The Seoul Dynasty have had a less than stellar start to Stage 3. Currently sitting at 2-1, they were only 1 map away from dropping a match to the Dallas Fuel earlier in the week. Los Angeles Gladiators, on the other hand have to feel pretty good about themselves at the moment, also sitting at 2-1 but currently with the advantage in maps over Seoul. This match could very much be a precursor to who may be able to make the playoffs between these two teams later in the Stage/Season.
Dynasty – Miro, Wekeed, Gambler, Ryujehong, Zunba, Fleta
Gladiators – Shaz, Bigg00se, Hydration, Bischu, Fissure, Surefour
Map One – Anubis
The Gladiators took up the forward position behind the Orisa Shield, forcing the Dynasty to take the left side approach. From here they were able to absorb a surprising amount of pressure, as they had the entire Point to fall back through whenever Seoul attempted to dive. Surefour’s Widowmaker cut through the Dynasty health bars, landing shots with amazing accuracy. The clock read :59 before Seoul were even able to set foot on the Point, but they did so commandingly. Seoul took Point A to give themselves just over 4 minutes to push the final Point. Anubis has been an issue for the Dynasty, and it seemed like the Gladiators were in a good spot; however, with about 3 minutes remaining in the time bank Seoul started threatening to score max Points. 2 ticks fell into Seoul control before Los Angeles managed to right the ship. This was the main grab for Seoul, as from there Los Angeles’s defense held strong. With :60 remaining the Gladiators were able to take out both opposing Supports, forcing the Dynasty back. Surefour and Hydration wreaked havoc on the Dynasty healers, staggering their opponent’s backs with each advance. Suddenly, the Seoul attack ended, as no Dynasty player set foot on the Point with Overtime expiring.
Seoul mirrored the Los Angeles defense, taking the forward position. This plan worked terribly, as the Gladiator dive scattered the Dynasty players. The action quickly moved to Point B as the Gladiators seemed to almost immediately bring a fight to the Dynasty. The boys in purple seemed to win that fight, but after an unbelievable delay by Zunba on D.Va Seoul regained composure and held Los Angeles to less than a tick. Fleta’s Genji was an essential part of the Seoul defense, as his DragonBlade Ultimate nabbed kills with seeming ease. Fleta is without a doubt Seoul’s Ace in the Hole. Gladiator attacks seemed to melt against Fleta’s blade, as the Dynasty stalled the clock to almost nothing. With Overtime ticking, Seoul seemed to make a mistake yet again, as the whole team left the point. This turned out to be a controlled retreat, as they quickly collapsed upon the Gladiator players, wiping them from the map and holding on to win.
Seoul Dynasty 2-1
Seoul didn’t look like the team that was favored to win the OWL as the season began on this map, but they eked out the win.
Map Two – Blizzard World
Dynasty – Munckin in, Fleta out
Gladiators – none
Seoul came out with the Stage 1 favourite, 2/2/2 dive composition. Surefour’s Widowmaker started out the Widowmaker duel landing a headshot on Weeked, and it was fuel to the fire of the fans bewilderment to taking out Fleta. Seoul never really got their attack off the ground on Blizzard World. The map seems to be a bit of a bane for all the Korean rosters so far. With just under :60 the Dynasty finally took control of the Payload and began their push towards Point B. Wekeed switched off of Widowmaker to Genji before Seoul had taken the Payload, and this gave Seoul the early Ultimate advantage, but that didn’t immediately translate to success. Again :60 saw the Dynasty in a friendly position, as Wekeed finally used that Dragon Blade Ultimate he had been sitting on for all of their first push, to secure a double kill and control of the Point. This gave the Dynasty another 2 minutes to push for maximum points, and again the Gladiators managed to make a great hold, reducing the clock to <:30. SEOUL PULLED A C9 AGAIN! Two times in two maps, the Dynasty (AT FULL MANPOWER) failed to touch the objective as Overtime expired.
Seoul’s defense is often better than their attack; and the inability of many teams to push past Point B calmed many Dynasty fans nerves, but Los Angeles quickly secured 2 ticks on the Payload before they should have pulled back. The Gladiators had other plans however, as they prolonged the fight and managed a “team kill” to fully capture the Point and put them in good position to push 66% of the way to Point B. Seoul managed to recover and began an impressive hold to take a couple minutes off the clock at Point B, but again the Gladiators secured a massive kill streak on the defenders and captured the Point. From Point B to the position that Seoul had originally pushed the Payload, I don’t think a single Seoul player touched the objective to slow its advance. Again, in what was a slightly more forgivable fashion than their first two mistakes, Seoul couldn’t quite get to the objective as the Payload pushed onto, and then past their original mark. Los Angeles won map 2.
LA Gladiators 3-2
Seoul played Gambler instead of Tobi this map to improve their Mercy…but this backfired. Gambler’s Mercy made the Shanghai Support play look impressive. To add insult to injury, the Munchkin for Fleta substitution never showed it’s merit. Los Angeles won here due to poor communication on their opponent’s side and clean execution on their own…but mostly the poor communication. We go into the half at 1-1, but based on the Seoul gameplay it could easily have been 2-0 in the Gladiators favour.
Map Three – Nepal
Dynasty – none
Gladiators – none
Seoul kept Fleta out again and it seemed to work early. Seoul grabbed control of the Point as the game unlocked. Hydration and Wekeed took to the skies as we were treated to a Pharah v Pharah battle. Wekeed got his Ultimate first, as Hydration initially hadn’t been on the Pharah. As Seoul secured 50% of the Point, Los Angeles were able to gain control. Seoul took back control as Los Angeles amassed only 5% more, and from there held it to draw first blood. Wekeed’s Pharah Barrage Ultimate secured that Point for them, as he grabbed 4 kills with its use.
Munchkin went for the range advantage, playing the Widowmaker in Fleta’s sted. Wekeed played Junkrat, and between the two of them the damage output was massive. Seoul secured the Point first, gaining 77% control. Bigg00se had other plans for the Seoul DPS players as he dove Munchkin in full “Battle-Mercy” mode leading his team to take control of the Point. Not to be outdone, Gambler played a “Battle-Mercy” of his own to kill Surefour, but couldn’t switch the advantage back into Seoul’s favour. Los Angeles maintained control of the Point, and Bischu secured the score with a D.Va Ultimate for a double kill.
Los Angeles Gladiators came out strong with a triple tank composition. This paired with a Lucio enabled the Gladiators to take control of the Point. Seoul’s Wekeed played Pharah again, but the highflying DPS couldn’t do a single bit of damage on the Gladiator tanks. Seoul looked absolutely out of sync from there forward, as the Gladiators absolutely routed them.Surefour hit nearly every Roadhog hook he attempted on Village, including a highlight reel worthy max-range hook on Wekeed’s Pharah.
LA Gladiators 2-1
The second half of Nepal was all Los Angeles. They dominated Seoul and never took their foot off the gas. This was the first map that didn’t seem to feature a lack of communication on either side but showcased one team playing a much better game than the other.
Map Four – Junkertown
Uprising – none
NYXL – none
Soe explained the Fleta absence before Map Four, as the Dynasty Nurse informed her that the Korean DPS player was being held out due to illness.
Surefour started the Widowmaker duel off right, immediately sniping Munchkin. Ryujehong played Mei, a hero we haven’t seen in the OWL other than to set up a defense on Anubis. The pick works…HARD. Ryujehong used the Mei to near perfection in order to either out snipe Surefour, or shut the Canadian out with a wall of ice (I’m sure it made him feel right at home). The approach to Point B didn’t seem quite as good a portion of the Map for Mei, as the long sightlines reduced both her short-range and Blizzard Ultimate effectiveness. The single Support lineup run by Seoul allowed the Gladiators to focus Gabler’s Mercy. This gave the Gladiators a huge advantage, as everytime Gambler fell, the Dynasty had to fall back. The lack of Fleta was apparent here, as the Gladiator Tanks never seemed at risk of death. The trust Seoul put into Gambler also seemed misplaced, as the Gladiators seemed to have the advantage, however slight in every fight. Here the Gladiators made their first big mistake of the match, allowing Miro to push the Payload to within a meter of Point B without contest. Seoul was able to push through Point B, but made it less than 38 meters. At that point, the Gladiators forced both Support Ultimates out of the Dynasty at the exact same time, which allowed their DPS players the ability to hold their Ultimates and then decimate the Dynasty.
Los Angeles Gladiators came out with the pirate ship look, as they ran a triple Tank, single Support composition with Shaz on the Bastion. This worked well through Point A, as they took it in record time giving themselves nearly 6 minutes to take Point B. After a couple quick deaths Shaz switched off the Bastion back to a traditional Support (Zenyatta). Seoul here began an impressive defense, taking massive amounts of time off the clock as Munchkin’s Widowmaker seemed unkillable. Seoul’s offensive woes were forgotten, as their defensive stand was the exact opposite. Seoul held Los Angeles from taking Point B, winning Map Four and forcing a Fifth.
Seoul Dynasty 2-1
Seoul’s defense looks nearly unbeatable, even with the lack of Fleta. Their offense…sorely missed Fleta’s skill and seemed to be a little off with the inclusion of Gambler rather than Tobi. Against a better team than the Los Angeles Gladiators, this team will[would] have issues.
Map Five – Oasis
Uprising – none
NYXL – none
Seoul chose the quad tank approach, while Los Angeles went triple tank. The first clash went in the favour of the Gladiators as their extra healing gave them the health bar advantage. Seoul’s Ultimate economy wasn’t the best, as the Gladiators forced mistakes out of the favourites. Surefour’s Roadhog is incredible, as he seemed almost to relish in the attempt to hit max range Hooks. Fissure reminded us “Who’s Better than Fissure”, as he snuck behind the entire Dynasty team as Reinhardt to land a surprise Earth Shatter from behind. Zunba’s Zarya was lacklustre, and couldn’t land a good Ultimate to give his team the advantage.
Seoul set up with a Phar/Mercy combo and took first control of the point. After gaining 58%, the Dynasty finally lost the point to the Gladiators. Los Angeles managed to get to 66% control, but they had to stagger their backs many times to secure it. It looked like this would give Seoul the advantage in their defense, but the Gladiators wouldn’t let their Ultimate disadvantage dictate the game and regained control. Los Angeles never let up from that point on, holding the point through a furious Seoul onslaught to win the 99/99 duel and the match.
LA Gladiators 2-0
LA Gladiators had the Seoul Dynasty’s number on Control.
Match Score: Los Angeles Gladiators 3-2
MVP: Surefour[‘s Roadhog]
Surefour rose to the occasion against the Dynasty. Seoul sorely missed their star DPS player in Fleta, and Surefour capitalized on this. If the Gladiators didn’t have three great tanks in Fissure, Bischu and iRemix, Surefour could easily disguise himself as an off tank.
Match Score: 9/10
The Korean Powerhouses still remain on top of the table as far as the Season is concerned, but this stage hasn’t gone in their favor. London fell twice in week 1, and had a hard time against Florida this week, while New York lost only their third match in the regular season yesterday and Seoul has begun this stage 1-3 against not so great teams. Los Angeles Gladiators (and Valiant), on the other hand, have had a more than favorable start to Stage 3. #ShieldsUP