Category: Los Angeles Valiant

Los Angeles Valiant Mercy

Courtesy of Blizzard

Team Summary

In the first season of the Overwatch League, the Los Angeles Valiant racked up a stage win, a 4th place finish, and thousands of dedicated LA fans. A solid base of former Immortals players led them to have a consistently successful season. Mid-season pickups, such as offtank Space and former Fuel shotcaller Custa, allowed them to get ahead of the pack in the latter half of the season. With new expansion teams to contend with, they’re looking to stay ahead in Season 2.

Current Roster

PlayerTeamPosition
Young-seo “KariV” ParkLA ValiantSupport/Flex
Scott ‘Custa’ KennedyLA ValiantSupport
Pan-seung “Fate” KooLA ValiantTank
Kyle “KSF” FrandanisaLA ValiantDPS/Flex
Kim “Izayaki” Min-chulLA ValiantSupport
Joon-hyuk “Bunny” ChaLA ValiantDPS
Indy “SPACE” HalpernLA ValiantTank/Flex
Dae-kuk “KuKi” KimLA ValiantTank
Brady “Agilities” GirardiLA ValiantDPS

Recent News


Minority Report: A Year I needed

It’s December 31st, the year is over, and I’m sitting here at the computer, slightly hungover, tore up from the floor up, trying to process it all. My latest self-assignment for Minority Report was a year-end article that summed up the year on a positive note, as someone pointed out to me that my last few pieces have been pretty tonally negative.

I mean, I suppose there is a point there. The initial idea behind Minority Report was to create a way for me to connect with fans, players, and industry folks who were people of color – people who are often overlooked, or harassed just for doing what they love. It ended up, though, becoming so much more than that. It was a space that allowed me to tell my journey through Overwatch League while exposing the flaws and mistakes it made during in its inaugural season and discussing what it could do to be better. I didn’t find much joy in doing the latter, but it was necessary, with Blizzard’s varying levels of missteps.

However, Overwatch League ultimately made 2018 a transformative year for me. A year I truly needed to happen just the way it did. So after a year of those callouts, of focusing on the bad to help it become good, I’d like to take a moment to do something different. I’d like to, with real sincerity, say “thank you.” And I’m not going to make this fancy, or show off my extensive vocabulary, or try to be acerbic. I’m just going to speak from the heart.

The OWL Grand Finals crowd / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Thank you, to the Overwatch League. For as long as I live, I will never forget how incredible, exciting, and inclusive this inaugural season has been. These were some of the best times of my life, and as old and grumpy as I am, the fact that you were able to embrace my natural passion for the game means more than you could ever understand. From the very first game; to the Grand Finals, to the All-Star Games, I have never felt such joy. I know that the second season will have its ups and downs as well, but I’ll be there screaming my head off each and every time.

 

 

Thank you, to the Los Angeles Valiant. They were a team that I picked entirely by accident, but they accepted me as their official hypewoman and gave me opportunities that I never thought were possible. They showed they truly cared about their fans and their community with their Be Valiant program and special events throughout the year; and by doing so, they inspired other teams to do the same. They genuinely are ground-breakers in the esports scene. I’m proud to back a team full of passionate players who give it their all every time, and I’m especially proud of all the managers and coordinators who welcomed me with open arms. I know I’m just a fan, and cannot fully comprehend all of the hard work that you all put into making this team so successful. But I can appreciate it, and I can show you that when the chips are down, I will be there to cheer you on no matter what.

Thank you to Overwatchscore.com and especially to my mentor Brandon Padilla, who believed in me and in what I wanted to say. He took a huge chance, and it turned out to be more successful than either of us could have imagined. I wasn’t sure that pointing out racial inequality in esports would be acceptable, but he encouraged me to keep writing anyway. And now, I have people from all over telling me about how my writing helped them and changed them, which is something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little girl. I was able to start real conversations and help shift the discussion concerning esports. Additionally, with the support of the current writing and editing staff, I hope to improve my style and broaden my scope, to continue telling exciting and thought-provoking stories.

Thank you for my fellow super fans. When I first moved here, it was hard for me to make friends because I was always on the grind. And truthfully, it isn’t easy for me to trust people, especially in a city that is known for its duplicitous nature. But even as a seasoned writer, it is tough for me to put into words how humbled and grateful I am to have such genuine, loving people in my life, who genuinely care about me and my well-being. We are the ones who help give Overwatch League a heart, and we will never back down. You guys are the best friends a woman could ask for, and I love you guys to death.

Thank you to my best friends for life, Elton “Altecha” Kwok and Chris “Widget” DiMauro, for being the architects of probably the best cosplay I’ve ever seen: the Brigitte cosplay they created in secret as my birthday present for Blizzcon. I was not only impressed with how they kept me in the dark for so long but how they were able to take a passing comment I made back in July during New York Excelsior’s Homecoming and make the most incredible armor I’ve ever had the privilege of wearing. It made that weekend so memorable and embodying a character whose personality matches my own filled my heart with more joy than I could ever fathom. And the response? I still get likes and retweets for it, and it happened almost two months ago. I cannot wait to see what you have planned for next year.

Thank you to my family, for being 100% supportive of my journey in esports, and for asking me when I would be on TV so they could see me and cheer me on. Thanks to my mother, for listening to me and reassuring me of my strength when I felt weak. My sister, for reminding me that life is just ridiculous sometimes and that I should roll with it. My brother, for constantly reviving my passion for video games by sharing his with me. Last, to my father, for keeping me on my feet when I felt like I couldn’t move anymore. Even after my grandmother’s death, our family’s resilience shows, and we are now closer than we have ever been.

Finally, I wanted to thank you. Yes, you, the person who is reading this right now. I know I can be very blunt when I speak my mind, but you stuck by me. You retweeted and up-voted my articles. You are those who sparked real discussions (good and bad) about the content – discussions that helped change the way that people think. I cannot begin to express how much it means to me that you are willing to listen to what I had to say. Understand that you are more powerful than you could ever know. We can make esports an inclusive, exciting space for everyone, and to allow me to help you make that happen with my work is a dream come true. I hope I can continue to make you think, to make you feel, and to remind you that it’s okay to be uncomfortable sometimes, as that generates real and lasting change.

I will admit, it was challenging for me to write this article since I am unsure of what 2019 will bring. I want to have this year end on a positive note, yet with all of the good that happened, I can’t deny that a lot of bad came with it. A lot of things that I believed would carry over into 2019 simply were not meant to do so. I saw a lot of friendships end, a lot of trusts broken, and a healthy reminder that I need to be more careful about who I allow around me. Conversely, I’ve received a lot of incredible opportunities, including chances to learn from the hardships this year threw my way.

Most importantly, I learned that sometimes things don’t go your way – and it’s not within your control, nor is it your fault. But what you can control is how you react to adversity, no matter how big or small. My promise is that I choose to respond proactively and positively, even when it feels like the end.

For as the artist Childish Gambino said earlier this year: “I think endings are good because they force things to get better.”

So here’s to a better 2019.

Keep fighting and keep smiling,

Briggsy

Brittany
Brittany "Briggsycakes" Gonzalez is a litta bitta switcha hitta Trinirican winna from Philly/New York who now resides in California as the Los Angeles Valiant's official hypewoman/meme victim. She can easily be bribed with apple pie and macaroni and cheese and thrives when writing about her own personal experiences regarding humanity's place in the esports/social media age. Don't @ her unprepared. Follow Briggsy on Twitter here.

Minority Report: The True California Cup Champions

In this week’s Minority Report, Briggsy recaps her experiences at both California Cup showmatches between the Los Angeles Valiant and the San Francisco Shock. The true champions, we find out, aren’t necessarily the players – especially when things get rough. 


College is about making mistakes. My mistake was going to college.

I grew up watching movies and nonfiction testimonials about college sororities providing lifelong bonds, fun parties that would become stories to tell my grandkids, and classes that were engaging and interactive to prepare me for a lifetime of success. I was excited to start this new chapter in my life after enduring a rather miserable high school experience. Turns out not much changes after high school. In college, I didn’t fit in, the material didn’t interest me, and most of my time was spent dealing with lecherous instructors and abusive relationships. I left unceremoniously after I simply stopped going to classes.

Read more …

Brittany
Brittany "Briggsycakes" Gonzalez is a litta bitta switcha hitta Trinirican winna from Philly/New York who now resides in California as the Los Angeles Valiant's official hypewoman/meme victim. She can easily be bribed with apple pie and macaroni and cheese and thrives when writing about her own personal experiences regarding humanity's place in the esports/social media age. Don't @ her unprepared. Follow Briggsy on Twitter here.

California Cup: “Be Valiant” Comes to an End

As someone involved in Los Angeles Valiant event coverage since their initial team announcement, writer Austin Hanlin delves into what has changed from their first local event to their last, the California Cup. 


The first significant difference I detected when I was heading to the Esports Arena for a second LA Valiant event was the energy. As I was driving by, I spotted the team walking inside and saw that they had already begun setting up on the street; I could tell I was in for a fun time. As I made my way to the door and inside, Valiant fans had already packed the entire arena full a good hour before my arrival. The energy at this point was quite lively as the University teams were playing on the stage, fans from the schools cheering them on as they played. I watched for a few minutes, observing the packed crowd before I made my way up to the VIP section on the overlook, which was also packed full. All of it was not so surprising once I learned that they had sold out of VIP tickets the first week they were available;  they’d also sold out of all general admission tickets just the night before.

Read more …

Austin Hanlin
Austin Hanlin is a London born Overwatch League writer, an avid Spitfire fan who won't miss a single game of theirs. He has been into gaming since he was a kid and picked up Overwatch League as his first competitive passion. You're better off finding him watching the games live on the Arena floor than anywhere else. You can follow him on Twitter.
Verbo of Los Angeles Valiant

Los Angeles Valiant Drops Three Players, Assistant Coach

The Los Angeles Valiant revealed September 7 that they will not be renewing the contracts of three players and a former player turned assistant coach for the upcoming 2019 season of the Overwatch League.

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Liz
Liz is an educator and huge nerd from Chicago, IL who specializes in humor writing and personal essays. Her favorite thing is Overwatch esports; her second favorite thing is pretending iced coffee is a meal. She can be commonly found banning people on Twitch, running Discords, and making bad life choices at Target. Follow her on Twitter!

Seagull Will Not Play in All-Star Weekend

Brandon “Seagull’ Larned, formerly of the Dallas Fuel, announced his retirement from Overwatch League last week. However, there was still hope among fans that he would join the all-star weekend at the end of the summer. He is not playing and some roster updates followed.

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Garrett 'Mash' Fuller
Garrett 'Mash' Fuller is an industry veteran having worked with a ton of companies including MMORPG.com and Ten Ton Hammer. He brings Overwatchscore a wealth of experience and passion for Overwatch!Follow Mash on Twitter!

London Spitfire vs. LA Valiant: An Aerial Affair

Chants of “Wings Out” pierced the walls of the casting booth on the second day of the Semifinals. The LA Valiant and London Spitfire were ready to fight for the chance to book their ticket to Brooklyn and the inaugural Overwatch League Grand Finals. Over the chants, Mitch “Uber” Leslie quipped to his casting partner Matt “Mr. X” Morello: “Only one team can take flight.” Read more …

Daniel
Daniel is life long game player and day dreamer living in St. Paul, MN. He holds a Masters in Writing for Children and Young Adult from Hamline University and writes scripts for both comics and plays. He enjoys playing competitive Overwatch, even if he isn't so great, and enjoys hosting friends for couch co-op gaming. Check him out on Twitter!

OWL Semi-Finals: LA Valiant vs London Spitfire – The Upsets just keep coming

The Overwatch League’s Playoffs have been a roller-coaster so far. The first round was an unpredictable rodeo, and the Semi-Final round started with even more upsets and excitement. London Spitfire took on Los Angeles Valiant in the final match on day 1 of the Semi-Finals. Could the Spitfire continue their decimation of the LA teams on their way to the Finals? Or were the Valiant primed to revenge their fallen brethren in Purple, and bring down the high flying Aces of London? As the dust settled, London emerged victorious, going into their Thursday matches with Los Angeles up 1-0. Read more …

Austin White
Austin White is Overwatchscore’s ‘London Spitfire’ beat writer. An avid esports fan and gamer, Austin spends his free time playing, watching, and writing about video games. You can find his articles both at Overwatchscore as well as EGF. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Can London Spitfire Take Down the Los Angeles Valiant?

London Spitfire have risen to the top again after a mid-year slump. Los Angeles Valiant have come up from a tricky early season to be one of the most dangerous teams in the league. How will the match tomorrow night play out?

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Garrett 'Mash' Fuller
Garrett 'Mash' Fuller is an industry veteran having worked with a ton of companies including MMORPG.com and Ten Ton Hammer. He brings Overwatchscore a wealth of experience and passion for Overwatch!Follow Mash on Twitter!

“Playing for Team USA would be an absolute honor for me” | Interview With Indy “Space” Halpern – Offtank for the Los Angeles Valiant

I got a chance to chat with Indy “Space” Halpern, starting offtank for the Los Angeles Valiant and we covered a lot of great topics from his background, stepping into his roster spot on the Valiant, Team USA, and more!

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Sam 'Taco' Owens
Sam 'Taco' Owens is a lifelong gamer who has been playing Blizzard titles for over 20 years. Co-founder of Overwatchscore and content-creator, Taco loves taking a quantitative approach with his analysis. Follow Taco on Twitter!

Los Angeles Valiant – Playoff Breakdown

The Los Angeles Valiant have had quite a turbulent season, with some of the most drastic roster changes we have seen coming mid-season. Starting out, the Valiant had a favorable schedule by not having to play the NYXL in Stage 1. They were a solid middle-of-the-pack team, comfortably beating teams like Shock, Mayhem, and Dragons, but consistently fell short against the top teams in the league. Their Stage 1 was a solid start to the season, going 7-3. We break down their playoff chances. 

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Sameer Karim
Sameer has been playing and spectating professional Overwatch since launch, and has been absolutely engrossed with it. He recently started writing and is excited to cover the league as a Houston native and Outlaws fan. He started writing on Medium, and eventually branched out writing about other topics in OWL.
Overwatchscore