Tag: LA Gladiators

Episode 58 – Crunch Time

Chris and co-hosts Omni & Sam recap the Vancouver Titans first two wins in what they hope is a very successful Overwatch League 2020 season. They also dive into the meta, give a rundown of all the matches in the week, and share some thoughts on the production through the first week.

Show Notes

  • Stuff & Things
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Episode 57 – Kicking Off 2020

Chris and co-hosts Omni & Sam kick off the 2020 Overwatch League Season by talking to special guest Lauren, writer for The Game Haus, about her thoughts on the Vancouver Titans newest additions, Fissure & Ryujehong! The crew also setup the Titans matches against the LA Gladiators & LA Valiant down in Dallas, and discuss the recent changes to Overwatch that came out shortly after the last episode went live. Plus all the usual trimmings you’re used to!

Show Notes

  • Love us, hate us, just rate us! Head to ratethispodcast.com/readysetpwn for instructions how.
  • Want to ask us a question? Provide us feedback? Your favourite Korean recipe? Head to voicelink.fm/readysetpwn.
  • Why not subscribe to the podcast so you never miss out? We’re available in every major podcast app. And some minor ones too!

LA Gladiators: A Playoff Primer

The LA Gladiators are coming off their first playoff win of the year. Despite their almost choke against the Spark, this is a team with lots of quality players. The Titans are fresh off a match where they showed that they know how to pivot and change their plan of attack. Against a team like the Gladiators that will be key.

This year the Titans are 2-0, 7-1 in direct head to head matchups with the Gladiators. We also saw them run the iconic 4 spam heroes against the Gladiators double main tank defense on Horizon: Lunar Colony.

Titans RecordTitans W%Gladiators RecordGlads W%
Lijiang Tower8-280%3-538%

While the Titans get their 3 best maps on Control, the Gladiators are stuck with their 3 worst. It’s also worth noting that in the last three months the Gladiators are 0-4 on Lijiang Tower and 1-4 on Ilios. The Gladiators lots both Control maps against the Hangzhou Spark in their matchup and the Spark are a much worse team on Control than the Titans. The Spark only had a 55% winrate on Control, compared to the Titans 72% and they aren’t a good team on Lijiang Tower (3-5). Control is a map that we will see twice almost guaranteed, so having such a massive disparity in favor of the Titans is a boon for them.

Titans RecordTitans W%Gladiators RecordGlads W%
King’s Row11-0100%8-280%

Hybrid is a head to head comparison of both teams best map types. The Titans’ record is a little better. It’s close, especially by watching the teams play, but there is a distinct skill difference. In the matchup against the Spark, after losing on Control, they picked King’s Row first. King’s Row is the Gladiators’ best Hybrid map, but the Titans are a staggering 11-0 there this year. It’s also worth noting that after the Gladiators lost on Control the second time, they picked Eichenwalde and lost there. While Hybrid does favor the Titans, it’s not as clear-cut as Control is. The Gladiators will try King’s Row again as they aren’t as confident on Numbani and they lost on Eichenwalde.

Titans RecordTitans W%Gladiators RecordGlads W%
Horizon: Lunar Colony3-260%3-260%
Temple of Anubis9-375%6-3-165%

Assault is the Titans worst map type but even though it’s the Gladiators 2nd best. Despite that, they still aren’t particularly impressive here by comparison. If the Gladiators do take Hybrid, the Titans should pick Hanamura, the Gladiators are terrible there. Much like the Titans seem to get their best maps in the map pool the Gladiators get their worst. These are their three worst maps to play on and it shows. The Gladiators’ win percentages improve from Paris and Volskaya Industries, where they are 4-0 and 4-2.

Titans RecordTitans W%Gladiators RecordGlads W%
Watchpoint: Gibraltar6-186%3-350%

This is another instance of the Gladiators worst being the Titans best. These three are the worst maps for the Gladiators while they are 2-4 for Vancouver. Not only that, but the two maps the Gladiators are even on are both maps that the Titans own the world record on, one of which being against the Gladiators. It is worth noting that the Gladiators won on both Rialto and Watchpoint: Gibraltar against the Spark, but the Titans are a much better team.

The Gladiators are a good team, but the head to head match-up seems tilted too far in Vancouver’s favor. Every game type contains the best maps for Vancouver and the worst maps for the Gladiators. Gladiators have the potential to steal a map or two, especially as they should be picking more of the maps to play on, but this should be another Titans win.

The Other LA Team

After the Titans lost to the San Francisco Shock in the Stage 2 playoffs, we saw them come back angry, so it will be vital to do the same after the loss to the Valiant. After hearing Harsha talk about potential roster swaps, we may see some of the coaching moves fans have been speculating on. If Stitch can come in and play Sombra at a higher level than we’ve seen, it’s a tough choice for the Titans as SeoMinSoo and Jjanu are both elite tanks in their own right. Unless the Titans want to swap to a Wrecking Ball/Zarya team comp, which will sit Bumper, they have a hard decision ahead of them.

The Titans get their chance at redemption in Stage 3’s fourth week. In their first go around, they dismantled the LA Gladiators in a 3-1 romp that concluded with a tied world record where the Glads only got 2 kills. On paper, the Gladiators have been much better than the Valiant all year, but compared to the Valiant the Gladiators are a much worse Sombra team. Decay has looked sub par on Sombra at the OWL level so far and while Surefour has been historically an amazing Sombra player, he usually plays Brigitte. With him on Brig, it makes swaps on the fly hard without resetting too much ult charge.

Just like the last time these teams collided, the map pool heavily favors the Titans. Ilios, as usual, is a cakewalk for them with a season 2 record of 7-1. It’s hard to imagine the Titans could pick a better opening map, especially as they already beat the Gladiators (1-2) there last time. The second map, Horizon: Lunar Colony, is much closer. The Titans and Gladiators are tied with 2-1 records here and the style of the map plays well to the Gladiator’s strengths as an elite bunker team.

This is where things start to fall off for the Gladiators. While Hybrid is statistically the Gladiators best map type, Numbani is one of their worst maps in the whole game. To make matters worse for them, the Titans are 4-0 on Numbani this year and undefeated since 2017. This match concludes with a rematch on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, where we recently saw the Titans speedrun the Gladiators.

Despite the Titans struggles the last two matches, we should see them come back with a strong showing and a 3-1 win. With a 2 week break ahead for the team, they need to crank up the intensity for their last match before the Stage 3 playoffs. If they want us to forget about their loss to the Valiant, they’ll need a third strong showing in the stage playoffs.

Reign Beat Good Teams, Gladiators Don’t, Titans Will Beat Both

In the first week of Stage 3, the Titans are facing off against two teams that are polar opposites. Coming into Season 2 of the Overwatch League, many saw Atlanta as a team that would be outside the playoffs, while the Gladiators were seen as a powerhouse team that could be playoff contenders all year. In typical fashion, the opposite happened. Atlanta made the Stage 1 playoffs while the Gladiators fell short, Atlanta also lost a key player in Dafran while the Gladiators added an insane player in Decay. When things normalized and Atlanta fell out of the playoff picture in Stage 2, why then were they able to defeat NYXL while the Gladiators couldn’t make anything work in the playoffs?

From what we’ve seen so far in Season 2 of the Overwatch League, there are two ways to defeat NYXL. Either you run an aggressive Sombra GOATS team and beat them with EMP or you run a more traditional GOATS team and run directly at them. The Reign opted for the GOATS and run strategy, which paid off both times these teams faced off. In the Stage 2 playoffs, the Gladiators tried the same strategy but were never able to run at the Excelsior with the same aggression as the Titans and Reign did.

There’s a reason that among teams who have won a playoff round this season, most of them are aggressive teams. The Titans, Shock, Dynasty, and Spark are all teams who aren’t afraid to run at you. The two less aggressive teams who have won playoff rounds are the NYXL, who defeated the equally passive Gladiators and the Philadelphia Fusion. The Fusion are a weird case, where they have some very skilled players, but because of the meta, elite players like Carpe aren’t put in a position to succeed. The Fusion were able to defeat the Reign in the playoffs because their players are so much better than Atlanta’s, however when the Fusion had to face off against the Shock, it was a clean sweep in favor of the Shock.

All this being said, which team will give the Titans the bigger challenge this week? In this Owl’s opinion, I’d say that the Reign will put up more of a fight. Not only are they the more aggressive team, but the Titans historically falter when playing multiple teams in a single week. In stage 1, both times the Titans played a double feature, one of the matches went to game 5, fortunately they did get their act together in Stage 2. The Titans lost some extra maps they probably should have won, but they seemed a lot more prepared than in Stage 1’s extra map wins against the Charge and Hunters.

The Shock were taken to their limits against the Reign in a match that can only be described as a clown fiesta. The Shock look like they may have relaxed too much over the break while the Reign were hungry to get back in the playoffs. Hopefully the Titans have been practicing, because if they need a map to shake off the rust, Atlanta might never take their foot off the gas. Statistically speaking, the Titans and Reign are both 50% winrate on the first map Nepal, 2-2 and 1-1, Hollywood is equally close, 3-1 and 3-0. Paris and Watchpoint: Gibraltar on the other hand are blowouts in favor of the Titans. Not only are the Vancouver squad drastically better on map types, but Atlanta is 0-3 on Watchpoint and 1-2 on Paris, while the Titans’ only loss this season on either of these maps was to the Shock in the Stage 2 finals. Still, while none of the Reign’s map type win percentages are above 60%, they seem to play to their opponents level where they can beat elite teams while still losing to average and below average teams.

The LA Gladiators on the other hand, had exactly one elite map type in Stage 2. They sat around 90% winrate on Hybrid maps, but when you look over the whole season, they also don’t have any map types where they win over 60% of the time. Ilios, the first map in this tilt, has been a tough location for the Gladiators, they have a 1-1 record this season but an awful 4-11 record all-time. Other than Ilios, the teams are pretty close in terms of single map win percentages. 3-0/2-0 on Paris, 3-1/2-0 on Hollywood, and 2-1/2-1 on Watchpoint: Gibraltar. While these teams are similar enough statistically, their play isn’t close, the Titans are a far better team with better players who play a better style of Overwatch. The Gladiators can’t even opt to play Sombra goats because Decay’s Sombra hasn’t been up to snuff at the OWL level yet.

If the Titans show up to Stage 3 prepared, they win both of these games. If they come in rusty, they will need to shake it off quickly as both of these teams are hungry after disappointing stages. This first week will be the most critical games for the Titans if they want a third 7-0 stage in a row and it’ll be interesting to see if the team has the mental strength to bounce back into shape after a long break.

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