mei performance, as stated above, was not ideal. Even when he played heroes that he was comfortable with, like Widowmaker, Corey and Profit had the edge. Maybe he is still shaking the rust off, but he’ll need some extra lubricant if he wants to help carry the Defiant for a chance at the playoffs. Him, Lee “Ivy” Seung-hyun, Hong “Im37” Jin-ui and Liam “Mangachu” Campbell all need to step up their game. Many of the league’s best DPS players have been unleashed this Stage and they are hungry to show the world why they play the role.
Toronto’s biggest hurdle lies before them, but it’s not impossible. We saw the likes of the L.A. Gladiators take down the NYXL. Paris Eternal have shown signs of a resurgence as well as the Guangzhou Charge. We are truly in the wild west and anything can happen. The Defiant have a chance to show that the move to a mixed roster was correct. Be prepared to have your expectations defied.
Follow Brad on Twitter @BradKillion for the latest opinions and musing about the world of esports.
Featured image courtesy of Toronto Defiant
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