The past several weeks have been a rough time for the Vancouver Titans. When they last played they ended the weekend going a dismal 0-2. Following this the rumour mill went into full effect again for the team. With talk of mismanagement from the organization which own the team, to the players boycotting practice. The signs all pointed to a collapse yet unmatched in the Overwatch League. On April 30th the dominoes began to fall when Hyeonwoo “JJANU” Choi and head coach Jisub “Pajion” Hwang parted ways with the team. It all came down though on May 4th when the team confirmed the departures of all current players and coaching staff. Naturally fans were heartbroken. Anger and resentment began to take hold and not without reason.
Yet the world needs heroes and so do the Titans. They at long last announced who would be coming in to take on the blue and green as the new Titans:
— Vancouver Titans (@VancouverTitans) May 8, 2020
There is no denying the fact that there is a lot of talent packed into this diverse cast of characters. It is also impossible to deny the huge amount of pressure that has just been placed on these six young men. The level of play expected from this team is high, they have the potential to deliver but their opponents this weekend will surely do all they can to make it difficult.
Washington Justice (2-9) May 9
This game, in particular, presents an interesting challenge. As of May 8, 2020 hitscan god Corey “Corey” Nigra is no longer with the team. As he announced his transition to Valorant in a very sweet Twitlonger. In addition, this game will be the last for the king of memes Ethan “Stratus” Yankel who will be transitioning to a content creator role. So as it stands the Justice are without a hitscan dps player. Being only able to field Stratus and Lee “Ttuba” Ho-Sung at the DPS position. The Justice have not been all that competitive as of late despite the best efforts of players such as Off Tank Elliot “Ellivote” Vaneryd and flex support Minseok “AimGod” Kwon. They have looked rather uncoordinated and unable to challenge the teams that they face. The loss of Corey will surely hit them hard as his incredible play has often been the bright spot on this long-suffering organization.
The Justice will be the first test that this new roster will have to pass. At each position, the roster has talent that over the years has shined. Players such as former Team Canada flex support Randall “Roolf” Stark and DPS Dalton “Dalton” Bennyhoff have shown an immense ability to turn the tide for their teams in seemingly lost scenarios. They actually face the opposite situation of the Justice in that the Titan’s two DPS players Dalton and French superstar Samir “Tsuna” Ikram are primarily hitscan players. Though to be fair Tsuna does have experience with the projectile role. Which team will take the edge will be found out soon. However, the raw talent to be found on the new Titans may be able to overcome any synergy problems in this early game.
Prediction: Titans 3-2
Florida Mayhem (5-4) May 10
The greatest test that these new Titans will face will come on Sunday when they take on the Florida Mayhem. The Mayhem are coming off two dominant victories over the Boston Uprising. They will be looking to continue this winning streak against the fresh Titans.
When they last played, even though it was against a struggling Uprising squad, they showcased an aggressive style that their opponent was not able to match. However, that was with Reinhardt available, allowing main tank San-Ha “Karayan” Choi to run amok. This week finds the German shield prince out of rotation likely signaling the return of Panseung “Fate” Koo to the starting line up. This could either be fruitful for the Mayhem or see them stumble as Fate at times can be inconsistent with his level of play.
Though the real challenge will be containing the Mayhem’s other players. Their DPS lineup have routinely been the highlight of this roster. Delivering stellar results even when the team around them seems to be struggling. Look out for Kim “Yaki” Jun-Ki to be a particular thorn in the Titans side.
For the Titans, the Mayhem present a bold challenge for them to overcome. Some of the roster has been playing together for some time under the famed Second Wind banner in North American Contenders. So there is some synergy to be found among them. While the others have shown the ability to pop off when called upon by their respective former teams. In order for the Titans to have a chance to challenge the surging Mayhem the newly formed DPS duo of Dalton and Tsuna will have to rise to the occasion in a big way. The Mayhem will not just roll over and give this new squad a free win.
Prediction: Mayhem 3-1
This newly formed Titans squad have a mighty task ahead of them. Every step they take they will be compared to those that came before. Fans of the team will need to rally behind these young lads who have achieved their dream. If this is to be a new beginning for the team, this weekend will certainly be one to keep an eye on. As always they will hope to be a Force of Nature.
Follow Ethan on Twitter @EthanButler for all your Vancouver Titans, Overwatch League, Valorant and Esports needs.
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