After going 0-2 in their Overwatch League debut last weekend the new roster for the Vancouver Titans will be looking to bounce back. There were several factors working against them in their debuts to be fair. From high ping to minimal practice. Yet in the end it was still two losses. That can not be changed. Now that the team has had some time to practice, they hopefully will start to show better coordination. This weekend will see if they can begin to bring their talented individuals together. Like last week they will have two chances to prove their worth. This time against the Houston Outlaws and the Philadelphia Fusion. Their trial by fire continues and these two teams will be sure to not take it easy on this fresh roster.
Houston Outlaws (4/9) May 16
The Outlaws present an interesting challenge for the Titans. After starting their 2020 season with an abysmal 0-5 record they have managed to rustle up a few wins here and there. Going 4-4 in their last eight matches. They have shown they can be competitive at times and downright goofy at others. Handing top teams like the Paris Eternal a 3-0 loss. Yet also giving the struggling Boston Uprising their only win of the season so far. Despite their record, the Titans will surely face a tough challenge with the Outlaws. Players like Dante “Danteh” Cruz and Taehong “MekO” Kim are top tier players in the league and have the ability to completely shutdown enemy teams almost singlehandedly. It will not be an easy task containing them. However, with hero bans taking away one of Danteh‘s best heroes in Tracer it could possibly help to even the playing field.
Though the counter-argument is that hero bans also hurt the Titans DPS. As Dalton “Dalton” Bennyhoff is also hindered by the loss of Tracer. His best work in the two games this roster has played came on the quick-paced Brit. He will now get the chance to show his quality on other heroes. The team will be coming into this game with far more time to prep than their initial weekend. Ideally allowing for improved communication and coordination. In addition, the pressure has been lifted just a tad after their initial games. Not entirely gone, that won’t happen until they start attaining wins. Yet the first days are often filled with nerves. With that out of the way and time to grow as a team, they will hope to give the Outlaws a run for their money.
Prediction: Outlaws 3-2
It will ideally be a hard-fought series that shows the team has improved since their last time playing with the players being hungry to prove they can compete at this level. There is a very real possibility that the Titans come out on top. Yet a week is still a small amount of time to band together. In addition with the team spread out across multiple counties, the Outlaws having that existing team synergy will likely prove a big advantage.
Philadelphia Fusion (11-1) May 17
It is almost not fair to have the Titans playing against a team like the Philadelphia Fusion right now. The Fusion are arguably the best team in the entire league at the moment. They have only suffered one loss, which was in an absolutely incredible five map series against the Paris Eternal. They have a top three, maybe even top two player at every position. That is not even bringing up that they have the best bench player in the game in Phillip “Chipsa” Graham. They are an incredibly dominant team that is seemingly without fear. This team is a sizable mountain that the Titans will have to climb and right now they don’t have any gear.
Singing the praises of the Fusion aside the Titans will have to play the game of their lives to stand a chance of even taking a map off the Fusion. This is not to say that in the future, after they have had much more time to grow as a team and have added a few more players they couldn’t challenge this team. As previously stated they have talented players who have the potential to be stars yet right now are just starting that journey in the Overwatch League. Players like Dalton, Abtin “ShRedLock” Shirvani and Alhumidi “KSAA” Alruwili have shown they have great skill. Yet they will need more time to develop even further to take down a dominant force like the Fusion.
Prediction: Fusion 3-0
The Titans will not just roll over and accept defeat but the Fusion will not need them too. Despite putting up a solid fight the new squad will likely fall, giving the Fusion their twelfth win. It would be an incredible upset if the Titans were able to rally together and take a win here. Not impossible but quite unlikely
Follow Ethan on Twitter @EthanButler for all your Vancouver Titans, Overwatch League, Valorant and Esports needs.
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