The Los Angeles Gladiators completely overwhelmed the Dallas Fuel in four-straight wins today, earning the right to call themselves the champions of the Overwatch League’s Kickoff Clash. The Gladiators entered the tournament as the third seed, behind both the Fuel and the San Francisco Shock. But they successfully maintained their upper bracket run all the way to the end.
Starting on Ilios, the Fuel appeared to be incredibly worn out after their four-game series against the Atlanta Reign, struggling to even contest a Gladiators-controlled Well. Multiple Nano Boosts from Shu onto his DPS and tank teammates allowed the Gladiators to completely roll over the Fuel’s endeavors, starting the series with a victory that echoed the success of their upper bracket run.
A rush composition for the Gladiators on King’s Row proved to best the Fuel once more, even after a prolonged skirmish on the first point. Twice the Fuel won a fight at the point, and twice they kept the point unattended for the Gladiators to back-cap. Multiple spawn camps from the Gladiators gave them their second of four wins, while the Fuel hoped to grab hold of a single map.
The Fuel’s desperation to find a single pick on the Gladiators was clear from the start of Route 66. No member of the Fuel seemed to care about Kevster’s Tracer free-firing on their entire team, increasing his ultimate charge in mere seconds and forcing the Fuel to continue to change their hero composition to find something that worked. The Fuel’s attempt to mimic the spawn-camping from the Gladiators backfired during their defense phase, bringing the Gladiators to match point.
A final push through Colosseo marked the end of the Fuel’s run. A valiant push from the Fuel ultimately resulted in a level of discoordination from the team that plagued them the entire series. One final Nano Visor from Patiphan cemented the sweep for the Gladiators in the Kickoff Clash finals and earned them the trophy.
This was the first time that the Dallas Fuel have participated in a tournament final since last year’s Summer Showdown, while the Los Angeles Gladiators won the 2021 Countdown Cup. Both teams participated in the playoffs but ended in the middle of the standings. This year has already been exceptional for both the Fuel and Gladiators, entering the Kickoff Clash as the second and third seeds and venturing all the way to the finals.
The Los Angeles Gladiators head into the next step of the Overwatch League with an additional three League Points under their belts. They are set to continue their season on June 18 against the Paris Eternal.