Game 2 of the Overwatch League Quarterfinals began before either team stepped on stage. The rivalry between the London Spitfire and the Los Angeles Gladiators is steeped in history – a history that centers on Gladiators main tank Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek. After trading Fissure to LA after Stage 1, the Spitfire have never won a match against their former teammate. That record was on pace to continue, until the Gladiators released an explosive statement right before the match.
— Los Angeles Gladiators (@LAGladiators) July 12, 2018
With Fissure out, a Gladiators victory seemed decidedly less likely. Casters flipped their predictions and fan morale tanked. After the first two maps in the series, though, the Gladiators proved there’s an ‘i’ in Fissure – but no ‘i’ in team.
Shoulder to Shoulder
Every Gladiator fired on all cylinders for this game. Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara’ off-meta Bastion pick on Junkertown melted shields and defense matrices alike. Lane “Surefour” Roberts, in one of the most brilliant plays seen in the League’s history so far, waited in the spawn room as Brigitte to bait a positional change from the Spitfire before switching to Widowmaker to click heads. It was ridiculous. It was amazing.
Meanwhile, Luis “iRemiix” Galarza Figueroa put to bed any rumors that his presence in the main tank role would be the Gladiator’s downfall.
Even without their (arguably) best player, the Gladiators made this look easy. There was nary a protest from London, and smart team compositions that can adapt to situations on the fly carried the day for LA. The Gladiators demonstrated this skill time and time again, while London struggled to keep up. That said, all is not lost for the Spitfire. They have two more chances to reverse their fortunes, but those are their last. If Fissure returns for these next two games, the Gladiators will likely remain the victors for this series. If iRemiix stays in, it could go either way.