Los Angeles Gladiators Off-Season Recap

After November 15th, the Gladiators were required to announce at least eight players for the 2020 season. With returning players, rookies, new veterans, and coaches joining the team, here’s a summary of all the moves made up to this point.

Who Stayed?

With any off-season, you need to look at home first. Starting at the top David “dpei” Pei, was signed, not only as head coach but also general manager for the team. After this, the Gladiators confirmed the return of their Finnish support duo in Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara and Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni. The return of the Gladiators head coach and consistent support line is a good sign for long time fans and for the future of the team.

Once a Gladiator

In the off-season, players and coaches leaving is inevitable. the first loss was assistant coach John Gault leaving to the Washing Justice, with main tank Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye following him to the 2019 expansion team.

David “dpei” Pei coaching Lane “Surefour” Roberts mid-match

Later on October 18th, flex DPS João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles would join the Houston Outlaws. Then later the same month, hitscan DPS Guiun “Decay” Jang would be announced traded to the Dallas Fuel. Lastly, hitscan DPS Lane “Surefour” Roberts would be joining the Toronto Defiant.

Other players who have left the team, but gone with out contracts for the 2020 season include support Riku “Ripa” Toivanen, main tank Byungho “Panker” Lee, and off-tank Junwoo “Void” Kang.

Brain Power

Any big change in an organization comes from the top. In this instance, the Gladiators went out and have signed two new coaches. Rohit “Curryshot” Nathani joining as assistant coach. This would be after he joined the Guangzhou Charge and help them achieve their best stage record. Sam “face” Merewether former Talon coached would be joining as assistant coach to dpei.

Coming in Hot

With several players leaving the team, the Gladiators had to make moves in free agency, and with dpei as manager they went out and did just that.

First on October 23rd, the Gladiators announced their signing of Indy “Space” Halpern, an off-tank from their Los Angeles rivals, the Los Angeles Valiant. After this on October 29th, the Gladiators had traded their young DPS player, Decay to the Dallas Fuel in exchange for their main tank, Minseok “OGE” Son. After this, the Gladiators tank line would be complete. With two friends with great synergy signing together the Gladiators have high hopes for the duo.

Later, the Gladiators would address their need for DPS players. On November 6th, the Gladiators would sign former London Spitfire DPS Kim “birdring” Ji-hyeok. In addition to birdring, November 12th, the Gladiators would sign Uprising Academy’s Chris “MirroR” Trinh. MirroR is now the first Vietnamese pro player in the Overwatch League. With birdring, a player with inconsistency issues and MirroR who is just getting his first shot in the pro scene, the Gladiators DPS line will have much to prove.

November 13th, the Gladiators would sign support player Nolan “Paintbrush” Edwards from Revival. Known for being a strong in game leader and his Lucio play, Paintbrush is a strong depth piece for the Gladiators. After this, on November 15th, the Gladiators signed an old friend in Aaron “Bischu” Kim. Bischu was part of the Gladiators 2018 and 2019 season, but after an ulcerative colitis flair up in the 2019 season, he left to join the Charge for the remainder of the season.

Final Grade

Looking at the Gladiators, this is a big change from their 2019 roster. Only keeping two players from their inaugural season and blowing up the rest of the roster, the Gladiators are starting from scratch. With a new tank line and DPS duo, this is a new team that will be looking for a new identity.

On paper, the Gladiators have players with solid consistency, but with the potential to be big players in the upcoming season. After a disappointing season, the Gladiators will be looking to redeem themselves.

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