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Overwatch League Recap: Vancouver Titans vs Los Angeles Valiant

Vancouver Titans vs Los Angeles Valiant

Vancouver Titans (19-1) vs Los Angeles Valiant (7-12)

Vancouver Titans Starting Lineup

Sangbeom “Bumper” Park

HyunWoo “JJANU” Choi

Seong jun “SLIME” Kim

Juseok “Twilight” Lee

MinSoo “SeoMinSoo” Seo

Hyojong “Haksal” Kim

Vancouver Titans 1-3 Los Angeles Valiant

The last time the Vancouver Titans went up against the LA Valiant, the two teams could not have had more different trajectories. The Titans were quickly becoming the darlings of the Overwatch League while the Valiant were mired in a winless opening stage. Since then, Los Angeles has started to turn their season around, especially since the trade that added Russell “FCTFCTN” Campbell to the lineup.They kept up the momentum on Sunday, becoming the first team to knock off the Titans in the regular season.

Vancouver Titans vs Los Angeles Valiant
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Oasis: Titans 2-1 Valiant

The Titans started off on City Center with a comp built to counter the Valiant, with SeoMinSoo on Soldier: 76 to put pressure on Brady “Agilities” Girardi’s Pharah. Vancouver took control first despite losing Bumper early and jumped to a 52-0 lead before LA grabbed the point. The Valiant DPS struggled to find pick as Vancouver dove their back line, and a JJANU Self-Destruct sealed the deal as the Titans took the first stage comfortably.

Moving over to Gardens, Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa swapped to Doomfist, and his opening kill on Twilight gave the Valiant the first capture. Vancouver took control after 73% when SeoMinSoo secured multiple kills from crucial hacks. KSF and Agilities continued to wreak havoc on the Titans, but the Titans clutched out a winner-takes-all fight to avoid going to a third point.

Paris: Valiant 2-1 Titans

Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

The Titans’ struggles on Paris continued on Sunday as they repeatedly failed to find an opening against LA’s bunker on point A. Haksal’s Genji was completely impotent both in securing kills and building Dragonblades. A late swap to 3-3 and a depleted Valiant ult economy gave them the cap in overtime and a chance at point B. Vancouver secured 57.9% on their first push, but LA buckled down from there. Johannes “Shax” Nielsen was a menace on Sombra, shutting down the Titans key hacks and perfect EMPs. The Titans never came close to finishing the map.

LA kept up the onslaught on the attack, putting FCTFCTN on Orissa to back up their triple-DPS comp. They whittled away at the Titans from range and closed things out with a Supercharger to take point A. Vancouver made things interesting on the final point, where both teams went over to Sombra GOATs looks. Vancouver held them off again and again, but the time bank was too much. Eventually, Shax hit an EMP that the Titans couldn’t answer, and Los Angeles evened up the series at the half.

Eichenwalde: Valiant 3-2 Titans

Vancouver’s defense on Eichenwalde was an unmitigated disaster. They opened with SeoMinSoo on McCree in expectation of a Pharah for Agilities, but it never came. They got bullied on point A without a Zarya on the front line, and the Valiant never let up, staggering the Titans all the way through point B. Shax played beautifully as Vancouver looked lost in the Sombra mirror. SLIME’s Sound Barrier was completely stripped by an EMP in the final fight, and LA finished with over four minutes remaining.

The Titans needed an insane attack of their own to stay in the map, and started strong by taking point A on the first attempt. LA played patiently around the second checkpoint, reengaging at the last second to drain the time bank for the Titans. Vancouver pushed through with an EMP, but it required a big investment. The Valiant capitalized, and the Titans couldn’t pull off the decisive fight they needed to finish the map. 

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Dorado: Valiant 3-1 Titans

Staring down the barrel of their first regular-season loss, Vancouver stuck to the plan. SeoMinSoo got the first EMP, but the defense crumbled when FCTFCTN followed up LA’s EMP with a massive Earthshatter. The Titans couldn’t do anything on point B, failing to find value out of any of their ultimates. LA executed flawlessly the entire way through, punishing the Titans for every mistake. Both Sombras had EMP for the final fight, and Shax once again came out ahead, giving LA an incredible time.

Vancouver broke out a brand new comp with their lives on the line. Haksal picked up the Pharah with mixed results. YoungSeo “KariV” Bak clipped his wings multiple times with Sleep Darts, and the time bank slowly bled out. The Titans looked shaken toward the end, flubbing ultimates and struggling to finish off the Valiant. The nail in the coffin was fitting – Kariv hit a huge Biotic Grenade, and SeoMinSoo’s EMP was too late to bail the Titans out. Falling short of point B, Vancouver saw their perfect record end at last.

Conclusion

The Valiant were the first team to truly figure out the Titans, exploiting their difficulties playing with and against Sombra. Shax and Kariv played out of their minds, and SeoMinSoo paled in comparison. Vancouver was insistent on using Sombra all series, barely running the traditional 3-3 at all. That decision cost them dearly, giving LA the chance to pull off one of the biggest upsets in OWL history.

Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League.

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