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.
Towards the middle of Stage 2, the Valiant started to go through a rough patch of poor play. Their team looked disconnected, as they failed to adjust correctly to a new patch. On top of the team performing at a below-average level, but there was much internal player drama going on. Players were pointing fingers and placing blame on fellow teammates and coaches. This led to team owner Noah Whinston orchestrating a “blow up” of much of their starting core, inserting their young off-tank Space into the lineup, and bringing in a team centered around the former Fuel support player, Custa.
Since then, the Valiant have looked like one the elite teams in the league. They saw a 7-3 Stage 3, a 9-1 Stage 4, and a victory over NYXL for their first Stage Playoff finals to end the regular season. The Valiant are definitively looking like the top dog of the Pacific Division, with a favorable chance win Season 1 of OWL.
The Valiant’s starting lineup has one of the deepest hero pools in the league. Let’s start off with the supports. Custa and Kariv have been looking coordinated and communicative, not only with their teammates, but with each other. In Stages 3 and 4, Kariv is in the top 10% of all support players in Deaths/10 min and K/D/10 min. The addition of Custa brought a proper shot-caller with definitive play-calling experience.
The DPS position is where the versatility really shined through for the Valiant. Agilities and Soon were the mainstays in the DPS slots, with Soon regularly crushing the hitscan position and Agilities flexing to a variety of heroes: Genji, Pharah, Junkrat, Brigitte, Hanzo, and even Doomfist(!). After going through some hard times in the middle of the season, it seems that the projectile pundit has found his rhythm and flying smoothly.
The tank line of the Valiant may be their most valuable pieces. Fate and Space both consistently rank near the top of the league in tank statistics, executing clean dives and flawless Halt-Hook combos. These two players enable their teammates in a variety of ways and create space for their killer Zenyatta.
The Gladiators or Uprising will have to bring their A-game against the Valiant, as they have timed their peak pretty nicely, there is a decent chance this team sees that Season 1 Title in July.