February 8, the Los Angeles Gladiators faced off against the Vancouver Titans for their first match of Season 3. The Gladiators lost 2-3 in a close match. Never the less, the Gladiators answered many questions, although not without creating new ones.
Another Day at the Office
Before we get to the rest of the Gladiators, let’s talk about the goose in the room. Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni and his partner in crime Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara both have shown why the Gladiators kept them.
Both of the players played as well as they had in 2019, keeping the Gladiators in many fights they might have lost. Even getting early picks at times to secure fights before they began. While the support position has never been a point of concern, it’s still nice to know the Gladiators have people they can count on.
A New Arc?
Heading into Season 3, many had questioned the acquisition of former London Spitfire DPS Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim. Since his first year in the league, he ha been an inconsistent player at best and seemed not worth the risk.
In spite of his critics, birdring played all five maps vs the Titans. He spent most of the time playing Reaper, while also showcasing his McCree and Tracer. He even played Symmetra and Widowmaker. His debut for the Gladiators was a big one and he seems to have lived up to the hype. But can he maintain this form all season?
SPACE Stocks Up!
Indy “SPACE” Halpern had come to the Gladiators and was rumored to have signed for a big number. No one questioned SPACE’s skill, but some wondered if he was worth the money. Some had said the signing of SPACE left the budget busted, leaving the team unable to bring in new talent.
Against the Titans, SPACE got his chance to make his debut with his new team. Spending all of his time on his signature D.VA, SPACE would spend his time helping LhCloudy make room for the rest of the team or making sure that his supports weren’t in danger. Far from a liability, SPACE showed why many consider him a top flex tank in the league.
Will the Real Starting Main Tank Stand Up?
The biggest surprise this weekend was the Gladiators starting Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen. While he was signed to the team after his time with the Paris Eternal, many believed he would sit behind Min-seok “OGE” Son. LhCloudy played four maps, only subbing out on Dorado for OGE.
Many blame LhCloudy for the loss, and want OGE to start instead. The move to sub in OGE might be an acknowledgment of who the better main tank is, but we still need to see who they plan on playing. We’ve seen main tanks come and go for the Gladiators but are we in store for even more drama?
A look in the MirroR
Speaking of surprise starters Jason “Jaru” White made a surprise entrance vs. the Titans. Spending his time on Mei, he played four maps and only subbed out for Chris “MirroR” Trinh once. Jaru seemed to be competent on Mei, but being tasked with facing the elite DPS trio of Hyojong “Haksal” Kim, Min-soo “SeoMinSoo” Seo, and Chung-hee “Stitch” Lee seemed too big a task for him.
MirroR seemed impressive on Dorado, playing both Doomfist and McCree effectively. One map is a small sample size, so maybe we’ll see more in the future. With birdring looking to return to his elite form, will the Gladiators split time between MirroR and Jaru?
In a close game against the Titans, the Gladiators did better than expected. With many of these questions coming early and the Gladiators not playing for another month, we find ourselves waiting for the answers. Overall, the Gladiators seem like a strong team looking to take their turn in the spotlight. We’ll need to wait and see.
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