We finally have a match that goes the distance, and it appears to have a catastrophic conclusion at the end that has left many concerned, and the Gladiators’ silence has been deafening thus far.
The Toronto Defiance matched up against the LA Gladiators today as they both vie for the playoffs and a massive paycheck. Toronto took the first control map of Ilios, and LAG took the following two maps of Hollywood and the dastardly 2CP Temple of Anubis.
While Toronto clapped back with a clutch Dorado victory that had the teams on even ground once again, the control map of Lijiang Tower proved to be a pivotal moment within the Overwatch League as LA Gladiators took the fifth and final map, sending Toronto home and out of the playoffs.
The LA Gladiators begin to stand up and congratulate each other for a hard-fought series that ended with a massive W on the scoreboard; the first for the Gladiators within the playoffs and Kim ‘Birdring’ Ji-hyeok suddenly appears to collapse when attempting to stand up, leaving his teammates in various states of stupor and concern.
Birdring fainted/collapsed after the game pic.twitter.com/eE3MQQzGRK
— memes_for_owl (@memes_for_owl) September 4, 2020
It’s been noted that Kim Ji-hyeok was feeling ill, and (of his own volition) was subbed in to help the Gladiators pull off a massive clutch for the victory in the first play-off.
Concern abounded as everyone began refreshing the LA Gladiators Twitter feed to ensure that the young Korean star was ok after the feed was cut short; it took what felt like ages, but LAG did announce that he was recovering.
Birdring is doing ok!
We were monitoring him earlier and subbed him in when he felt well enough to warm up and play. He felt dizzy standing up but is walking around now and is going to go rest for the night.
Thank you all for the concern, and please send him your well wishes!
— Los Angeles Gladiators (@LAGladiators) September 4, 2020
Shortly after the LAG tweeted, Birdring himself pushed a brief message on his personal Twitter account, thanking fans for their concern.
Feel better now dw about me
— GLA BIRDRING (@Birdring) September 4, 2020
If anything, this event puts birding at one of the top competitive players that can currently be found within the Overwatch League: in spite of his illness, he requested to be subbed in as he felt he could perform in a manner that would ensure the LA Gladiators could succeed in their first playoff match.
A feat that he managed to accomplish in spite of appearing a bit paler than the rest of us in this time of a pandemic, where no one really gets too much of the sun.
The third round of the playoffs should be taking place between September 5 to the 13, and many are hoping that the LA Gladiators will be appearing later rather than sooner, if for no other reason than for Birdring to get the clearly much-needed rest so Gladiators have a fair chance to compete in the remaining matches.