Today, the DC Justice took on London Spitfire, who have been struggling with an 0-2 opening record to match the Justice’s own 0-1 opener. London also started with a -4 map differential, and were expected to come out swinging in a must-win situation. Meanwhile, the Justice’s own struggles were readily apparent in their opener.
Map 1: Busan (Control)
The point began with a trade- Corey got taken out on the point, while Gesture was picked off on the point itself. The Spitfire were either grouped together or divided by the Justice’s tank-heavy line of defense. London was found to be struggling to find an appropriate method of entry into the Justice-controlled point. Right as the Justice got a full 99% on the point, London finally managed to bring in Pharah to land a bunch of rockets and help to wipe the point of 4 of the Justice. The Justice responded by coming in and taking out two of the Spitfire. Profit attempted a last minute touch before getting pushed off the point, managing to get the touch, but the Justice then closed ranks to ensure the Spitfire never touched it again and swung the first point in their favor. London ended up a victim of their own constant hero changes.
On the second round, London immediately targeted Gido and wiped him clean. The Justice appeared to struggle contesting the point initially, especially with Birdring’s Widow. After 4 of DC went down, they finally regrouped and brought in Goats- Zarya, D.Va, and Rein. However, as the time wound down, DC found themselves unable to make a concentrated push onto the point, getting assailed on multiple fronts and unable to penetrate Widow’s good position and ability to body shot members into submission. DC dropped the second round to London, getting close to the same as London had on them the first round.
Birdring started round 3 by sniping his counterpart immediately. Hiding behind Janus’ Rein shield, the team took down Gesture and forced their way to the point. In between Gesture and Birdring, the DC found themselves down 4 members and almost 5 before Ado retreated. After regrouping, DC finally managed to come in and force London out with multiple kills. After taking the point, however, DC found themselves under another team fight loss as London rolled in and utilized multiple ultimates. Another team fight trade occurred and both teams began throwing their full force into a fight for the round. Both teams seemed unable to die, but DC eventually split London down the middle with a first kill, followed up by the team coming down and capitalizing on the opening, immediately taking down two more and forcing the remaining three into an unwinnable situation as the point came back to DC, securing round 3 and map 1. Janus and Ado both had great performances in this first map, both being able to make the most as Rein and Brigitte to play against the Spitfire.
Map 2: Numbani (Assault/Escort)
Guard was subbed in for Birdring for the Spitfire at the start. DC began with a push with Zarya, Rein, D.Va, Zen, Lucio, and Brigitte. Both teams began at the choke point, but Gesture as Winston came in with his electric gun and took out Gido and Janus very quickly before Corey fell shortly after. Sansam then got taken down by Profit, forcing DC into a full retreat. Gesture then popped his ultimate and put a kill on Janus, taking down members at a time and forcing the Justice to be in constant retreat. Corey used his Graviton, but London fought off death and DC pushed the point. After a lengthy team fight that saw both teams exchange 2 kills apiece, DC finally got the extra before Janus nabbed Bdosin’s Zen, forcing London back and pushing the payload. London contested the payload at the point, but after Nus took down Corey, London found themselves overextended and retreated. Janus managed to block Fury’s self-destruct and a Rein Shatter, but London responded shortly after with a quad kill on DC. Both teams then settled in to the long game, but wasted an advantage after a Grav + self-destruct combo failed and kills didn’t come in after. Winning the next team fight, DC then pushed the round into OT, but stacked up 5 ultimates. Unfortunately, DC hesitated to use their ultimates and London came in and used all of theirs instead, forcing DC to accept 2 points instead of the full 3.
Both teams came in and pushed each other at the choke point, but DC came out the victor of the teamfight by de-meching Fury and managing to kill Gesture. Both teams then continued the “nobody ever dies” streak in their fights, but London was pushed back despite Janus dying after him using Primal Rage. At the end of the payload, DC found themselves overwhelmed after Profit got near full energy on Zarya and a full ults getting popped. Shortly after the payload activated, DC then pushed forward and targeted Gesture, killing him and forcing London back, but immediately then overextended themselves on the next fight and wound up getting fully team-killed. London found themselves with 3 ultimates left and plenty of time to take the second point. After a final fight, DC finally managed to split London from each other and target individual members away from the payload- forcing them back and wiping them out, securing the final point and obtaining a map 2 win.
Map 3: Horizon Lunar Colony (Assault)
(I was out of the house for the first 4 rounds, not even gonna lie.) The Justice did not really appear dominant at any point but did manage to steal away 2 rounds, London appeared much stronger taking defensive points away from DC. London continued to force DC into uncomfortable positions and consistently split the Justice, cutting off vital lifelines like Janus and Ado from the team and wiping away survivors in team fights. Fury, Gesture, and Profit appeared as a wall before DC, preventing them from executing any good strategy, and London walked away from Horizon the victors of the map at 4-2. Throughout the majority of the match, it seemed as though London was in control and refused to relent, and any victory from DC was stolen from them.
Map 4: Rialto (Escort)
The first fight began almost immediately, with DC taking position on two fronts and converging upon a choke point. Both teams began pushing each other back and forth into position, attempting to cause damage to build ultimates and not get booped out of position. Corey let loose a Grav at unfortunate timing, landing into a wall and not forcing London out of position, who continued escorting the payload with large resistance. Only two deaths occurred as the payload approach 3m to the point. Although there wasn’t a full win over a team fight, both teams had to go back and forth looking to build ultimates and not risk overextending themselves. Gesture remained a huge pest for the Justice, but DC continued a rock solid defense, continuously contesting the payload just shy of the point. DC finally relented as Overtime kicked in, after a crucial couple of deaths led to their defensive demise. As the Justice regrouped, it became even more clear that Janus was the Spitfire’s main target as they continuously piled damage onto his shield. While London took the second point without issue, the third proved a bit trickier. London successfully booped a few of DC out of position, and the eventual team fight then forced them further out of favorable position and a couple of hero losses led to 5 getting downed at once. London then used a Shatter and took out half of the Justice, the last point being conceded without much fight behind it. Round 1 went to London in an unfortunate (and long).
DC needed a full 3 points in order to bring it back to the Spitfire. Both teams appeared reluctant to approach much of the first offensive choke point, but London then came in won a crucial first team fight, killing off 3 of DC and forcing them to regroup. Nus, especially, weaved in and out and really emphasized disorganizing DC with his rabid Lucio play. To counter Profit’s Grav, Gido popped his Trance as Sansam’s defense matrix expired, giving DC a push forward and committing to a full frontal assault. After Janus committed to pushing the Spitfire back right at the point, Sansam managed to get a few kills with D.Va’s self destruct, and more booping continued as plenty of the Spitfire found themselves drowning. After getting the payload 66% of the way forward, London then forced them back, but DC found themselves with plenty of time to get forward. Janus’ counter shatter managed to get a couple of the Spitfire down and DC moved forward to wipe out any survivors, putting the Spitfire into the uncomfortable spot of needing to commit suicide to all spawn back at the point and recoordinate. As the payload got about halfway to the final point, London committed to an aggresive push back, and Fahzix then booped Nus into the water. This forced London to fully retreat, and then the game turned into ultimate farming. However, DC let themselves get taken out of position and ran out of time before being able to get back to the payload and finalize the push, London taking the fourth map with a full 3 points to DC’s 2.
Map 5: Nepal (Control)
DC subbed in Hyeonu for Fahzix at the start. The match started with Janus and Gesture exchanging tasers before their teams came in and began to match each other. DC immediately pushed back and then stole the point. Hyeonu then came in and made a statement by booping Profit. Both teams went back to never dying and slowing down the game, before London eventually killed Janus and then Ado to flip the point. DC, at this point, had a 78% of the point, but used most of their ultimates. The push onto the point was mostly weak, but likely to build more of their own ultimates and bait London into using their own. Gesture was punished and DC then began their push, and then flipped the point as London found themselves without main tank. At the end, Fury used a desperation self-destruct and wiped away half the Justice roster to end round 1 in a victory for London.
At the very beginning of the round, DC and London attempted the same strategy with D.Va, but Sansam got too greedy and found himself de-meched and the Justice found themselves team-killed. Both teams found themselves popping their ults left and right before a Grav failed for the Justice and London pushed back immediately, killing off five of the Justice and retaining the point. Janus’ Shatter then proved pivotal and it looked like Gesture was interrupted, giving the Justice a full clear of the point and killing 5 of the Spitfire. After London regrouped, they began using their support ultimates and then pushed against DC and picking them off one by one. DC then fell as their miracle fell apart. London took the tiebreaker 2-0.
Janus was a super-star in this match. Janus consistently made timely pushes and, in my opinion, outplayed Gesture. And while the Justice made a lot of good plays in the first half, perhaps they let themselves get too caught up in a pattern that the London found themselves exploiting. Particularly weak in the second half was Corey, who was constantly being outplayed by Profit. Neither Gido nor Hyeonu could really compete with Bdosin, either, which only compounded to the problems of DC. This was the first match where DC genuinely outplayed an opponent and fully kept pace, and their synergy definitely seems to be improving, but the second half then found their confidence shaken and crumbling. While DC managed to steal the first two rounds, they also then completely shattered and London took the match over from there, only even faltering at all on Rialto and rarely appearing out of control over the Justice.
While DC still seems to be exploring who they are as a team, it’s becoming clear that Janus needs to be the one in charge and the rest of the members need to follow him on the letter. When the team was playing their best, it was when Janus was the shot-caller and the one leading the play. The team still seems to struggle with attempts to flank opponents, as their individual performances simply can’t stack against many stars of the opponents- particularly strong teams like NYXL. This loss puts the Justice at 0-2 and an already bad start, with playoff hopes already becoming grim. It’s not over for the Justice, but they need to do themselves some real favors, and soon.
The Justice’s next match is next Thursday, February 28th @ 7pm EST- an away match versus the Philadelphia Fusion who are, so far this season, undefeated.