It was always going to come to this. A battle between brothers. Between family. The Overwatch League is a cruel mistress, having such a monumental battle occur thrice in a short time period. Yet they go againe. The Vancouver Titans in week 26 will find the Battle for Canada resuming when they take on the Toronto Defiant. The teams have both had a rough go of it in recent weeks, with only one win between them. Week 25 was particularly rough as the Titans fell to the San Francisco Shock in record-setting fashion, and the Defiant lost to the Philadelphia Fusion in a disappointing performance. Week 26 is a chance at redemption for both teams. Canada will be torn asunder, but a winner must rise. The Canadian Crown must have a bearer.
Vancouver Titans vs Toronto Defiant (8/1)
The last time these two giants of the Canadian Overwatch scene faced off it ended in a 3-0 victory for the Defiant. Things have certainly changed since then, with both teams having had solid showings in the Summer Showdown, the Defiant even ending their run in a top-4 finish. Yet as previously stated, both teams have struggled immensely in the current tournament. The Titans are floundering in the current Genji dominated meta. On their roster of talented DPS, none of them are exactly Genji mains. All primarily excel on Hitscan heroes. So they have been forced to have Dalton “Dalton” Bennyhoff attempt the cyber ninja. This, despite his best efforts, has led to little success for the team. Combined with a continuing decline in team coordination, alongside tank and support struggles have the Titans struggling immensely.
The Defiant are much more of a puzzle. Brady “Agilities” Girardi has generally flourished on Genji. In fact, he was a key factor in their deep run in the Summer Showdown. However, in the Countdown Cup, it has seen less and less impact as the weeks have gone on. The team have adopted a slower, reactionary playstyle that their recent opponents have shown a great ability to figure out and counter. They have suffered against top teams who come at them with unbridled aggression. Really they are finding it difficult to put up a solid fight against teams in the upper half of the league.
Someone’s Gotta Win
In theory, the current meta favors the Defiant. Despite his recent struggles, Agilities is a far superior Genji to Dalton. Which if the teams both opt into the mirror will give them a noticeable edge. If recent weeks are to be used as a base of judgment as to if this will happen then it is safe to assume it will. If the use of Genji still is not a good look for the Titans, at the very least it would be encouraging to see them be willing to adapt in-game. Jamming a square peg into a round hole won’t work. Other teams have shown success without the Genji. The best chance at victory for the Titans will come from playing to their strengths and letting their DPS play their best heroes.
Dalton and Niclas “Shockwave” Jensen are extremely talented and in their short time in the league, they have shown their ability to take control of a game multiple times. An attempt at either double hitscan or maybe even Echo based comps could be worth a look. Across the board, the players have found great success at some point in their careers. They are not lacking in talent, it all comes down to putting it all together.
Prediction: Defiant 3-2 Titans
The game is likely going to be played close all the way through. As stated, in the current way the game is played the team with the stronger Genji generally has the advantage. In this case that is again the Defiant. The Titans could surprise, and with no hero pools, anything really is possible. The recent patch does include some nerfs to Genji, so if these have a major impact and the Titans find their footing, the Canadian Crown could change hands.
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