“Where they aren’t favoured, throw some money on those games….they can certainly beat the best teams in the league”
What a change the Gladiators have been through! They are like the before and after snapshots of a person that needed to hit the gym and be on a crash course diet. The Gladiators at the start of the inaugural season of Overwatch League (OWL) are not the same Gladiators that we are now seeing at Stage 2. Since the acquisition of Fissure (Korean main tank ex London Spitfire), the Gladiators have transformed into a formidable top tier team and have made a mad dash up the standings.
When Fissure was with the London Spitfire, there was a lack of synergy with team mates and individual performance was inconsistent. As a consequence he was used sparingly as a back-up main. So when it was announced that the Gladiators would gain Fissure, initial thoughts were of slight improvement, nothing major. In general, the Gladiators were projected to continue to stumble along as a mid tier team.
…but boy did Fissure prove us wrong!
Pre Fissure, Surefour and Asher were mercurial: great flashes of brilliance mixed with disappointing and sloppy play. Together with Hydration, widely regarded as the best projectile player in the league, and paired with supporting players of BigGoose and Shaz, the Gladiators just didn’t gel. It was perplexing to say the least. Individually they were strong, yet as a team they were average. In hindsight, its obvious that they needed a Fissure!
Add Fissure and the Gladiators have shown that having a world-class main tank is critical. Without that foundation piece, teams will usually struggle to compete. Hydration, Surefour and Asher can now attack you in any way they see fit with the support that Fissure provides. Hydration in particular, is one of the most versatile utility players in the league with his great world-class play on heroes such as Pharah, Doomfist and Genji. Enhanced by Fissure, Hydration is a threat not to be underestimated.
Unlike the bottom 6 teams, the Gladiators now have the ability to try different attacking strategies. No longer one dimensional, the team can change tactic and be flexible when needed. With all the pieces of the puzzle they are making a push up the overall standings.
With the Gladiators, look for odds where they aren’t favored and throw some money on those games because depending on the night, they can certainly beat the best teams in the league!