The Los Angeles Gladiators confirm that they will be benching their star tank player Baek “Fissure” Chan-Hyung. The move was first announced on the Overwatch League broadcast:
The team was able to release a statement since then:
Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek will not be playing during Match 1 of the OWL Playoffs.
The Gladiators believe that the most effective practice and preparation is necessary in order to perform well in Playoffs. With that, the team has decided that having Luis “iRemiix” Galarza Figueroa starting at main tank gives the team the best chance to win.
iRemiix has been training with the team to prepare in the most effective way for Playoffs and recently lead the Gladiators to a decisive win against the Seoul Dynasty during the last match of the regular season.
For their first match in the OWL playoffs, they instead will be starting Luis “iRemiix” Galarza Figueroa. It seems like Fissure may not have been performing in scrims, or something drastic must have occurred behind the scenes at the Gladiators camp. It is an unusual move for Los Angeles to take, as the star Korean has been playing amazing during the season. He was traded to the Los Angeles Gladiators ahead of Stage 2 and has been credited as a major part of their success. He is widely recognized as the team’s best player and is a Most Valuable Player candidate. The Los Angeles Gladiators are up against Fissure’s former teammates on London Spitfire. Their first playoff match is tonight at 9 pm CT—just an hour from the team’s confirmation of Fissure’s absence.
Also, the Gladiators have a 3-0 record against London Spitfire over the regular season with Fissure in the lineup. They will need to win two more best-of-five matches to secure a spot in the semi-finals. It does not really make sense that the Los Angeles Gladiators would bench him and risk their chances at a deep run in the playoffs.
Reactions by the Overwatch Community
Here are some reactions by commentators and analysts in the OWL community:
Fissure must have literally killed someone to get benched for the Gladiators in playoffs.
Gladiators hamstringing their own playoffs hopes and simultaneously tanking Fissure’s trade value.
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) July 11, 2018
Fissure out. iRemix in vs London. Absolute insanity. Total madness. Earthquakes, volcanoes. The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria! #OWL2018 #firstplayoffs Matches begin in 5! https://t.co/G5cXgXb702
— Erik DoA Lonnquist (@ggDoA) July 11, 2018
The opinion of the community is unanimous: Without Fissure, the Los Angeles Gladiators chances of making it to the semifinals is slim. For fans of the London Spitfire, they must be thanking the Overwatch gods for the luck, as they have a great chance to beat LA tonight. London has not been playing exceptionally well this stage, but with Fissure out, they could take advantage. If the Los Angeles Gladiators make it past the Spitfire, it is not known whether Fissure will enter the lineup for the semifinals. IRemiix did not play a lot in the Overwatch League’s fourth stage, clocking in just under an hour of play compared to Fissure’s nine. We will need to see if he can perform well under one of the brightest stages in the game. He will need to play incredible to fill the shoes of an MVP.
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