Gladiators started out as underdogs and didn’t do extremely well in Stage 1. But this quickly changed and they started climbing up the ranks. What changed?
Starting from the bottom half in the standings and rising to a Playoff contender is something not a lot of teams can achieve. It certainly didn’t work out for the Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, or the Shanghai Dragons. What happened?
Chan-hyung ‘Fissure’ Baek is what happened.
The young Korean star was transferred at the start of Stage 2 and immediately found his place in the Los Angeles line-up. His gaming style clicked with his newfound team-mates, and his relentless thirst to prove himself and be the best player he could be was the rush of energy that the Shieldbearers were lacking up to that point.
Despite his young age of 19, Baek Chan-hyung has a long eSports history. Following his competitive nature, his first taste of high-level play came in League of Legends, where he rose through the ranks to the Contender bracket, pitting him against the world’s best players. However, it wasn’t working that well for him, and he changed into another MOBA – Heroes of the Storm. Under the handle ‘minepang’, he competed with team 1.4 and made it to the 4th place in the HotS Super League.
The release of the new Blizzard hero shooter Overwatch marked a key change in Baek’s life. He rushed in head-first and put it upon himself to become a master. Specialising in tank Heroes, especially Winston, Orisa and Reinhardt, he found new team-mates to play with and started winning games.
His first steps in the competitive Overwatch scene were made with Team KongDoo Panthera and Cloud9 KongDoo, what is now known in the Overwatch League as Stage 1 winners London Spitfire.
When OWL began, he was part of London, but he saw no action. He wasn’t feeling great about the fact that he was benched for the entire Stage. His transfer to the Gladiators was unexpected, but it turned out to be a great decision.
‘Shields up’ is their motto, and they found their shield in Fissure. His expertly piloted Reinhardt makes it key in team fights, mixing shielding and rushing in at key moments, hammering at important enemy players.
His Orisa gameplay is unorthodox, squeezing every bit of value he can, by denying his rivals their key positioning.
But it’s his Winston skills that make him the main tank for LA Gladiators. His amazing positioning and proper leap technique have won many team battles.
Fissure is also the team shot-caller and in-game leader. His proper communication and spot-on leadership have already proven its usefulness in the League.
Things are looking up for the Gladiators. Win after win, they rise through the ranks and find themselves up there with the really serious teams. If things continue like that, we have a serious contender for the crown.