Part of the joy of being a sports fan is seeing a plucky underdog take on a much superior opponent and take them down a peg or two. These David and Goliath stories are just as common in eSports as they are in physical sports. In fact just yesterday in one of the world’s biggest eSports leagues there was a huge shock.
Valiant upset the odds
The Overwatch league is massive. It claims to be the world’s premier eSports league tournament and it is hard to argue with it. With regular work for its world-class competitors and a massive schedule it truly does have the feel of a real sport. Going into yesterdays game the LA Valiant hadn’t recorded a win in 7 games and were sitting 17th in the 20 team division. Their opponents the Vancouver Titans were on a 19 match win streak and sitting pretty atop the table.
Every dog has its day
It was a tense and intriguing match. To begin with, it looked like business as usual as Vancouver took the first map with little resistance. The second map was a tight affair. Valiant managed to pick up a 2 zip win to level up at one apiece going into half time. The third map was remarkable as the LA side dominated and managed to take all three available points in the second fastest time in Overwatch history. The performance made a mockery of their lowly standing. They then saw out the fourth map with a three-point victory to make the score 3-1.
Anybody who has played the legendary shooter will tell you that overwatch is a team game. It combines elements from MOBAs incorporating an intriguing tactical element that means that an entire team have to pull together and compliment one another in order to be successful. Yesterday things really clicked into place for LA. Their flex support KariV, in particular, shone, taking the MVP for the match. Throughout the contest, he made fantastic use of his sleep dart ability.
He wasn’t the only player to excel tough. Their DPS and tank character Shax and FCTFCTN put together some big plays. The duo was recently acquired from the Mayhem academy and have really helped the team look more competitive of late. This streak-breaking win proves the impact they are having.
Can Valiant build on the success?
While it is just one win the teams main support Custa (real name Scott Kennedy) believes that the team can build on it. He suggested that if KariV can achieve that sort of performance every time then the team can consistently start winning matches.
In the grand scheme of things the loss does little but dent the morale of the Vancouver side. Although they drop to second in the stage standings behind New York Excelsior they are still top of the league and are more than likely to make the Playoffs. Plus they are almost certainly still going to make the stage three playoffs.
The story is far different for Valiant who still need a fair few wins to have a chance at qualifying for the stage three playoffs. Their next competitors are Hangzhou Spark on June 27. Whereas Vancouver are playing another LA side, the Gladiators on June 30th. It will be interesting to see how these teams ending their winning and losing streaks affects their form going forward in what has been an exhilarating Overwatch season so far.
If you want to follow the action the matches for the Overwatch league are available through a whole host of sources. They are streamed on Twitch, ESPN Disney XD, overwatchleague.com, the official Overwatch League app, MLG.com, or the MLG app.