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Overwatch League Recap: Vancouver Titans vs Los Angeles Gladiators

Overwatch League

Vancouver Titans (16-0) vs Los Angeles Gladiators (10-6)

Vancouver Titans Starting Lineup

Sangbeom “Bumper” Park

HyunWoo “JJANU” Choi

Seong jun “SLIME” Kim

Juseok “Twilight” Lee

MinSoo “SeoMinSoo” Seo

Hyojong “Haksal” Kim

Titans 3-1 Gladiators

Before their first OWL defeat in the Stage 2 Finals, the last time this Vancouver Titans roster lost a game was way back in July 2018 in Contenders Korea. The victors that day were Kongdoo Panthera, the former home of Gui-un “Decay” Jang and Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye. Now those two reside with the Los Angeles Gladiators, who looked to hand Vancouver its first regular season loss on Sunday.

Ilios: Titans 2-0 Gladiators

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

The teams put their 3-3 prowess to the test early, and the Titans narrowly came out on top. Ruins was looking good for Vancouver as they jumped to a 99-0 lead before LA managed to get the flip. The Gladiators held on for dear life, but the Titans could not be denied in overtime. Bumper clinched the victory with a huge Earthshatter, and Vancouver took the first stage.

On Lighthouse, it was the Gladiators who took an early lead, punishing Vancouver’s overextension. Vancouver answered quickly, forcing Transcendence with Bumper’s early Earthshatter. The teams continued to trade the point back and forth, but Vancouver eventually pulled through when JJANU’s Self-Destruct combined with SeoMinSoo’s Graviton Surge for a double kill to close out the opening map.

Paris: Gladiators 3-2 Titans

After nearly being full held on Paris point A yesterday, the Titans started things off on the right foot against the Gladiators. They carefully rotated around the defensive bunker setup with the aid of Haksal’s Symmetra and took up position on the point. They needed most of their huge time bank on point B, as Lane “Surefour” Roberts’s Bastion shut them down at every turn. Vancouver finally broke through with SeoMinSoo’s Grav, capping the point with 57 seconds left.

Los Angeles Gladiators
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

On their attack, the Gladiators continued to define how Paris is played, breaking out a triple-DPS setup alongside rOar’s Orissa. It tore through the Titans, capping point A behind João “Hydration” Telles on the Pharah. On point B, it was his Mei that stole the show, freezing the Titans and putting LA in the driver’s seat.

In overtime, the Titans couldn’t come up with the answers they needed. Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara shut down the first push with a perfect Biotic Grenade, and Vancouver failed to muster an overtime attempt.

It was only a matter of time for the Gladiators, who had over four minutes to capture one tick. Vancouver tried to change things up, moving Bumper to an Orissa of his own, but it didn’t last. He fell to Shaz early, and Vancouver crumbled without their main tank.

Hollywood: Titans 2-1 Gladiators

Map 3 gave the Titans the chance to follow one of their worst maps with one of their best. They opened the defense strong, getting aggressive and dictating the pace of fights. LA broke through at the eleventh hour, when Surefour setup Jun Woo “Void” Kang’s Self-Destruct with a great Shield Bash on Bumper. The Vancouver main tank swiftly took his revenge, however, when his Earthshatter ended the Gladiators’ push halfway through the streets phase.

Having set themselves a great win condition, the Titans continued their 3-3 domination on the attack. The Gladiators repelled one push, but the Titans couldn’t be contained. They picked off Benjamin “BigG00se” Isohanni, and JJANU ate Decay’s Grav to secure point A. In the blink of an eye, the Titans marched to the finish line, where LA stepped off the cart to give Vancouver an easy victory and match point.

Watchpoint: Gibraltar: Titans 3-1 Gladiators

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Gibraltar was one of the best individual maps of the season for the Titans. They continued to assert itself during neutral fights, again focusing down rOar and cruising to the first checkpoint with ease. Their ult economy and execution carried them quickly through the hangar, as they rolled over the Gladiators. Vancouver powered through the final point, tieing the record for the fastest time on Gibraltar and not dying a single time on the attack.

Vancouver came out with SeoMinSoo on Sombra, continuing to show off hints of their versatility. He built EMP over the course of the first fight and set the Titans up for success. Their first death of the map came with 43 seconds remaining, and it looked like it might be enough for LA to keep their hopes alive. Then SeoMinSoo came back in with a six-man EMP, and the Titans regrouped to end the match with an impressive full hold.

Conclusion

The Gladiators made things interesting in the early going, but once the Titans settled in, they completely took over. The back half of the series was one-sided, as Vancouver owned Gibraltar and reminded everyone of the distance between the top two teams and everyone else. They moved to 16-0 with two of their toughest tests out of the way early. The Titans have a rematch with LA later this stage, but after today they seemingly have nothing to worry about.

Featured image courtesy of the Vancouver Titans.

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