“My name is Chan-hyung Baek, star of the L.A. Gladiators, the best tank of the Korean Legions, loyal servant to the Kroenke’s. Once a player on the London Spitfire, I was benched for a lesser player, and transferred to a weaker team. And I will have my vengeance, in this season or the next.” – Fissure of the L.A. Gladiators
In week three of the second stage of Overwatch League, the grudge match was set. London Spitfire was set to play against the L.A. Gladiators on March 10. In stage 1, this would have been an uninteresting regular season game. The Gladiators were a middle of the pack team without any upset potential. Stage 2 had changed all of that as London Spitfire transferred Fissure to the team. This was to be Fissure’s revenge.
To understand the context surrounding Fissure, we have to understand where Fissure came from. He was a player destined for greatness. Before there was an Overwatch League, there was Apex, and in Apex, there was a kingdom called Lunatic-Hai. We now know them as the Seoul Dynasty and in order to establish that dynasty, they became the best team in the world in 2017. To do that they needed to have the best results and in the finals of Apex Season 3, they played against Kongdoo Panthera and Kongdoo’s best player was Fissure. That finals was incredibly close and pushed Lunatic-Hai to the limit. That was one among multiple finals that forged Lunatic-Hai as an incredible clutch team that could perform under pressure.
Once that finals ended, the Lunatic-Hai players were asked who was the most difficult player to play against. They all named Fissure. He was an incredible tank player and tank players are the first step to having a great team. The best analogy is in American Football. For those who don’t know, an American Football team can be explained as having two parts. There is the line and the backs. The line is filled with strong durable players who fight to either break through the line and sack the quarterback or to hold the line and protect the quarterback. The backs are recievers, runners, and quarterbacks. As it is hard to see and understand the nuance of the line, glory is usually given to the backs in the NFL, particularly the quarterback.
Overwatch runs in a similar manner where the most glory seems to be given to the DPS. However you have nothing if you don’t have the line. The line is the first thing you need to build if you want any semblance to win and to build that line you need tanks. Luckily for the L.A. Gladiators Fissure may be the best tank in the world. However he wasn’t the tank that the London Spitfire needed as he didn’t synergize correctly with the main squad that they were fielding.
That lack of synergy along with Fissure wanting more playing time prompted the London Spitfire to transfer him over to the L.A. Gladiators. It was a shrewd move on their part as Fissure could have been the key player to pushing a number of the top teams over the edge and taking the top spot away from the Spitfires. Instead they moved him to L.A. Gladiators where his incredible talents wouldn’t be a threat or so they thought.
Fissure recalls the transfer. “I got the call I was being traded out of the blue.” At first he was sad with the trade as he in all likelihood wanted to join one of the better teams so he could get a shot at winning Overwatch League. Instead he was transferred to the L.A. Gladiators. Instead of getting depressed, he tried to look at it positively.
After all, individual greatness can only come when you are in dire straits. Everyone knows what the L.A. Gladiators looked like without Fissure. Since joining and with little practice time, the L.A. Gladiators have quickly improved. It was in the third week that they shocked the league as they were able to upset the L.A. Valiant in their first match of the week.
In the second, Fissure got a chance to fight it out with his old teammates on London Spitfire. It was clear that London Spitfire were using the match as practice as they didn’t use their core lineup. L.A. Gladiators and Fissure took advantage of this and got the win on the first two maps. The third map was the real test as Spitfire got series. Spitfire fielded their main core of players to take out the upstart Gladiators.
On King’s Row, Fissure’s Winston was able to take advantage of London Spitfire’s strange positioning. Usually players hold around arch, but the Spitfire were stuck in the apartments. Fissure immediately jumped in with Hyung-seok “Bischu” Kim to keep them busy and Bischu was able to take out the enemy Widowmaker and Lane “Surefour” Roberts’ Hanzo saw the lack of defenders and made a flank and surprising the Zenyatta who was trying to make a retreat. This got the L.A. Gladiators the first point.
On the second point, they got stalled out, but were able to get over the line with a good Pharah ult from Joao Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles’ Pharah which caught two. Both Fissure and Hydration took advantage of this. Fissure made a deep dive making sure the reinforcing SPitfire players couldn’t get back while Hydration made a switch to Doomfist to get back to the point and push it faster. They then ended the map with an ult from Surefour’s Junkrat which took out the only player contesting the point.
It was an incredible upset as the L.A. Gladiators were able to take advantage of London Spitfire’s hubris for not fielding the main roster. It was especially sweet for Fissure as he got his revenge for getting kicked and celebrated with his own little joke on stream afterwards. The story however does not end here.
As the saying goes, the best revenge is not to get even, it’s to get ahead. With Fissure joining the L.A. Gladiators they now have one of the best pieces in the League. There is still plenty of Overwatch left to play in the League and now they can build the team with him as the centerpiece. Fissure has gotten his revenge, but this is only the beginning.