The 2020 season of the Overwatch League is officially underway. Two homestands in New York City and Dallas brought fans excitement and heartbreak in equal measure. For the Vancouver Titans it was a chance to silence those who doubted them following a somewhat baffling offseason. Starting their season in Dallas, the new Chanhyung “Fissure” Baek led Titans faced off against both Los Angeles teams in the Gladiators and Valiant. Here they faced stiff competition from two teams hungry to prove their worth. This is the Titans though, so despite the challenges the monsters of the north faced they were still able to claim victory.
Week 1: It’s time to Yee Haw
Vancouver Titans (1-0) vs Los Angeles Gladiators (0-1) Titans Win 3-2
From the start on Nepal the Titans discovered that this would not be an easy game. As the Gladiators came out strong and after going the distance were able to claim map one. Putting the usually powerful Titans on the backfoot. This would be rather indicative of the series as a whole, with the balance of power shifting seemingly from map to map. Tremendous play coming out from both sides with the revamped Gladiators roster giving the Titans a run for their money on maps like Nepal, Kings Row and Dorado.
The power of the mighty north could not be contained however. Hyojong “Haksal” Kim was unleashed. Let loose to run amok on a variety of DPS heroes. To the delight of long time Overwatch fans he was even able to combine with the legendary Jehong “Ryujehong” Ryu for a nasty nano blade on Hanamura.
— Vancouver Titans (@VancouverTitans) February 8, 2020
Haksal is well deserving of praise but this was not a solo effort. The entire roster showed up big. Juseok “Twilight” Lee was back delivering ultimate negating sleeps and big anti heals, coming into the new season looking as dangerous as ever. There were big plays out of Chunghui “Stitch” lee and Minsoo “SeoMinSoo” Seo on the Mcree and Reaper respectively. With Sunjun “Slime” Kim bringing up the rear with his fantastic Lucio play. It would be a crime as well to not bring up the tremendous play by Hyeonwoo “JJanu” Choi, who would fill out the front line alongside Fissure with his ever spectacular D.Va.
Fears of the Titans suffering from their change at Main Tank for the time being were settled. As they proved they were as clutch as ever.
Player of the Match: Hyojong “Haksal” Kim
An argument could be made for anyone on the roster but in the end it was Haksal. His play throughout on any hero he touched was sublime and any time he pulls out the Dragonblade teams should run. It will spell the end of a fight almost every time. With the support of his team he remains one of the most fearsome DPS in the league.
Vancouver Titans (2-0) vs Los Angeles Valiant (1-1) Titans Win 3-0
This game was much closer than the scoreline suggests. The Valiant for most of the game fought the Titans tooth and nail, with Vancouver being able to clutch it out in the end. Starting things out on Lijiang Tower the Valiant came out swinging, taking control first and keeping it that way till the Titans were finally able to take it back at 99 percent off some crucial picks from their support line. Lijiang went this way on both sections played. The Valiant would come out strong and take control, yet the Titans were never phased. They played their game and were able to take it back and never let it go.
A key to their success here was their ability at times to effectively deal with star damage dealer Kai “KSP” Collins whose McCree was the bane of the Dallas Fuels existence just a day before. With him mostly in check the team was able to move forward with confidence throughout the rest of the game.
Blizzard World was where the Titans truly came alive on attack, setting a blistering time that would require the Valiant to come up big to top… which is exactly what they did. The Valiant were able to best the time set by the Titans by a whopping 44 seconds. Ever resilient were the Titans though. They never gave up and were able to secure the map by a score of 4-3 in the end.
Temple of Anubis on the other hand was not close. Historically the map is one of the Titans better ones and they were able to have history repeat itself once again off the back of incredible play from all. In particular SeoMinSoo delivered a brutal death blossom to secure round one. Leading to a domiant end to a rather close series.
— Vancouver Titans (@VancouverTitans) February 9, 2020
Player of the Match: Chanhyung “Fissure” Baek
Without question the dps on the Titans are a stellar bunch and they showed that in this match. Yet Fissure is always there making big plays alongside them, hitting impressive earth shatters or participating in a perfect dive. His aggressive but intelligent play against the Valiant was one of the major factors that led to this victory.
Coming Soon… ish
The Northern lads don’t play again for some time now. With them not playing again till week five in Seoul, South Korea against the sure to be formidable Guangzhou Charge. So Titans fans cozy up with your favourite Titans swag, its a bit of a wait till the next victory.
Follow Ethan on Twitter @EthanButler for all your Vancouver Titans, Overwatch League and Esports needs.
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