Washington Justice (2-12) vs. Dallas Fuel (9-6)
On paper, the Washington Justice were walking into a bloodbath on Sunday evening. The Justice have struggled all season, managing only two wins so far, both in Map 5. The Dallas Fuel have had a strong 2019 and are poised to reach the postseason. But the mid-season break gave OWL teams a chance to reset, make changes, and change trajectory. The Justice’s new support line has had more time to settle in together. Meanwhile, Dallas was coming off a somewhat unexpected 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Gladiators on Friday night. Win or lose, this would be Washington’s first chance to showcase any changes they made over the break, but would it be enough to challenge a solidly top 10 team?
Junhwa “Janus” Song, Tank
Hyang Gi “Sansam” Kim, Tank
Corey “Corey” Nigra, DPS
Gi Hyeon “Ado” Chon, DPS
Nikola “sleepy” Andrews, Support
Yeonjun “ArK” Hong, Support
Map 1: Oasis
Oasis all around was the expected Game of GOATS. The match opened with an extended brawl on the point, but when the Fuel backed up to heal, the Justice weren’t able to capitalize. Dallas then surged forward, took the point, and moved up to defend aggressively. On the Justice’s next push, Corey used his Graviton Surge early outside the point, which put Washington at an ult deficit they never recovered from. They eventually managed to push onto the point in overtime, but Wonsik “Closer” Jung sniped sleepy early in the fight, and Dallas held to win the point, 100-0.
The same 3-3 compositions were carried onto University, where Dallas pushed in quickly and took first possession of the point. Washington managed to get early eliminations on Minseok “OGE” Son and Lucas “NotE” Meissner; however, Dallas artfully juggled the point to keep possession until they returned. The Fuel held the point to 99 percent with fast early picks on every Justice push, but the Justice managed to take out OGE with a grav/self-destruct combo and take control. They would maintain it through the next Dallas attack with an exchange of eaten Gravs from NotE and Sansam, but in the last fight, Dylan “aKm” Bignet secured a kill onto Janus that would lead to a team wipe and 100-99 victory.
Score: Dallas 2-0 Washington
Map 2: Volskaya Industries
Dallas was on attack for round 1 in another 3-3 mirror match. Washington set up their defense to one side of the point A bunker, but Dallas pushed in hard to the other, and quickly took the entire high ground. aKm exploited the positioning to quickly melt Washington’s defense and take point A. Dallas immediately rushed point B, but Sansam‘s emergency self-destruct caught aKm unprotected and rebuffed the charge. On their next push, Dallas survived Corey‘s Graviton Surge without using support ultimates, and then used Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson’s transcendence to push in. They would take the point with 3:00 left in the time bank.
For Washington’s first attack round, they played a triple DPS composition into Dallas’s 3-3. The Justice followed the Fuel’s lead in taking the high ground early and securing a swift point A capture. Dallas would switch onto a modified Winston GOATS with aKm on Sombra for their second defense, but Ado would clear the point with a Nano-Boosted barrage to secure the point with a staggering 5:29 left on the clock.
Dallas’s second attack was another 3-3 mirror match. The Justice learned from their previous mistake, this time holding onto the bunker high ground. But Dallas would eventually shove them into the side room, forcing out sleepy‘s Transcendence and taking point A. They quickly attempted to snowball onto point B, but were shut down by an earthshatter-self destruct combo pick onto uNKOE. Washington’s defense would then hold strong until overtime, when Dallas finally managed to finish the map.
Looking to repeat their first attack’s success, the Justice rolled out on a triple DPS composition. Upon seeing Dallas waiting with Winston GOATS, however, they swapped to the traditional Rein 3-3 comp instead. The first few pushes were held back, with Dallas keeping Washington split up, but quick kills on NotE and Closer would eventually lead to a cap. An offensive push with ArK‘s Sound Barrier coupled with Janus‘ Earthshatter took out OGE early, and Washington ended the round with 1:23 on the clock, guaranteeing a win or draw.
Dallas repeated their Winston GOATS defense on Washington’s last attack. The Justice pressured OGE quickly and went directly for the point. Corey landed a solid Grav as time wound down, but the team couldn’t finish out the kills, and Dallas held strong to secure the draw.
Score: Washington 4-4 Dallas
Map 3: Eichenwalde
Dallas attacked first into another 3-3 mirror match. They caught Janus and ArK separated from the rest of Washington, then took down the rest of the Justice and point A handily. After the Fuel won a few fights leading up to point B, the Justice held just before the gate. Dallas broke the defense with a Grav-Bomb combo, pushing through Washington’s double support ultimates and counter-Grav. The Justice couldn’t do much through point C, despite a clutch self-destruct from Sansam, and Dallas would complete the map.
On Washington’s attack, they immediately focused hard on OGE, but ended up feeding a high charge to aKm, who quickly picked off Corey to halt the attack. The second attack was more successful as the Fuel flubbed a Grav-Bomb combo and Sansam picked off NotE and Unkoe, leading to a point cap. Dallas mounted a forward defense, but Washington cruised easily through point B. However, Dallas held strong just after the last gate, and NotE shattered Washington’s last-minute rally with a stellar three-kill self-destruct. Notably, aKm ended the map with 82% average energy, tying the league record.
Score: Dallas 3-0 Washington
Map 4: Havana
On Dallas’s attack, Washington chose to defend immediately outside spawn. While they lost the fight quickly, this allowed them time for another defense before point A. However, OGE and uNKOE would combo to kill Janus quickly and take point A. They pushed decisively through point B and C, with OGE at one point dropping a three-man shatter directly onto a swinging Janus. Dallas took the high ground in the sea fort and finished the map with only a single death.
In Round 2, Washington pushed fairly quickly to point A, but aKm immediately stopped them with an early Grav. He and NotE would continue getting early picks to stop every Justice push, keeping Washington from ever reaching the first point.
Score: Dallas 3-0 Washington
Final Score: Dallas 3-0 Washington
Despite the scoreline, the match wasn’t all bad news for Justice fans. Sansam and sleepy both had phenomenal games, with sleepy in particular occasionally leading the team in both healing and damage done. There were flashes of brilliance in every map, especially during the two attacks on Volskaya.
However, their biggest problem remains in converting fight progress into kills. Caster Mitch “Uber” Leslie pointed out that Washington has the highest ratio of damage done to kills in the League. Combined with Janus frequently overextending and getting picked off early, that failing continues to hold the Washington Justice back from long-term success.
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