L.A. Gladiators dominate London Spitfire in their first quarterfinals series

L.A. Gladiators dominate London Spitfire in their first quarterfinals series

July 12, 2018 0 By news club


Despite the absence of esteemed main tank and League MVP runner-up Fissure, the Los Angeles Gladiators swiftly shut down the London Spitfire in their first quarterfinals match-up, taking the series 3-0.

Before the match began, news broke that Fissure would not be in the starting line-up for the Gladiators game against the Spitfire. Then later in the evening, the Gladiators put out a statement confirming Fissure’s absence for the entire match.

“The Gladiators believe that the most effective practice and preparation is necessary in order to perform well in playoffs. With that, the team has decided that having Luis “iRemiix” Galarza Figueroa starting at main tank gives the team the best chance to win.” – Excerpt from the Los Angeles Gladiators’ statement

Despite the Gladiators’ confidence, the Overwatch League desk didn’t have faith – both Bren and Sideshow picked London to take the series, no doubt influenced by Fissure’s absence.

iRemiix confirmed to Overwatch Wire after the game that he’d been grinding really hard and participating in some of the scrims over the last two weeks. “I just put in a lot of work [once he started scrimming again] and tried really hard. I put in all the work that I could and studied as much as I could so I would be ready for the playoffs [if needed].”

It appears as though the hard work paid off, as the Gladiators absolutely destroyed the Spitfire throughout the series, with iRemiix playing in every map.

The first map was Junkertown, where the Gladiators managed to hold the Spitfire just short of completing the map. With a clear win condition ahead, the Gladiators used a pirate ship composition with Shaz on Bastion to quickly roll the payload through to the end.

Lijiang Tower was the second and closest map of the series, with the first round on Garden going down 99-99 before being taken by London. The subsequent round on Control Centre was another close one, but went to the Gladiators, who then closed out the map with a dominant performance on Night Market. The Gladiators led the series 2-0 going into halftime.

From there, the series went to King’s Row. Notably, silkthread came in for Hydration on the map – his first appearance since the first week of Stage Four – and helped the team hold the Spitfire’s attack just off the second point.

On the Gladiators’ King’s Row attack, we witnessed one of the best, if not the best, strategic set-plays in the Overwatch League so far. The Gladiators ran a tank-heavy composition with Surefour on Brigitte.

The team then used the Alderworth Hotel to rotate past the point, through to the second phase of the map, back to the stairs that allow access to the high ground over the first point.

While this was happening, Surefour patiently waited in spawn as Brigitte. If the Spitfire checked the Gladiators’ hero roster, they would have assumed that the Brigitte was with the rest of the team.

However, the long rotation from the Gladiators forced the Spitfire to rotate back towards the initial King’s Row attacker’s choke. This gave Surefour the opportunity to switch to Widowmaker and take advantage of an unguarded backline, with the Spitfire completely unaware that he was behind them.

Surefour capitalised and got two picks, opening up the point and scrambling the Spitfire. London couldn’t put up a defence for the rest of map, with the Gladiators barreling through and taking the series 3-0.

You can watch the full ingenious set-play below:

“That was a strategy set up around three days ago,” said iRemiix, after the match. “We practiced it like three times, over two days. It was made by one of our coaches, Tim, and we tried it and it was insane. It was working on every team that we were scrimming.” 

iRemiix also outperformed Gesture on King’s Row by a mile, going 13 eliminations  to 2 deaths compared to 6-7 from Gesture.

We asked iRemiix if he felt any pressure coming into the game. “I felt some pressure, but everything was going well in practice. The coaches and the whole team believed in me and they gave me the opportunity; as long as we played like we practiced, I was really confident, because we had done so well in practice.”

Now, the road ahead looks tough for the Spitfire. To make it to the semi-finals, they’ll have to win two back-to-back best of five series on Saturday against the Gladiators.

On the other side of things, the Gladiators could secure a spot to the semi-finals in a repeat performance against London this Saturday – if they win three maps off the bat, they move forward into the semis.

You can watch the remaining quarterfinals at www.twitch.tv/OverwatchLeague on Friday from 5:00pm PST and Saturday from 1:00pm PST.

The featured image for this post was provided by Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.





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