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Overwatch League: Washington Justice vs Toronto Defiant

Washington Justice Stage 2 Week 1 Preview

Coming off their first win and joined by Yeonjoon “ArK” Hong the Washington Justice were hoping things were starting to look up. Unfortunately it was more of the same for the team representing the nation’s capital. A slow start coupled with uncoordinated aggression lead to another loss, this time at the hands of the Toronto Defiant 3-1.

Oasis Washington 0-2 Toronto

OWL Grand Finals
Oasis. Courtesy of Blizzard

On the Gardens stage of Oasis the Washington Justice played passive allowing the Toronto Defiant to capture the point first in favor of Gi-do “Gido” Moon building his ultimate on Moria. This strategy would backfire as Gido was unable to pick up any kills and stalling the Justice’s attack until they broke through after Toronto had captured 60% of the point. The teams traded several ultimates without making much headway, Kang-jae “Envy” Lee’s D.Va bomb lead to Toronto flipping the point with Washington at 84%. The Justice tried to frantically flip back but it was not to be as Toronto held on for the win.

City Center featured the Defiant capturing the point quickly due in large part to Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee’s Pharah play. Washington was unable to capitalize on Corey “Corey” Nigra’s clutch pulse bomb which took Jaeyoon “Aid” Go and Ivy out. The Justice were able to finally win back control stopping the Defiant at 96%. This was until Envy’s D.Va, Joon-seong “Asher” Choi’s Soldier and Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo’s Winston forced Washington off the point and lead to a 2-0 win on the map and 1-0 lead in the match.

Hanamura Washington 0-1 Toronto

The Washington Justice were up first on defense employing a bunker comp with Corey on Bastion, Junhwa “Janus” Song on Orisa and Gido on Baptiste. The comp can be used to deal devastating damage but it lacks mobility which allowed Asher and Envy to flank and quickly to score a tick. Envy, Yakpung and Asher flanked again during the next team fight capturing the point soon after. The Justice played very well on their heels forcing the Defiant to swap and take a different approach. Ivy created an opening allowing the Defiant to cap to 97.1% but Corey prevented a full capture with a grav at the 15 second mark.

On offense things fell apart, Corey played Hanzo against the bunker and Pharah/Mercy comp.The Justice quickly took out the Pharmercy but Se-hyeon “Neko” Park showed the league how to play Baptiste blocking two D.Va bombs and a Dragon strike as the Washington fell victim to a full hold.

Blizzard World Washington 2-3 Toronto

Washington Justice vs Toronto Defiant
Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard World was the first appearance of Jin “IM37” Hong capping off his meteoric rise through the professional Overwatch ranks. Once again the Justice employed the use of the bunker comp on defense and with poor results. IM37 flanked to the point on Tracer while rest of his team held the Justice at bay with a barrage of damage. Only Gido was able to mount a defense but he was quickly dispatched as the Defiant got the cart moving. Washington made the decision to swap to GOATs after a supremely unsuccessful defense of the cart. However Ivy had different plans popping off with Soldier 76 and ensuring a second point capture. Toronto slowly moved the cart forward in a war of attrition eventually finishing the map with 11 seconds remaining.

With the Justice attacking, Corey quickly found a pick on Neko breaking up the Defiant’s bunker comp and putting Toronto on their heels. Corey continued his dominance to help move the cart to the second point. In an attempt to make a final push to secure victory the Justice swapped to classic GOATs but a timely EMP from Envy with seconds left effectively ended the round.

Junkertown Washington 3-2 Toronto

With only pride and map differential on the line the Justice ran a double sniper comp to counter the pirate comp. This strategy worked out well at first with Corey getting some nice picks. However Ivy broke through with a Bastion ultimate to open up the first point for the Defiant. After trading vollies with one another things took a turn for the familiar as both teams swapped to Winston GOATs in the fight for the final point. With a well executed goal line stand, the Justice were able to hold the Defiant at 98.39m.

The final attack of the match from Washington showed their potential. After some initial trouble pushing the cart, Corey returned with a vengeance picking off IM37 and killing Neko in quick succession. The numbers advantage lead to the Justice easily moving the cart to the first point. On the next team fight Gido opened it up with a nice hook and the Justice captured the second point. The Defiant once again swapped to Winston GOATs but the Justice having superior ultimate economy stuck with their DPS heavy composition. A move that would pay off in spades as Corey popped off with widow, keeping the Defiant off the cart and allowing for the Justice to take map four.  

Conclusion

While the outcome was less than ideal for the Justice, the team wasn’t as uncompetitive as a 3-1 score might indicated. At times they were able to hang tough and hold the Defiant. If they are able to get on the same page and play more consistently the new patch could favor their strengths.

Washington Justice vs Toronto Defiant
Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

A bright spot in the loss was Corey finally being able to swap off Zarya for an extended period of time. On Blizzard World and Junkertown he showed the fans a glimpse into a possible future full of clutch picks. With a few more weeks to work ArK into the fold and to build team chemistry the future looks a bit brighter for the Justice despite the results on Friday.

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