Before stage three of the Overwatch League started, the Los Angeles Valiant made a flurry of moves. Bunny, Custa and Space joined the team while mainstays like Unkoe, Envy and Silkthread departed. The drastic change has worked wonders and has made the Valiant look incredibly strong this stage.
Los Angeles Valiant Roster Recap
Space and Soe courtesy of Robert Paul
Quick recap of exactly what happened to the Valiant roster. To kick things off, they announced they had acquired Bunny from the Seoul Dynasty. Next, they made a trade with the Dallas Fuel and swapped support Unkoe for Custa. Their next move remains clouded in mystery to exactly what the reasoning behind it is, but they “mutually” terminated Envy’s contract. Following this announcement was that backup DPS GrimReality was moving into an assistant coaching position, removing him from the roster. During the off-stage break, flex-tank player Space turned 18, and became an active player for the Valiant. Their final move was to trade with their rivals, the Los Angeles Gladiators, by unloading Silkthread from their roster.
Custa by the Los Angeles Valiant
So for those keeping track, two players from the Los Angeles Valiant’s starting roster, Unkoe and Envy, were removed. Two DPS that weren’t being given a chance anymore, Silkthread and GrimReality, get moved off the roster. With Envy gone, Space takes the D.va role. Bunny starts to challenge Agilities for the second DPS spot behind Soon, and Kariv goes back to being a support alongside Custa.
Has it Worked?
Fans looked on at what the Valiant were doing to their team, and wondered how exactly things would play out. Many weren’t expecting these kind of results however. At the end of stage three, week two, the Valiant have gone 4-0. They played two teams many don’t give much of a chance to, Shanghai Dragons and Dallas Fuel, but they also played up-and-coming San Francisco Shock as well as near-dominant Seoul Dynasty. They rolled through every team 4-0 except for the Dallas Fuel, who looked vastly improved with OGE in the lineup. With a total map score of 14-1 throughout two weeks of play, the roster moves have worked out incredibly well.
Working as a team
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
One of the main differences that the Los Angeles Valiant have shown through this stage is their team communication. Custa was constantly touted as a leader in Dallas, and he seems to have brought those skills to the Valiant. Alongside with Kariv, they’ve barely missed a beat together. Space has jumped in and performed as well if not better than Envy, and if the rumors about personal issues were true, the team mindset may be cleared with him off the team. Bunny and Agilities have also been great swapping in-and-out depending on the map. Bunny specifically has given Soon the ability to flex on some different heroes, as his McCree and Reaper have been producing great results lately.
With a new looking roster missing zero beats throughout stage three, the Valiant could easily be contending for the stage three championship. They’re producing great results against both challenging and “easy” teams, showing that they have the drive to win no matter the team. If anything, it’s a great time to be a Los Angeles Valiant fan, and the future looks bright.
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The Los Angeles Valiant have been the team circulating the rumor mill since stage two of the Overwatch League ended. As we prepare for stage three to begin this Wednesday, here are the official roster moves the Valiant have made.
Los Angeles Valiant Mutually Terminate Envy
Envy by Robert Paul
Rumors of a conflicting personality have swirled around Envy, one of the Valiant’s best tanks. Then there were reports the Valiant attempted a trade with the Dallas Fuel for flex player Seagull. At the end of the day, on April 2nd, the Valiant announced they had agreed to mutually terminate Envy’s contract with the Valiant. No trade, no incoming player. This move effectively creates the opening for incoming tank Space. Envy proved to be an extremely talented D.va player that could take games over for the Valiant. Whatever the reason may be for his termination and removal from the team, Envy is sure to find himself continuing his professional career.
Valiant and Fuel Support Swap
The long rumored, (and personally disliked), Unkoe for Custa swap has finally happened. It separates long-time teammates Unkoe and Soon, while bringing in a veteran player in Custa. Custa is by no means a downgrade from Unkoe, and not essentially an upgrade either. Both the Fuel and Valiant are excited to receive their new players, as they should be. Reports that Unkoe, much like Envy, had personality clashes within the team, could have potentially hindered play. Custa is also an incredible support like Unkoe, who’s great play on Zenyatta and Moira could bring a formidable pair with either Kariv or Verbo on the Valiant. For the Fuel it allows a good triple support rotation between HarryHook, Chipshajen, and Unkoe.
GrimReality Off the Roster
GrimReality from Los Angeles Valiant
A player that never got to see any playing time on the Overwatch League stage. GrimReality, Christopher Schaefer, is no longer a roster player for the Los Angeles Valiant. He stays with the team, however, in a surprise move. He joins as the new assistant coach, and it’s a good way that the Valiant extend their relationship with a talented player that never got his time to shine. With a career being a professional gamer now behind him, GrimReality can continue to offer his insight to the team. If his retention is any sign to fans, it’s that his insight and talent have helped the team behind the scenes more than we know.
Bunny Joins in time for Easter
Source from the Los Angeles Valiant
The day before Easter the Los Angeles Valiant had an important announcement for their fans. They had received DPS player Bunny from the Seoul Dynasty. A talented player that could be found when Munchkin was rested, Bunny showed off his ability with a deep hero pool, one that could work in tandem with Soon. With Agilities regaining his form in the last couple weeks of stage two, this allows for a player like Kariv to return his focus to support heroes. Having the ability to swap Agilities and Bunny in to pair with Soon, or even resting Soon and having Bunny play Tracer, allows the Valiant a wider range of options.
The Space age
Known primarily as a flex player, Space is joining the Los Angeles Valiant. Space had his 18th birthday at the end of March, making him fully eligible to play starting day of stage three. Joining the team with a focus on tank play, the sudden void left by Envy’s termination is Space’s to lose. He excels at D.va, which effectively swaps out Envy, and also has good history playing Roadhog and Zarya. With Fate locking down the main tank role in Winston, this hero pool will work to compliment the Valiant’s style of play.
4/3 Update: Rival Dealings
Silkthread from Los Angeles Gladiators
Today, April 3rd, it was announced that the Los Angeles Gladiators have purchased the rights to DPS Silkthread from the Los Angeles Valiant. That means that the two DPS thought to be moved from the Valiant, GrimReality and Silkthread, have effectively been removed from their active roster. The signing of Bunny has more impact for the Valiant. It also allows for a more proven rotation between Bunny, Agilities, and Soon. Silkthread was known for his great ability to play projectile heroes like Pharah and will bring that to the Gladiators. For stage three fans will have to wait and see which DPS will begin to take on that role should the map call for it.
With stage three just days away, the Los Angeles Valiant starting roster is going to look a lot different than the previous two stages. Envy and Unkoe are gone. Space and Custa should slot in to those vacant spots, or Custa will watch from the sidelines as Kariv and Verbo start as a support duo. Soon and Agilities seem poised to start as the two DPS players, but there’s no sleeping on former Dynasty player Bunny and his ability to challenge either player for their spots. As a Valiant fan, you might not agree with all of these roster moves made during the stage break. However, there is no denying that new players, and a new assistant coach create excitement and hope for a brighter and more competitive team for this stage.
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There are multiple reports that have the Los Angeles Valiant looking to move a lot of their current players. Moving just one would help free up a starting lineup spot for newly eligible Space, but at what cost could it come? With Envy and Fate being one of the strongest tank duos throughout the first two stages, moving even one of them could lead the team in the wrong direction.
Unkoe for Custa
The main trade that has been floating around for a few days has been swapping Unkoe for Dallas Fuel’s Custa. Credit to both players for their strong play, but disrupting the cohesion of your supports is the wrong move to make for the Valiant. Unkoe and Kariv were near unstoppable during the first stage. He has continued his strong play alongside Verbo during stage two. Moving him and changing the dynamic of the backbone of your team could lead to communication errors. Not only that, but Soon and Unkoe have been friends and teammates for a while. What message would it send to your star DPS player if you swapped similarly skilled players?
Los Angeles Valiant clearing the bench
Source: Robert Paul
Silkthread hasn’t seen any playing time since stage one ended. GrimReality has never gotten in to play in Blizzard Arena. While Silkthread looked impressive in the minimal time he got to shine, moving both of these players makes sense to me. They’re not currently playing or on the starting roster, and they can’t be happy with where they’re at regarding playing time. It’s a move that could benefit both teams involved, as the Los Angeles Valiant either free up a roster space or add a new player. For Silkthread and GrimReality, they’d be given a chance to compete for a spot to play, even if it’s rotating in for a single map per match. Silkthread has said previously he believes his time to play for the Valiant is up.
Envy of the league
If there is a player that has meant more or carried the Valiant more than Soon, it’s definitely Envy. Envy’s performance on D.va has been absolutely brilliant, and he has turned games on their head to give his team a chance to win. What possible reason could they have for looking to move him out? There’s been reports from a few sources that site some of the players personalities are clashing. If they perform that well on stage as a team, however, is it worth getting rid of them? Thankfully, the Valiant and Envy have continued to deny this rumor of a possible move, but with Space looking to contend for a playing spot, somebody might be leaving.
Source: Los Angeles Valiant
A hop in their step
With Kariv and Agilities splitting time playing DPS throughout stage two, and no faith in Silkthread or GrimReality, the Valiant wanted another reliable DPS. Seoul Dynasty has gifted them Bunny, Jun-hyeok Chae. Bunny not only has a fantastic name, but he’s a great player too. His play on Tracer certainly fits DPS billing, and he will help challenge Soon or give the Valiant an option to rest the player with no fear. Bunny may also add another dynamic to the team coming from one of the top teams in the league. His view of the Overwatch League may add additional insight to the Valiant and how they approach different maps.
With all these moves, and more possible, the Valiant a fan sees for stage three could look a lot different. Familiar and fan favorites could be on the way out, and a new core of players might be enough to carry them to a stronger record.
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The signing window for the Overwatch League is coming to a close on Tuesday. Many teams have been busy reinforcing their rosters with trades and free-agent pickups, or are finally reaping the benefits of their younger players as they come of age. Certain teams in the Overwatch League Pacific Division will definitely benefit from some fresh talent, and I’ve taken the liberty of assembling the best of those new players and going a little more in depth on what they’ll be bringing to the table.
On February 26th, the Seoul Dynasty announced the signing of Heo “Gambler” Jin-woo, a former support player from LW Blue. While much of his old roster went on to form the core of the NYXL, Gambler was decidedly absent in the early days of the Overwatch League. Gambler was well known for his strong in-game leadership and shot-calling ability, but flew under most teams’ radars until Seoul finally made the move to pick him up.
Those strengths could be just what the Dynasty need to get a hold of their inconsistent communications in-game. While his synergy is unavoidably behind that of long-time support stars Jin-Mo “Tobi” Yang and Je-hong “ryujehong” ryu, Gambler’s extensive experience could help provide fresh perspectives on the weaknesses of the Dynasty. His mechanical skills are top-notch, too.
Image Courtesy of breakthegame.net. Super stands 5th from the left, between Jay “Sinatraa” Won and Dante “Danteh” Cruz.
Matthew “Super” DeLisi is one of many additions to the San Francisco Shock’s young roster, and he could easily be the most impactful. While the Shock are known for their long list of DPS players like Jay “Sinatraa” Won and Andrej “BABYBAY” Francisty, the tank line has lacked that same depth. Fielding only David “Nomy” Lizarraga Ramirez Osmar and Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson through the first two stages of the league, San Fran has a chance to surprise their enemies with this high-powered addition.
The Former LG Evil star also has plenty of experience with other members of the Overwatch League, including former teammates Jacob “Jake” Lyon of the Houston Outlaws and Connor “Avast” Prince from the Boston Uprising. While I expect he’s spilled the beans on his old comrades in internal training sessions, making plays with that knowledge in mind is an entirely different (and more advantageous) possibility.
Most importantly, Super just plays main tank differently than Nomy does. His positioning, communications, and responsiveness will all be different than his counterpart from Tijuana, and that can drastically change how the entire team performs.
Indy “Space” Halpern is another player coming of age in the league’s third stage, and he’s apparently made some ripples in the team already. Rod “Slasher” Breslau reports that the Valiant are looking to trade their off-tank Kang-Jae “Envy” Lee, most likely to make room for the younger player in the starting six. Players from the Valiant have refuted this news, including Envy himself– so that’s definitely going to be something to keep an eye on as the stage gets underway.
Slasher has also reported that the Valiant are deep in talks with the Dallas Fuel to trade French support star Benjamin “Unkoe” Chevasson for resident Aussie Scott “Custa” Kennedy, once of Space’s former teammates from Arc 6. While the move wouldn’t be that great for Dallas, the Valiant could profit immensely from the trade. The only downside- the separation of long-term teammates Unkoe and Terence “SoOn” Tarlier, who’s time together has been impressive, to say the very least.
Seyeon “Geguri” Kim is one of the better off-tanks we’ve ever seen, and her addition to the Shanghai Dragons will definitely help the team pull itself back from the depths of its abysmal 0-20, -65 record. Between her and Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee, the Dragons are starting from the ground up at tank.
I don’t expect the Dragons to turn things around overnight, mind you, and their challenges are unique in both variety and magnitude. There’s a couple language barriers, for one, as well as the stress of living in a new country with new people, far from home. Hopefully the Dragons embrace the potential being in last place gives them. It’s not the best situation to be in, sure, but now they can take the time to find what works for them.
That’s all without mentioning the pressure Geguri is already getting as the league’s first female player- pressure that will only increase as she plays, win or lose. Shanghai’s coaching and support staff need to put in the time with their new players if they want them to grow and improve in a healthy way. Without that support, the Dragons will never get back on their feet, even if Geguri is as good as I think she is.
Go watch this, and come back. (Don’t, actually, it’s five hours long.) Try this one or this one instead. Notice those crazy D.Va bombs? That’s what Jun-woo “Void” Kang brings to the LA Gladiators now that his signing has been confirmed. We’ve waxed poetic on the Gladiators before, but I have a feeling their move up the league’s standings has just begun.
Void’s greatest strength (beyond those crazy bombs) is his game sense. His ability to respond and move in concert with the needs of his team will play perfectly with the style of his new/old main tank Fissure, a former teammate from C9 KongDoo. His lightning fast target-focus and peeling capabilities will also increase the lethality of his flexible DPS corps and bloodthirsty backline. Suffice to say, this was a good pick-up.
While I bemoaned the potential loss of the Gladiators’ other tanks, iRemiix and Bischu, keeping them could be just as advantageous as sending them on their way. As LA approaches a full 12-man roster, the chance for internal scrim opportunities grows higher, especially with access to the Gladiators Legion academy team. Those scrims could show us new heights for the Gladiators, and that is one exciting prospect.
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The Philadelphia Fusion pushed the New York Excelsior to the brink during the Overwatch League stage two finals. Picking up the first two maps, they truly looked like a dominating team. New York had no plans to go down easy however, and came back to take the championship. The Fusion were clear underdogs throughout the finals, against both London and New York. Their strong team play, and key plays by Zenyatta player Boombox, helped carry them to victory.
Overwatch League Final Team Similarities
There was one binding element that each of the three teams shared throughout their lineups. They had one scary good Zenyatta player. London had Bdosin, Philadelphia had Boombox, and New York had Jjonak. Jjonak has been the focus and spotlight for the high amount of damage and eliminations he racks up over the course of a match, but the other two really showed they can follow suit over the course of Sunday. Having someone that can utilize their healing abilities while also providing and focusing down high-value targets is an amazing addition to any team. The prioritization of Zenyatta’s discord orb, along with impeccable aim allows for Zenyatta to shred through squishy and tanks alike. With focus fire coming in from DPS teammates, it can delete an enemy before their support can get a heal in.
DPS to Zenyatta?
Jjonak Hero damage from Overwatch League
An interesting theory about Zenyatta’s recent play throughout stage two is that some flex DPS players may start practicing the monk more. The damage and disruption a damage focused Zenyatta can do to the enemy team may prompt teams to replicate it. Someone with incredible aiming abilities like Kariv has for the Los Angeles Valiant may take over Unkoe’s signature hero. A quick discord and orb volley can quickly turn the tide of a map or battle in your favor.
Zenyatta Can Still Heal
Even with the massive amounts of damage Zenyatta can pump out in the hands of a player like Jjonak, he’s still a healer. Being able to provide secondary healing while pumping out damage is a luxury most supports don’t get. Currently the only hero that is capable of similar sustained damage while healing is Moira, who can provide massive AOE heals. Ana’s biotic grenade does a fair deal of damage, but its main focus is the utility of anti-heal that it provides. No one does damage in a support role better than Zenyatta, and a damage boosted Zen is truly something to fear.
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New patches and updates hit the Overwatch League with the start of Stage two. With these changes, a new meta and new approach to maps were expected. This was also due to the fact that new maps were entering the rotation for stage two. What fans and teams have gotten with this new meta however is a scramble to adapt. Many players are seeing their usage change, and some are changing completely.
Kariv Surprises as DPS while Silkthread benched
The first day of stage two did not play into the Los Angeles Valiant’s favor, as they got steamrolled 4-0 by Seoul. Kariv and Silkthread sat on the sidelines as Verbo and Agilities struggled to adapt to the new meta. The coaching staff did not opt for any swaps however, and both players struggled through all four maps. Day four of stage two came around and Valiant’s starting line-up was Unkoe, Verbo, Kariv, Fate, Envy, and Soon. There was no way that Valiant was running three supports, and in fact Kariv was running DPS for Hanamura against Shanghai. No Agilities, no Silkthread, no Grimreality. Kariv actually played mostly Soldier 76 on the map, a hitscan hero that Silkthread and Grimreality specialize in. Reports are that by playing Kariv, the Valliant have an excellent Widowmaker on standby, and that Silkthread and Grimreality are not great on the sniper.
The match ended in a draw and Agilities drew in for Kariv on the next map. Agilities looked much better than day one, and the Valiant won the map. After half-time however, Kariv was back in for King’s Row. To his credit he played a formidable third tank to compliment Fate and Envy. Kariv has looked comfortable and able in the DPS role, but one has to wonder why Silkthread hasn’t seen any time lately, or that Grimreality hasn’t drawn in to any maps so far. Stage two seems to be shaping up to have Kariv and Agilities swapping in and out as the map calls for it.
Rascal snags DPS role, Seagull preparing Tank play
Source: Blizzard and Twingalaxies
When the Dallas Fuel acquired Rascal, they became loaded with offensive potential. Seagull was already playing in a limited role, with main DPS roles falling to Effect and aKm. However during the first two games of stage two, Seagull did not see any playing time. Rascal, however, did see some playing time. With the changes coming to Dallas, which included xQc joining the line-up after his stage one suspenion, Seagull looked to be out. When Seagull was asked about his lack of playing time, he admitted that he didn’t join the team to be a starter or see much playing time. Not only this, but Seagull stated that at this time he was working on learning D.Va. It may be a while until we see Seagull enter in for a map, but rest assured that he is hard at work to improve himself.
As a side note, both Rascal and xQc looked good for the Fuel, leading them to two wins. These were 3-1 over Shanghai and 3-1 over the Los Angeles Gladiators. Dallas has looked much more comfortable with the change in meta and added personnel on the roster.
Shadowburn on the sidelines as EQO dominates
The Philadelphia Fusion signed EQO after they were disappointed with their stage one results. He was brought in to shore up a position to support Carpe’s excellent play over stage one. Shadowburn was the victim of an excellent signing. EQO played in every map for the Fusion, and helped lead them to two 4-0 sweeps during the first week. EQO looked absolutely dominant in his first week with the Fusion. With EQO in the line-up, the Fusion look to keep pushing and contending for a spot higher in the standings. Unfortunately for Shadowburn, he might not play a large role in that surge. Carpe is a fixture, thanks to his versatility and incredible skill with Widowmaker. EQO showed no glaring weakness, and until the team or he falters, Shadowburn will have to wait his turn. The Fusion used the break between stages to get better, and it was clear they were from the first match.
With so many players being forced to learn new roles to deal with the changing meta, we may yet see more changes. With the possible release of hero 27 (Brigette anyone?), the meta might continue to shift and change. If it does, it’s great for the league to grow as the strategies will have to keep changing. It will really bring out the best in coaches and players to see what they come up with to tackle the updates in Stage three.
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UPDATE: Saturday has come and gone, and the Valiant went 3-0 to best Shanghai. Shanghai looked good, but after disappointing showings both Verbo and Agilities looked great. Kariv also drew in to the starting line-up alongside Verbo and Unkoe. Kariv did not play his typical support role however, and the series saw him play both DPS and the third tank in a triple tank composition. For all the thoughts that maybe the Valiant’s coaching change and new meta had upset their chemistry, they showed with a vengeance that they’re still the same team from stage one.
Verbo hadn’t seen much playing time during the first stage of the Overwatch League. He drew into the lineup during week four while Unkoe sat out with an injury. He looked fine during their match-up with the Philadelphia Fusion. Against the Boston Uprising, Verbo looked severely outmatched as the Valiant were steamrolled with a 4-0 Uprising victory.
Verbo Starts for Stage two
Source: Los Angeles Valiant and Blizzard
It was a surprise to many to see Verbo on the starting lineup for Stage 2. This was likely due to the fact that the most recent patch was added between stages, making Mercy a much less attractive pick. With Kariv’s focus on Mercy, it made sense for Verbo to draw in and play Lucio.
Unfortunately for the Valiant, Verbo looked out of place on the Overwatch League stage. The first map, Volskaya Industries, saw Verbo look outmatched as he made mistakes against Seoul. Seoul’s defense saw them playing Zenyatta, Lucio and a Sombra, which proved to be kryptonite for the Valiant. In the end, the Valiant failed to even capture point A on the map.
Verbo drew back in for control on Nepal, and his mistakes continued. Seoul handily took Nepal 2-0, and the Valiant headed to half-time down 2-0. Verbo wasn’t the only player making mistakes during these games, as Agilities found himself out of sync with his teammates. Broadcasters suggested that the possible switch of both Verbo and Agilities for Kariv and Silkthread was more than likely for the second half.
More of the same
Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
OH how I wish that had happened. Verbo and Agilities were both back to fight in Dorado to try and take map three from Seoul. To their credit, they looked much better than they did in the first two games. Unfortunately, Valiant still lost the map and had effectively lost the matchup. Verbo’s play, although better, was severely outmatched by his Seoul counterpart on Lucio. Their healing discrepancies were about 5,000 total points of healing. That is an incredible difference for the same hero over the course of the same time-frame.
They could still try and take map four to improve their overall map differential however. With pride the only thing left to play for, and Verbo’s poor performance, Kariv still did not appear. Once again Seoul would run a double support and Sombra defense. Once again, the Valiant failed to even take a single point.
What happens next for Valiant?
There’s a lot of questions to ask as the Valiant look to rebound against the Shanghai Dragons on Saturday. Will Kariv and Silkthread start, or even draw into the lineup? Will the crushing defeat start an avalanche of losses for the Valiant? Will they figure out how to adapt to the new meta and start challenging teams?
As we wait for the answers, the Valiant have to prove themselves. The team’s confidence was not in a good place following their 4-0 defeat to Seoul. One can only imagine the kind of damage they might suffer should they be the first to fall to Shanghai.
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Between June 1 and 4, TakeTV, a German production company, hosted their second annual Overwatch tournament. Eight international teams competed in a round robin bracket to determine this year’s winner. Each match was played as a four-game set with the winning team moving onto the playoffs. The two strongest teams this year were the North American based, Rogue, hosting an all French roster, and the European team, eUnited.
The finals was a rematch between the two teams. Although Rogue had 3-0’d eUnited in the winners bracket semifinals, eUnited came in red hot, sweeping Cloud 9 in their previous match up.
SoOn picks of Vallutaja in a Tracer 1v1 Courtesy of Overwatch TakeOver 2
On the first map, Nepal, both teams elected to go with the now popular “Dive Comp,” and would do so the rest of the match, featuring a Lucio, Winston, Tracer, Zenyatta, Soldier: 76 and D.Va or Genji. Early into the first round on Nepal: Village, Terrance “SoOn” Tarlier was able to out-duel Hendrik-William “Vallutaja” Kinks in a Tracer 1v1 to give the advantage to Rogue. Snowballing out of that pick, they were able to secure the point first. However, eUnited came back, getting an early pick on Winston and winning the next fight, and the next. They were able to hold the point until 90%, needing only one more fight to secure the first round victory. In the final fight of the round, eUnited’s Andrei “unFixed” Leonov went legendary, getting four straight kills securing the round win.
Boombox’s Zenyatta was on fire this match up, picking off multiple heroes Courtesy of Overwatch TakeOver 2
The second round on Nepal: Sanctum featured Isaac “Boombox” Charles’s impressive Zenyatta. His mechanics seemed to be getting picks out of nowhere, as he somehow picked off Dylan “aKm” Bignet’s Soldier: 76 multiple times. In what seemed like a lost round to Rogue after eUnited’s Harrison “Kruise” Pond got a quadruple kill with Dragonblade, SoOn’s Tracer was able to barely touch the point in the nick of time to trigger overtime for his team, allowing Rogue to follow up and clean up eUnited. Perhaps shaken from the teamfight, eUnited was unable to defeat Rogue in the next three team fights, giving the round over to Rogue in a stunning fashion.
On Nepal: Shrine, Rogue seemed to obtain full control. With lack of communication and coherence, eUnited lost precious time as they staggered their deaths, meaning that they had to wait longer to push onto the point. Luckily they were bailed out as no one on Rogue was able to stop uNFixed, who was able to acquire five eliminations and the point for his team. Unluckily, in the ensuing fight where eUnited had no support ultimates, Vallutaja got picked by NiCo, leaving eUnited in a disadvantaged 5v6. However, they were bailed out by Boombox, as he was able to out-duel Nicolas “NiCo” Moret’s Genji Dragonblade and secure the fight for eUnited. However, Rogue was not to be denied as they used their superior ult advantage to secure the round win.
Leading 2:1, Rogue needed one more win to secure their first victory over eUnited. Returning to Nepal: Village, Rogue knew they had to do something different as they had lost the first time the two teams met up on this map. Instead of playing defensive when they had gotten the point, Rogue pushed onto eUnited in the final team fight, causing Kruise to waste his D.Va’s Self-Destruct. Without self-destruct available, Rogue focused D.Va down, allowing aKm to clear the field with Solder: 76’s Tactical Visor. With that victory, Rogue looks poised to become victors and takes the lead against eUnited, 1:0.
On Route 66, the next map, Rogue tried to play an aggressive strategy on defense, playing near the cart in boxcars. Unfortunately, their plan was foiled when they were spotted by Hanzo’s Sonic Arrow. Boombox was able to show off his impressive Zenyatta mechanics again, out dueling NiCo’s Dragonblade, again. In a last ditch effort to stop the stampeding eUnited team, Jean-Louis “KnOxXx” Boyer switched to Reinhardt. Almost immediately after, he was able to pin an ulting Genji in midair. However, eUnited quickly responded with their own counter-pick, with uNFixed switching to Sombra. With Sombra’s ultimate, Knox’s shield was no more and Rogue was easily cleaned up, and eUnited was able to push to the end with 41 seconds remaining.
Boombox holds off NiCo’s Dragonblade Courtesy of Overwatch TakeOver 2
While eUnited’s attack was impressive, Rogue began on what seemed like a stellar push, never giving a chance for eUnited to fight back. NiCo was able to grab a triple kill with his Dragonblade in the second phase of Route: 66, and they reached the second checkpoint with four and half minutes to go. Rogue’s push slowed down in the third point as they were unable to obtain the picks they needed. But when SoOn was able to pick off Boombox with a Tracer Pulse Bomb, Rogue went all-in. Knox was able stop Kruise’s Dragonblade with a splendid Earthshatter and Rogue wiped eUnited, finishing off Route: 66 three seconds slower than eUnited.
Rogue was given one minute to push the cart against eUnited. With both teams unable to stop the other’s attack on the first point, Rogue seemed to be in very good shape. However, Boombox’s Ana denied Nico’s Genji some very necessary healing with an anti-grenade and died shortly after. Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson’s Zenyatta quickly followed suit, dying to eUnited’s Genji. With only 58.78 meters pushed on the cart, eUnited was in very good shape to take the second map over Rogue. However, their extra three seconds did not help them, as SoOn’s Tracer got an early pick on to eUnited’s Zenyatta. Needing a fast reset, eUnited rushed onto the cart into Overtime, but were unable to kill anyone, giving the second map to Rogue.
Following the second map, Rogue lead 2:0. Was eUnited going to get 3:0’d again? The third map, Hanamura, was Rogue’s first chance to become champions. eUnited was first up to attack. Boombox, who was on-fire the entire series, was able to take down three people and secure the first capturepoint on Hanamura. Quickly going off of their momentum, eUnited fast pushed point B on Hanamura, initiating with Thomas “Morte” Kerbusch’s Sound Barrier and Kruise’s Dragonblade. They were then backed up with Boombox’s Transcendence once Sound Barrier was depleted. However, they were only able to get two picks before NiCo used his Dragonblade to start Rogue’s counter attack. Using their short spawns to their advantage, Rogue only allowed one tick to be captured in that team fight. eUnited’s second push was more successful. eUnited traded one for one, that one pick was crucial to eUnited, as now Michaël “Winz” Bignet was unable to obtain and use Zenyatta’s Transcendence. Without Transcendence, eUnited cleaned up Rogue, taking the round with almost four minutes remaining.
Rogue answered with their own fast push, quickly taking point A. Although Vallutaja was able to land very nice double kill with Tracer’s pulse bomb, eUnited could do nothing but stall for the next two minutes on point B. Eager to defeat eUnited, Rogue quickly ended the second round, taking it with more than five minutes remaining, one minute faster than their opponent.
A nanoboosted Knox fights off two eUnited players Courtesy of Overwatch TakeOver 2
It was now eUnited’s turn to attack in round 3. By diverting uNKOE’s attention away from healing NiCo’s Genji, eUnited took their advantage and quickly took point A. On point B, both Knox and Normunds “Sharyk” Faterins zoned off each other’s Soldier 76’s Tactical Visors, rendering those ultimates useless. However, Sharyk was not only able to zone off the opposing Solder 76, but he was able to kill both of Rogue’s DPS, giving the advantage to eUnited, and they were able to capture point B before Rogue was given the chance to stall with one minute and 41 seconds remaining.
In round 4, Rogue had little trouble taking the first point again as SoOn was able to participate in five kills. As Rogue headed toward point B, eUnited needed to hold Rogue off to stay alive in the competition. It did not look good for eUnited when Kruise’s nanoblade was unable to get any kills due to uNKOE’s Transcendence. Shortly after, Rogue’s Winz pushed the fight forward with sound barrier and soon after, NiCo quickly obtained two Dragonblade kills while SoOn took another with a pulse bomb. However, it was not enough as eUnited was somehow able to hold, with Boombox barely killing NiCo before dying. After that teamfight, Rogue seemed lost. When they were able to pick off Sharyk in a later teamfight, Rogue’s Morte tried to preemptively use Transcendence to give them an edge over eUnited. However, they were unable to get any picks while Morte used his ultimate, and that lead to nothing stopping Kruise’s Dragonblade, in which he sliced and diced Rogue. eUnited was then able to hold off Rogue to take map three, handing Rogue their first loss in the entire tournament.
With the score 2:1, eUnited was hanging onto a thread heading into the fourth map, Numbani. They were, however, holding the momentum and they took the first point swiftly over Rogue in the first round. Following some missteps on the Rogue side, eUnited was able to also take the second point when aKm accidentally killed himself with a rocket when Sharyk jumped into him. Right when it seemed that eUnited couldn’t be stopped, Rogue regained their composure and won the next fight after SoOn picked off Boombox with a pulse bomb. Rogue needed to hold of eUnited for over five minutes to stop them from completing the map. Even for Rogue, it was no easy task. However, that one teamfight that they won was crucial, was eUnited was unable to regroup, getting picked one after the other. At one point, eUnited had to retreat to their spawn as Rogue just kept building their ultimates killing them one after the other. Even with such good defense from Rogue, five minutes seemed too long, as eUnited was finally able to get a good push in as uNFixed was able to finish off three. Nearly wiped, Rogue was again in a tight spot. uNKOE was forced to burn Transcendence to stall for his team as eUnited was only one meter away from the finish line. The last-ditch effort somehow worked, as the Zenyatta ultimate stalled long enough for aKm to get Soldier 76’s ultimate and force eUnited to back off. Rogue was then able to stop their opponent the following fight, somehow holding eUnited from full pushing Numbani.
Rogue and eUnited fight near mid by the buses on Numbani Courtesy of Overwatch TakeOver 2
Following the exciting round 1, eUnited was again in a make it or break it situation, needing to stop Rogue from getting to the finish line. Unlike Rogue, they were able to hold point A very nicely following a very aggressive defense strategy, surprising Rogue by the bus at mid. eUnited then backed off and played on site, again wiping Rogue with impressive play all around. eUnited continued their defense winning every single fight decisively. Rogue somehow found themselves with only one push remaining, hoping to finish eUnited right here. eUnited, trying to full hold Rogue and keep their hopes alive by forcing the match to go to a fifth and final game. With such high stakes on the line, eUnited attempted a pre emptive attack onto Rogue, much like their first fight of the round. However, this time Rogue was prepared and the quickly took care of Kruise. With no more Genji, eUnited had no hope of defending the first point anymore, and Rogue finally took point A with less than a minute remaining. With the notoriously hard defense on point 2, Rogue demolished eUnited with aKm’s tactical visor, taking a quintuple kill in the process. eUnited now had to hold Rogue for two and a half minutes to stay alive in this match. uNFixed pulled through in the next team fight, flanking from behind enemy lines and picking off two Rogue members and a team wipe with one minute remaining in the game. After a short reset, eUnited planted themselves on the high ground, trying an ambush on Rogue. However, uNKOE pulled off an amazing Zenyatta right click to kill Boombox, who had been doing such things all match long. Trying to salvage the situation, Kruise dragonblades, killing Morte. aKm responds with his own ultimate, shutting down Kruise’s Genji and Valujallah’s Tracer. After that fight, Rogue had victory in their sights. In the final stretch, Knox was itching for a good Earthshatter.
Knox lands a perfectly timed Earthshatter onto eUnited Courtesy of Overwatch TakeOver 2
Once he saw Sharyk place bubble, he know that no one could stop his ultimate. Timing his ultimate beautifully, he is able to land Earthshatter on both Morte and Kruise, killing them. However, it was not over yet as Vallujalah quickly responds with his own double kill, with a perfect pulse bomb onto SoOn and aKm. What happens next is a cluster of ultimates and chaos. But, unfortunately for eUnited, no one on their team was able to contest the point as Rogue took the fourth and final map, declaring themselves as victors of the Overwatch TakeOver 2 tournament, winning themselves a $25,000 first place grand prize.
Rogue proves to the world why they are considered one of the top teams currently in Overwatch, as they only lose one map in the entire playoffs. But eUnited too, shows that they are not to be messed with, as they were the clear second place team after sweeping Cloud 9, and earning themselves a nice $12,500 for their performance. The finals was an exciting and well fought match from both teams and lived up to what viewers could hope for.
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