Vancouver Titans match recap
By Brittney MacDonald, Business Manager
Coming off of their decisive 4-0 loss to the Washington Justice in Stage 4 week two, the Vancouver Titans needed to win both their Stage 4 week three matches to secure themselves one of the top two seeds going into the Stage 4 Playoffs. Thursday, August 8, brought them a shaky 2-3 win over the London Spitfire, but it wasn’t pretty. Needless to say, all eyes were on the Titans when they faced off against the Philadelphia Fusion on August 11. Thankfully, in their time of need they did not disappoint.
The first map was Busan, a control point map. It was played as a best of three rounds.
Vancouver shocked everyone by subbing out their regular flex tank player, JJANU, for Seominsoo. Seominsoo hasn’t really seen a lot of play since the death of the GOATS meta—following the OWL imposing a 222 role-lock. The 222 role-lock forces the teams to run team compositions consisting of two tanks, two supports, and two DPS heroes. Despite being a mechanically gifted player, Seominsoo rose to favour with his Zarya play. Zarya is not a popular flex tank at the moment, due to most teams finding better utility in D.Va and Roadhog.
True to his OWL roots, Seominsoo did bring out the Zarya. There is speculation among the community and the OWL analysts that this was Vancouver’s attempt at running more consistent damage in the face of the more popular D.Va pick, which the Fusion did run against the Titans in Map 1. The reason being that both Zarya and Mei—which Vancouver played—are two heroes that are unblockable by D.Va’s defense matrix.
Despite Vancouver’s claims that the composition didn’t work as well as they had hoped, they did still manage to get the wins necessary to take Map 1.
The assault map was Hanamura, and it saw the return of JJANU.
In their first attack round, Stitch’s hyper aggression and key kills using Reaper managed to put enough pressure on the Fusion that the Titans steamrolled them.
In their defense round, Eqo’s Doomfist targeted the Titan’s backline of Slime and Twilight, stunting health regeneration for the entire team. Simultaneously, Carpe’s Reaper then went after Bumper and JJANU, putting out heavy damage that they were unable to heal from. Being as the Fusion finished the map with a smaller time bank, their second attack round came first. In the second defense round for the Titans, the Fusion tried to do the same thing again—but this time were met with Stitch on Sombra. With a Sombra there to hack or EMP out all of Doomfist’s abilities, Eqo was forced to switch to Mei. This lessened the damage put out by the Fusion and also forced Eqo to go toe-to-toe with Haksal (also playing Mei). The mirror match combined with JJANU now there to use his defense matrix to block projectile ultimates allowed the Titans to stall, and wind the clock down. The Fusion finished their second attack round without having captured the first point—thereby not earning any additional points.
In the Titans second attack round Stitch was hyper aggressive again, this time using Reaper’s teleport ability to sneak around the backline and attack the Fusion from behind. This forced the Fusion’s tank player Sado to turn around, which in turn left the choke point unguarded. At this point the rest of the Titans were able to move through the choke point and overwhelm the Fusion to take the first point and thereby secure the Map 2 win.
In the hybrid map stage, which was played on Blizzard World, Slime was subbed out for Rapel. Rapel hasn’t seen a lot of play at all this season—however, it is clear that for Vancouver he is considered the Baptiste specialist. Baptiste is a relatively new support hero who has the ability to create a wall in front of allies, that when shot through increases the damage of ally fire. This pairs well with Zenyatta, another support hero who can debuff enemies as well as doing projectile damage.
Vancouver ran just such a combo on their attack round, with Rapel on Baptiste and Twilight on Zenyatta. The burst damage put out was too much for Philadelphia to handle and the Titans managed to complete the map.
On their defense round, Stitch was in a mirror match with Carpe—both players using Hanzo. Despite the fact Stitch is technically a hit-scan specialist and Hanzo is a projectile-based DPS sniper, he still managed to put out more damage than Carpe. This combined with Twilight switching over to Ana to make use of her sleep darts and biotic grenades to stall out progression on the cart, ensured that the Fusion could not complete the map in the time allotted.
Being as the Titans secured the three maps required to win them the match, a fourth game was unnecessary. However, it was played anyway, and the Titans did win. This combined with their win against the London Spitfire earlier in the week makes them the Pacific Division Champions going into the Stage 4 Playoffs.