On one hand of today’s final match-up of the Overwatch League lower-bracket play-offs, you have the Washington Justice bringing about a unique Cinderella story of struggling throughout the season, and somehow making a brilliant show of the playoffs.
On the other hand, The LA Valiant have looked like strong contenders to run through the playoffs, dropping down into the lower bracket (and running the risk of dropping from the post-season entirely) thanks to the Florida Mayhem in a fiercely contested match-up.
Both teams logged into the server with Uber and Mr. X casting, and yet another explosive playoff bout was underway as both teams vied for dominance.
Up first was the arguable decider of the control point map series; a telling indicator of who would walk away with the series as the recent matches have shown.
Busan Downtown was up first, and LAV brought out a fascinating Widowmaker with KSP taking the high ground and whittling down the strength of the Washington Justice playing a double off-tank meta with Hog and Zarya. LAV took control of the point first on the back of KSP managing to consistently engage with lower-health heroes forcing lopsided attacks onto the control point; Justice managed to turn it back with Stitch playing Ashe and returning direct fire to the Widow.
Shax on Tracer for the Valiant managed to continue to harass the line of Justice while KSP continued to engage from a distance, and the one-two punch was brutally effective; Valiant took the first point of the series at 55/100.
Next was MEKA Base, and Valiant shifted KSP from Widow to Ashe; Valiant took early control of the point that couldn’t be removed thanks to, again, the Ashe/Tracer duo managing near and far engagements; the Justice managed to wrest control from Valiant at 75% and managed 7% before being beaten back again, and these smaller increments were all that the Justice could manage while Valiant would inevitably regroup and regain control; Valiant took the second point at 54/100.
King’s Row was next, and the Valiant looked fierce from the control maps; Justice would need to dig deep to right the ship that was quickly listing.
Justice began on attack with a Widow/Tracer/Zarya/Hog/Zen/Mercy versus the Valiant running an Ashe/Tracer/Winston/D.Va/Zenyatta/Mercy; the Mercy’s were vital as it would allow both teams to rez their teammates without needing to leave the fight. The Justice slapped down Valiant on the first point with two minutes remaining, and both teams maintained their composition. The Justice began snowballing thanks to the ult bank they’ve built up, and taking aggressive positions that allowed them to roll through the second point with nary a hiccup; a statement that continued through the third point, where Justice ended their first run with 2:12 remaining on the clock for the second round.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) September 11, 2020
The Valiant on attack maintained their singular composition that they appeared familiar with, KSP on Ashe instead of Widow, and the poking and prodding began in earnest around the control point while the Justice hung back thanks to their lack of shields as they were more comfortable with the dual off-tank. Valiant managed to cap the first point with 1:45 remaining, and they similarly completed their run with a lower time of 1:03 remaining in the bank.
The Valiant managed to gain 45% of the first point before their time ran out, and the Justice managed to succeed them with relative ease thanks to their larger time bank. Into the half, the teams were tied at 1:1.
Volskaya Industries was up next with Justice on attack first, and both teams maintained their familiar compositions; the first point was taken with more than two minutes left on the clock, and the Justice began their attack on the second with a massive hook coming from JJanu yet again; the hook was proving to be a formidable nemesis for the Valiant that they couldn’t respond to.
The Valiant rebuffed the first and second assaults from the Justice, in spite of JJanu managing fantastic hooks onto KSP’s Ashe. The third assault was the fatal one for the Valiant, as JJanu comfortably hefted the majority of the team onto his shoulders and carried them to victory.
Where the Justice managed to nearly walk through the first point, the Valiant had no such ease; they managed 51% in four minutes on the first point, putting the Washington Justice back into the game, and on game point.
Watchpoint: Gibraltar was to be the Washington Justice‘s match point, lest Valiant figure out how to outplay the JJanu Hog that consistently foiled their compositions. Both teams opted to maintain their prior compositions, however, as the Justice began once again on the attack.
The Valiant had KSP on the high ground with Ashe; a common scene for the Los Angeles team leaning on KSP managing big picks with support from the team (taking a play from CS:GO‘s team Vitality and ZywOo). Again, it wasn’t enough as JJanu managed to consistently pull players out of position where the team would tear them apart, and they would move onto the next. The Washington Justice only stopped momentarily at the first point; the remaining points were easily in favor of the Justice as they managed to roll their ults into an unstoppable snowball.
Valiant looked broken at this point, running from a relatively easy first control point win to staring match-point in the face, and they still had no response to the Hog. Still, they took the attack, and Stitch began to show off ever-so-slightly on Ashe, collecting heads from the Valiant at a staggering distance until he was finally removed by KSP. The cart once again stopped just short of the first point as the Justice swelled from every angle, and Stitch made it his personal mission to delete Shax from existence every time he saw the Tracer.
Both teams held a decent ult bank in the last thirty seconds of the first point, yet Justice consistently came out on top. Fittingly, JJanu’s ultimate Whole-Hog blasted everyone off the point in the overtime and clutched the map early in its lifespan.
Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Valiant head home after a difficult match-up against the Washington Justice, who seemed invulnerable with their double off-tank setup and Stitch picking players with relative ease. If you’re next up to face the Washington Justice, you likely have your fingers crossed; they’re looking surprisingly competent in the current meta after a shaky season, and show little weakness.