Vancouver Titans match recaps
By Brittney MacDonald, Business Manager
Vancouver Titans vs. Toronto Defiant
In what has been nicknamed the “Battle for the North,” the Vancouver Titans faced off against the only other Canadian team in the OWL—the Toronto Defiant—on May 3. As new expansions coming into the 2019 season, both teams made the Stage One playoffs. However, the Defiant were eliminated by the San Francisco Shock in their first playoff round, while the Titans went on to defeat the Shock in the Stage One title match.
Game one was played on Oasis, a control map, where both teams reverted to a GOATS—three tank three support—formation in an attempt to capture the control point. The first percentage was gained by the Defiant, after Yakpung’s tank Reinhardt successfully pinned and eliminated Bumper’s Reinhardt. Toronto maintained control until 58 percent was obtained, at which time they were forced to retreat and regroup. During Toronto’s respawn, Vancouver pushed forward to prevent the Defiant from being able to reach the control point. Despite a valiant Shield Bash by IM37’s Brigitte, which saved the rest of the Defiant from an Earth Shatter—the Reinhardt ultimate that knocks down and incapacitates any players in range—from Bumper, Toronto failed to retake the point in time.
In round two, the Defiant had no answer for the damage put out by Twilight’s Zenyatta and his debuff Orb of Discord. Despite this, Toronto still managed to gain control and maintain it till 60 percent. However, once control did move to Vancouver, some well placed Defense Matrixes by JJANU’s D.VA to protect her team from Ivy’s Zarya Gravitation Surges ensured a game one victory.
Game two began on the assault map, Temple of Anubis. During Toronto’s attack round, they successfully punished Bumper’s over-aggression—isolating him from his supports and then focusing him down before taking the first point. Capitalizing on this momentum, they pushed forward onto the second point.
Vancouver’s attack phase failed to impress. The Titans weren’t even able to take point one, losing them game two.
The hybrid map chosen for game three was King’s Row. During Toronto’s attack phase, Ivy’s overcharged Zarya was able to clear the point and unlock the car. However, the Defiant ran into trouble when the Titans used the terrain to their advantage and forced them through a bottleneck during the escort portion of the map.
In Vancouver’s attack phase it was clear that the Defiant were still having trouble dealing with Twilight’s Zenyatta. The Titans unlocked the car faster than the Defiant, allowing them ample time to get the car to the first checkpoint—the win condition for game three, since the Defiant failed to complete the map. The Titans did so, despite some good interference and push-back from Envy’s D.VA and Ivy’s Zarya.
Game four proved necessary as the match standing entering into it was one-to-two in a best of five in Vancouver’s favour. It was played on the escort map, Junkertown.
On an escort map, the teams play in rounds, alternating between attack and defence. Unlike a hybrid map, the car does not unlock via a control point. Instead, the car is unlocked automatically and attacking teams simply have to escort it as far as possible in the allotted time. Any leftover time is put in a time bank to be used in a second attack round in the event of a tie.
The Defiant broke away from the GOATS formation, instead starting the map with a three-DPS formation—a role focused on high damage—with a Pharmacy (Ivy on Pharrah and Roky on Mercy). The Titans answered with Haksal running a DPS Genji and Bumper on his signature tank Winston. This allowed for high mobility and high damage plays, forcing Toronto back into GOATS. However, it was JJANU’s continued focus on keeping Ivy’s Zarya at bay and unable to use her Graviton Surge that prevented Toronto from completing the map.
Vancouver’s attack phase began with a bloodbath. Haksal began the match on Hanzo as a DPS sniper, immediately taking out Ivy and IM37. Things didn’t get much easier for the Defiant. Bumper hit a huge Earth Shatter that incapacitated four players on Toronto’s side, just before the first checkpoint. The Titans then proceeded to roll past Toronto’s marker with over two minutes to spare, earning them the game four victory.
The Vancouver Titans win streak continues, as they finished the match 3-1.
Vancouver Titans vs. Seoul Dynasty
This match-up was significantly less anticipated than their battle against the Toronto Defiant, as pointed out by Vancouver’s flex support player Twilight in a post-match interview on May 3. He said (via translator), “Seoul Dynasty, you guys have never beaten us [the Titans], and I will make sure that will never ever happen in your life.”
He got the chance to make good on his word on May 4.
Game one saw the teams competing on Lijiang, a control map. The Dynasty forced Vancouver out of their GOATS comfort zone, running a Pharmacy (FITS and Tobi), Michelle on a DPS Sombra, and Munchkin’s DPS sniper Widowmaker. The Titans responded with Seominsoo deviating from his usual Zarya to play DPS Soldier 76, and Haksal also playing a DPS Sombra. Seominsoo and Haksal swapping heroes did mean that it took Vancouver longer to get to the control point. This allowed Seoul to capture it first and start building their control percentage. The Dynasty managed to successfully defend their capture and closed the round out 100 percent to zero. Round two saw Seoul capture the point first, yet again, but due to a mistimed charge by Marve1’s Reinhardt with no backup from his team, Vancouver was able to clear out the point and take it with Seoul sitting at 58 percent. A team fight in which Slime’s crucial Lucio Sound Barrier was cancelled out with an Earth Shatter from Marve1 saw the point return to the Dynasty with the Titans having only gained 55 percent. Vancouver managed to quickly flip it back and defend their claim with Bumper using a Reinhardt Earth Shatter to incapacitate three members of the Seoul team. Vancouver took the round, pushing the game into a third round to break the tie. Despite earning eight percent control initially, the Dynasty proved unable to deal with Seominsoo’s ability to charge his ultimate so quickly on Zarya. That combined with a sneaky Ana Sleep Dart from Twilight, which took out the Dynasty’s main tank Marve1, earned the Titans the third round and thus the game one victory.
Game two saw a familiar setting—the assault map Temple of Anubis. Vancouver’s attack round saw an odd play from the Dynasty. After Twilight took out Ryujehong’s Zenyatta, main support Tobi’s Lucio was sent back to the defence spawn to Speed Boost him back to the first capture point. This left the defending Seoul two players short during Vancouver’s second charge. Needless to say, Seoul failed to successfully defend against Vancouver, and the Titans took point one. The Dynasty mistimed their ultimates from Ryujehong, Tobi, and Munchkin’s Brigitte—using them too late to prevent the loss of their GOATS tanks. Vancouver took advantage and captured the second point, completing the map.
During their attack round, the Dynasty attempted to run the three-DPS with a Pharmacy (FITS and Tobi) again. This earned them the first capture point, but they quickly switched to GOATS before moving to the second one. Michelle’s Sombra attempted to flank and EMP the Titans—but she was spotted by Haksal’s Brigitte, who used a Shield Bash to stun her out of landing it.
(EMP is the Sombra ultimate. It prevents all enemy players within its radius to activate any of their abilities for a set period of time.)
A last-minute Biotic Grenade from Twilight’s Ana and follow-up from the rest of the team ensured a five-player wipe seconds before the Dynasty’s clock ran out, earning the Titans a game two win.
Game three was played on the hybrid map Blizzard World. In their attack phase, Vancouver rotated some of their tanks around the back of the capture point. Seominsoo on Zarya took out Tobi’s Lucio, catching him out of position and isolated from his team. With the main Dynasty support gone, this spiraled into a team kill which Vancouver used to take the point and unlock the car. With Seominsoo now fully charged, he continued to flank and target the Seoul supports forcing the team to play more passively. The Titans were able to steamroll the map, completing the escort portion with over three minutes to spare.
During their attack phase, Seoul ran GOATS and attempted to focus down Twilight’s Ana. This proved to be too difficult, but they did manage to zone her out until faced with a highly mobile Bumper on Wrecking Ball. Eventually, Seoul managed to take the point and unlock the car. They escorted the car to the first checkpoint, but only managed to complete the map in overtime. This meant that if the Titans were able to capture the first point during their three and a half minutes allotted by their time bank, then they would win the game.
During their second attack phase, the Titans brought out a DPS-heavy composition. They ran their own Pharmacy (Seominsoo and Slime), while Haksal returned to Genji and Bumper felt confident enough to tease Seoul by not even playing a tank—instead goofing off on Widowmaker. Their overconfidence wasn’t punished. Haksal used Dragon Blade to clear the point, eliminating Michelle, Munchkin, and Marve1 before emote sitting on the point. With that, the Titans won the game.
At this point, having secured the three games necessary to win the best of five, game four didn’t really matter. However, Vancouver did finish the match 4-0.