The Los Angeles Valiant had a strong inaugural season in the Overwatch League, all things considered. As one of the two hometown teams in Los Angeles, the Valiant had high expectations placed upon them to be a strong contender in the league’s first season.
With talented players like Terence “SoOn” Tarlier and Brady “Agilities” Girardi on their starting roster, the Valiant were expected to perform well for themselves against the pack, but it was unknown how they’d play against the supposed top teams in the league.
Looking all the way back to the start of the year, here’s how we’d grade out the Valiant’s performances to start the Overwatch League.
Stage 1 regular season: B+
The Valiant opened their season strong, getting the sweeps of both the San Francisco Shock and the Dallas Fuel in their first two official matches as a team. From there, the Valiant overall had a very solid Stage 1, as they only tripped up against a few strong teams like the New York Excelsior and London Spitfire early in the second week.
As the stage progressed, the Valiant showcased overall strong team-sense and game awareness, bringing about their most exciting match of the stage, their 3-2 reverse sweep of the Gladiators that brought them fully into the limelight.
Unfortunately, the Valiant stumbled a bit in the fourth week as they were 4-0 swept by a so-so Boston Uprising team, a match which would ultimately undo them come the stage playoffs.
Stage 1 playoffs: N/A
Though the Valiant ended their last week with two sweeps and without a map loss, the team did not qualify for the Stage 1 playoffs because they had a worse map differential than the Houston Outlaws by two maps. The blow was a tough one, as the Valiant no doubt deserved a playoff spot, but it was not to be.
The league eventually changed the stage playoff rule to allow for four teams instead of three, but it was too late for the Valiant to save a very good opening stage for the team.
Not making the Stage 1 playoffs was a tough blow for a Valiant team that performed well for themselves in the first few weeks of play. However, the stage set the tone for the Valiant’s overall season to come, and how successful they’d be.