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Toronto Defiant Week 13 Preview: The Gladiators are Here

toronto defiant la gladiators

After a week-long break from matches, the Defiant are back to face some of their toughest opponents yet. A recent announcement from vice president, Jon Spector, revealed that teams in the North American region would now be able to face each other. This means the teams on the West Coast — The San Francisco Shock, the LA Gladiators and the LA Valiant — are now able to face the Midwestern and East Coast teams. For fans of the league, this change is welcomed, and will certainly provide some interesting match-ups as the month of May progresses.

For the Defiant, however, things aren’t looking quite as bright. A team that’s already been struggling to find wins among tougher competition, Toronto now has to face some of the strongest teams in the league. Their first match of the month is against the fearsome Los Angeles Gladiators. While this game is certain to make Lane “Surefour” Roberts put on a show, it’s a game that certainly won’t be won easily. 

Los Angeles Gladiators (3-3), May 3rd

toronto defiant la gladiators
Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Gladiators Flickr

Though these teams seem to have a similar record, the Gladiators have fought bigger fish than the Defiant. In a division alongside some of the toughest competition in the league, the Gladiators look poised to take this win with ease. There’s an interesting narrative component to this game, in which former Gladiators member Surefour will be facing off against his old team. However, it’s uncertain how well the Defiant will play against a team that’s looked nothing less than dominant.

The key to this game will be in the tank lines. New signings and veterans of the Overwatch League Indy “SPACE” Halpern and Min-seok “OGE” Son bring the heat in a major way. If Toronto wants to stay alive and avoid being swept entirely, it’ll fall to the hands of Adam “Beast” Denton and Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson. Fans can’t talk about the Gladiators without mentioning their sublime support line, either. With synergy that puts other duos to shame, the now stronger Kristian “Kellex” Kellar and Young-seo “KariV” Park will get to show their stuff. Facing off against Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni and Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara is no easy feat, after all.

A Canadian victory is slim this weekend, but if Toronto plays smart, a map win isn’t out of their sights.

PREDICTION: Gladiators win, 3-0
Player to Watch: Kellex

Though Surefour is a strong contender, if only to see him facing off against his Los Angeles friends, Kellex deserves the spotlight. Week after week, Kellex has been bringing consistent gameplay to the Defiant. With an impressive performance that earned them a win against the Justice, and a consistent playstyle that works well alongside KariV, Kellex has truly grown into his own. The plays in the backlines of these two teams will be impressive to watch, as veterans face off against one another in a new and exciting matchup. Kellex should surely be able to hold his own, showing once again that he’s integral to this Canadian team.

Featured Image Courtesy of Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment.

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