For the first time all season, the Justice were predicted to be the winners by the Blizzard casting team. It would be a prediction that was easily proven wrong.
Map 1: Busan (Control)
The Justice did not come out swinging in the first round. They lost the point after about 30 seconds and never got control- barely ever even touching it. Atlanta wiped the floor with them in short order in round one. They managed to play some strong Widow, Ana, and Pharah play in round two, racking up 90% of the point control, but Atlanta then drained them away after managing to disable their core players and then take control of the point. Despite having multiple opportunities to take the point again, the Justice failed to convert even after going back to the 3-3 comp. Corey racked up a ton of kills, but nobody else really managed to pick up enough traction to give the Justice a map win.
Map 2: Paris (Assault)
Washington then decided “fuck this, we’re going to roll now” and played an absolute perfect defense on their round one. Corey once again had a massive game, and Ado provided some excellent Pharah damage in the skies of Paris. Gido managed to place some perfectly laid Immortality Fields as Baptiste, and between the three, the Justice were unmoving. Corey’s Bastion play was nothing short of perfect, and Ado’s Barrage took down multiple Reign even after their Brigitte used their Rally. All the Justice needed was a single point to win the map.
It took a bit of work, but the Justice certainly managed to take the point in style. They never particular seemed to feel pressured at any point despite making multiple mistakes. Despite Atlanta consistently splitting up the team and isolating their damage, the Justice would play patient and build their ultimates. After over a minute off the clock was burned, DC went all in, blasting their ultimates and getting clean picks off the Reign. It was a massacre in short order after that- Atlanta gave away control of the point with their members getting taken down one by one from basically every member of the Justice using their ultimates, and the map was won easily by the Justice, putting the match at 1-1.
Map 3: Eichenwalde (Assault/Escort)
Atlanta over halftime decided that defense was the best way to shut down the Justice, but they eventually began to show cracks which the Justice would capitalize on. Washington took their time to whittle down the Atlanta defense as much as possible, but they continued to run into issues. Atlanta provided relentless pressure on the Justice squad, and it took some clutch plays to get them off the initial point. It didn’t get much better after that, with the Justice not even making much progress at all until close to Overtime. They never managed to get the second point.
Things didn’t get too much better on the Justice defense. While initially winning a few of the team fights, it only whittled down enough of the clock to about a minute or so before Atlanta was able to come in and secure the first point. After that, DC’s less-astute 3-3 play was nowhere near the level of Atlanta’s, and DC only managed to win a single team fight before getting pushed back by a full team kill courtesy of Erster. While the DC squad was stuck in a Grav, Erster rushed in as Tracer and lashed down a Tracer ultimate, taking down 4 of the Justice before wiping out the remaining two in about one second. Atlanta never slowed down again, making it to the Justice’s point in short order and a couple of kills traded. It was not a particularly good map, although Ado did give us some entertaining moments as Symmetra.
Map 4: Rialto (Escort)
Hoo boy. Atlanta took it straight to the Justice, whose 3-3 meta woes only continued. Throughout the first round, Atlanta never lost control, constantly taking the pain in particular to Janus, who went ahead and died 7 times in the first round alone. DC failed to really prevent any push from Atlanta, who took all three points of their offensive round with just shy of 2 and a half minutes to spare in their time bank.
The Justice took a moderate amount of control themselves during their offense. and were able to push forward through the first two points with some serious grinding effort. While DC did have their moments of struggles, they did open enough windows through Atlanta’s defense to also secure the three points and even dominated Atlanta profusely for the third, winding up with about 1:20 in their own time bank.
Washington did not play particularly well in their offense for Overtime. Atlanta stalled them as much as possible, and DC took a couple of untimely deaths with poorly executed plays on their offense. Atlanta’s own offense basically wiped the mediocre 3-3 from the face of the planet, and that was that. In only a couple of minutes, Atlanta walked away the victor from the match.
Fun fact: through the first half, Corey had 73.3% of the Justice’s final blows as Widowmaker. That’s insane. That’s outright crazy. He did an insane amount of damage as Widow and carried the team through its toughest moments.
As for the rest, there isn’t much to say. Washington’s squad was mostly terrible. Outside of Corey and Gido, everybody else was pretty much awful. Janus died constantly. ArK had some of the worst timed deaths on the squad when Janus wasn’t dying (if he wasn’t already dead). Sansam could barely stay in most of the maps to save his life, and his Sombra needs some serious refinement, as he wasted multiple opportunities for his ultimate although he did have a few solid plays as Sombra. Ado had a couple of good plays as Pharah, but was otherwise ineffective- particularly on Rialto. The worst duo, by far, was ArK and Janus. Both were absolutely horrible in every single map they played today, and it’s not even close otherwise. I don’t know what the solution to that is- Janus overextends himself so many times that his teammates cannot keep up with him. His Winston is bad. His Wrecking Ball is even worse. It’s an eyesore to watch. ArK’s main problems are mostly his very poorly timed deaths. This was most notable on Eichenwalde, where he died multiple times in short succession in weird and preventable ways, such as getting taken down by a desperation D.Va ultimate that helped kill the push DC was having.
Credit to Atlanta for capitalizing on the numerous mistakes that the core members of the DC squad were making today. Corey was an absolute beast and even performed moderately well on Zarya, but it was his Widowmaker play that truly sets him apart. The story continues- DC shows “signs of improvement” but they remain utterly non-competitive in the face of teams even struggling through major adversity. If these performances continue, there’s simply no hope for this squad, and some major changes are going to be needed to make them a competitive team.
The Justice will have a bit of a break now, not coming back to the stage until Friday April 19th @ 10:30pm EST. Their opponent will be the massively underperforming LA Valiant, who only managed to eke their first win of the season out against… the Atlanta Reign.