Los Angeles Gladiators show the Shanghai Dragons how to play Doomfist and Zenyatta

It was a tough match for Shanghai Dragons fans.

Photo via Blizzard Entertainment

Los Angeles Gladiators DPS João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles tucks himself into Dorado’s close corners, hiding behind each chokepoint. Playing as Doomfist, Hydration knows he’ll only be effective at close range—there’s no way that Shanghai Dragons will let him approach head on. Dorado’s doorways are important in keeping Hydration’s positioning unknown. The Dragons know they need to focus down Doomfist, but they have to find him first.

As the Dragons push forward toward Dorado’s first point—they’ve already been held by the Gladiators into overtime, mind you—Hydration sneaks through a building in a brilliant flank that puts him right at the Dragons’ backline.

A swift punch with the big fist knocks out the Dragons’ Mercy player first, moving next to the Winston player. While the Dragons are trying to deal with Doomfist, the rest of the Gladiators take out the remaining players.

Doomfist isn’t a hero we see very often in competitive because of the close-contact playstyle he demands. Even after Hydration’s successful run on the hero, he didn’t play him again. His usage is still very situational, and much of Hydration’s success in using him is knowing when to pull him out.

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The Gladiators win against the Dragons in Overwatch League’s first day of matches was not purely on Hydration’s back, though—their win is a product of superior teamwork and flexible hero pools. Should they have had trouble with the Dragons—which they didn’t, of course—they had a choice of what to do. Oh, and they have Finnish wonder Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara doing massive amounts of damage and healing on Zenyatta.

Shaz’s Zenyatta play is purely aggressive—according to on screen statistics, the support player outclassed some of his opponents not only in healing, but in damage, too. It’s a combination of both his accuracy and his positioning.

The combination of the Gladiators’ decision-making and communication, as well as their seriously skilled players put them leagues ahead of the Dragons. The Chinese team is made up of skilled players—notably, their two DPS players, Lu “Diya” Weida and Fang “Undead” Chao impressed during the preseason—but they aren’t displaying the kind of cohesion that makes a team like Gladiators successful.

The four maps—Dorado, Temple of Anubis, Illios, and Eichenwalde—are done, and the Gladiators move on to their next match with a 4-0 win. As for the Dragons, something needs to change.

Seoul Dynasty vs. Dallas Fuel is up next as Overwatch League’s first day rolls on.