The Gladiators swept Atlanta Reign 3-0 to reach the Overwatch League Countdown Cup Grand Finals. Atlanta plays Chengdu next.
The Overwatch League Countdown cup will see a new winner. Neither Dallas Fuel nor Shanghai Dragons are a part of the top four, so we are guaranteed a new champion. In fact, none of the four teams remaining have won a stage final in their history. The Los Angeles Gladiators faced off against Atlanta Reign in the Winners’ FInals match, securing a 3-0 victory and a slot in the Grand Finals.
Gladiators Reign over Atlanta
Atlanta Reign and the Los Angeles Gladiators faced each other in the Winners’ Finals of the Overwatch League Countdown cup. The winner would secure its spot in the grand finals, while the loser would get another opportunity at the finals via the loser’s finals.
The first map, Oasis, kicked off with the Gladiators dominating the first point. After securing the point, Gladiators’ Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim perched himself on the high ground, poking at the enemy composition from safety. A few failed attempts later, Atlanta Reign managed to wrest back control of the bombsite. Reign’s composition featured a Reinhardt and they were rightfully looking to stick together. But it allowed the Gladiators’ Zarya and Tracer to deal damage from afar and build their ultimates. Greg “Keyser” Kallianiotis brought out the Mei for the retake. Freezing the Atlanta tanks repeatedly, Keyster opened up the backlines for his DPS players. The second point saw Atlanta put up a better fight but the result was the same as Gladiators cruised to a 2-0 victory on Oasis.
Gladiators finished Hanamura with 1:15 on the clock. The team had a very fast first point but had to try a few times to secure the second point. Atlanta Reign actually finished the map with a better time than the Gladiators but the team could not put up any fight in Overtime. This time around, the Gladiators were much more aggressive on the defense, even pushing out of the gate to clean up the remaining players from Atlanta Reign. Gladiators won Hanamura with a 4-2 score.
The final map was King’s Row, one of the classics in the game. Gladiators, on the offense, danced around the statue on the first point until they got an opening. After they got the first kill, the Gladiators pounced on Atlanta Reign to secure the first point with ease and unlock the payload. Atlanta tried for a very early defense just outside the first point, but the Gladiators brushed them aside, sending them back to spawn. The next defense would be towards the end of the second point, this time successful. Gladiators pushed the payload to the second point with 4:32 on the clock. After Keyster got a high-skill kill on Tae-hoon “Edison” Kim on the third point, the Gladiators once again, pushed their advantage. Finishing the map with 3:37 on the clock was a massive advantage for the Los Angeles-based team.
The Atlanta Reign came really close to taking the first point. The team got a few quick kills, securing a massive advantage over the Gladiators. A retreating Gladiators roster looked ready to just try to stall the point for as much time as possible. But after Min-seok “skewed” Kim and Indy “SPACE” Halpern got a couple of kills, it opened up a retake scenario for the Gladiators. Gladiators took control of the point with Atlanta Reign stuck at 62.8%. It was a phenomenal retake, one that was near-impossible, drawing the awe and excitement of the casters and fans alike. But some excellent positioning and ultimate usage by the Gladiator players allowed them to take control of the point. After this, things looked very bad for the Atlanta Reign who were never able to recover from that stellar retake.
With this win, the Los Angeles Gladiators have earned their spot in the Grand Finals. But Atlanta Reign is not out of the tournament just yet. The team has another opportunity when they face off against Chengdu Hunters in the loser’s finals.