As one tournament ends, another begins. For the Vancouver Titans, it quite literally begins the way the last tournament ended. With a rematch of epic Canadian proportions. To begin the Summer Showdown they must once more go up against their fellow Canucks, the Toronto Defiant. The last time these two giants of the Canadian Overwatch scene faced off it ended in a tight 3-2 loss for the Vancouver lads. Yet this loss saw the Titans looking fierce. The addition of new DPS phenom Niclas “sHockWave” Jensen was the shot of adrenaline this team so desperately needed. His impressive Echo play was a major reason why they were able to make the game as close as it was. Had Yeoungseo “Kariv” Park not delivered some map five heroics this was likely the new Titans first win.
It seems only right then that the Titans first shot at redemption in the Summer Showdown should come against their Canadian family, the Defiant.
Vancouver Titans vs Toronto Defiant (6/14)
Outside of it being the battle for the soul of Canadian Overwatch fans, this is the story of two struggling teams. As it stands the Titans are ranked 18th. The Defiant are not far ahead at 16th in the current season standings. Though most power rankings these days would put these two teams decidedly at the bottom. This match is a chance for either team to prove to themselves and the league that they are better than their rankings.
The Defiant have been very inconsistent the whole season, at times taking top teams to five maps. They have the skills to compete, they have the pieces to make a strong push. Yet they seem to struggle to put it all together. Individual skill can get you wins over lesser teams, but against the top teams, teamwork will always prevail. They have added some new pieces in recent weeks in Harrison “Kruise” Pond, Thomas “zYKK” Hosono, and Seb “Numlocked” Barton. It is yet unclear if these are the new pieces that will set the team on the path to success. They are known to be strong, vocal leaders in the game, something the team definitely needs. In order to win games, you need decisive action, especially in the end game. To clutch it out and get the win.
There are many questions that plague the team as they face the Titans. Will fans see the return of the Canadian superstar Lane “Surefour” Roberts, who has been on break? Is zYKK going to be a part of the team for the remainder of the season? Will Brady “Agilities” Girardi see playtime? They will need to answer these questions and show signs of improvement to overcome a Titans squad looking to gain respect and redemption.
On the other side of the coin lay the Titans. A group still searching for that elusive first win as a team. Their initial games saw the team facing major synergy issues, which is understandable. They came together fast. Some players are playing on high ping which causes even further issues. Despite all this, the team in its final game in May looked strong. As previously stated, their DPS lineup got a much-needed boost in the form of sHockWave. Samir “Tsuna” Ikram while talented was shown to be uncomfortable on the heroes he had to play, as his hero pool overlaps with the other DPS prodigy on the team Dalton “Dalton” Bennyhoff. sHockWave, in addition to being an incredible player, allowed Dalton to pop off on his more signature Hitscan heroes. Their play complemented each other in many ways. Supporting the aggressive style they seem to be leaning towards.
In order for them to succeed however, they must continue to improve on the team’s overall synergy. Each game they have shown signs of improvement. With their last game against the Defiant showing the tank line up combining for some great halt-bomb combos. In addition, the support line was waking up, keeping their aggressive players alive in situations where they should have fallen.
The biggest boon for the Titans coming into this game is the two-week break that the league has had. Time without multiple games a week to prepare for. Time to come together as a team. They finally had the time to take a breath since they were thrust into the league. The problem is, this is also a benefit for the Defiant. Rest is definitely one thing they also needed. This game should be very close. Either team could come out on top, the ramifications of a loss or win here is immense. The mental of the team will either get a massive boon or take a big hit.
Prediction: Defiant 3-2 Titans
This game will likely be very close. If their last game is anything to go off at least. Both teams will be entering into this game with something to prove. However, in the end, odds do favor the Defiant. If some of their star players return, and their much respected new pieces gel quickly, they may be too much for the Titans. All that said, this game could also very easily be a 3-2 first win for the new Titans. Many questions will surely be answered on Sunday when the next Battle of Canada commences.
Follow Ethan on Twitter @EthanButler for all your Vancouver Titans, Overwatch League, Valorant and Esports needs.
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