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Fuel, Reign post Summer Showdown victories

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The 2021 Summer Showdown Knockout Round finished on Sunday in the Western Region with the Dallas Fuel and the Atlanta Reign qualifying for the Summer Showdown.

The first match of the day saw the Washington Justice (8-4, 8 points) outlast the Paris Eternal (6-6, 6 points) in a 3-2 series win. This series was as back-and-forth as they come, with the teams taking turns winning perfect games on each other. Both teams ran similar compositions throughout the matchup, meaning this was a battle of execution and star power.

The Eternal started strong with a 2-0 win on Oasis, then the Justice responded with a 1-0 full-hold on Hanamura to tie the series up at one apiece. Paris looked to surge ahead with a 1-0 win on Hollywood, but Washington responded beautifully, shifting to a defensive playstyle and absorbing Paris’ aggression. The Justice took Route 66 1-0 and Busan 2-0 to secure the 3-2 series win.

In the other first round series, the Los Angeles Gladiators (8-4, 8 points) swept through the Boston Uprising (6-6, 6 points) in a 3-0 series win. The Gladiators played a variety of compositions throughout their wins, taking Ilios 2-0, Hanamura 2-0 and closing the series out with a 4-3 win on King’s Row.

The Justice fought hard, but couldn’t overcome the Western Region’s top dogs, the Dallas Fuel (9-3, 14 points), as Dallas qualified for the Summer Showdown with a 3-2 series win. Dallas’ aggression got them the No. 1 seed in this tournament cycle, but it was the Fuel’s adaptation to absorbing pressure from the Justice that ultimately led to the win.

The Justice started strong with a 2-1 win on Lijiang Tower, but the Fuel responded with a 2-1 win on Volskaya Industries. Washington took the series to King’s Row in Game 3, where Dallas posted a convincing 3-1 win, going to match point.

Washington fought hard to stay alive, taking Route 66 2-1, but ran out of gas in the end. The Fuel were firing on all cylinders in Game 5 on Nepal, taking a 2-0 sweep to qualify for their third straight tournament series.

In the final series of the day, the Los Angeles Gladiators fell just short against the Atlanta Reign (7-5, 8 points), with the Reign qualifying for their second straight tournament with a 3-2 series win. Both teams were seen as defensively minded coming into this series, leading to a series where map selection was key to victory.

The Reign started with a 2-0 win on Lijiang Tower, neutralizing the Gladiators’ attempted Doomfist composition. The Gladiators responded with a 1-0 win on their map pick of Temple of Anubis, but then the Reign took a win on their map pick of King’s Row with a 1-0 full-hold.

With their backs to the wall, Los Angeles put on a masterful defense on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, taking a 1-0 win. In the series decider, both teams seemed evenly matched, but the Reign won out in the end with a 2-1 map win.

The OWL teams have been competing in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the Summer Showdown’s double-elimination playoff brackets, which will be contested next week, with two teams from each region advancing.

The Summer Showdown begins on Thursday with two matches:

Shanghai Dragons vs Atlanta Reign

Chengdu Hunters vs Dallas Fuel

Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points

West:

  1. Dallas Fuel, 9-3, +14, 14

  2. San Francisco Shock, 9-3, +13, 9

  3. Houston Outlaws, 9-3, +11, 9

  4. Los Angeles Gladiators, 8-4, +13, 8

  5. Washington Justice, 8-4, +9, 8

  6. Atlanta Reign, 7-5, +13, 8

  7. Paris Eternal, 6-6, -1, 6

  8. Toronto Defiant, 6-6, -4, 6

  9. Boston Uprising, 6-6, +1, 6

  10. Florida Mayhem, 4-8, -9, 5

  11. London Spitfire, 0-12, -29, 0

  12. Vancouver Titans, 0-12, -31, 0

East:

  1. Shanghai Dragons, 10-2, +20, 15
  2. Seoul Dynasty, 9-3, +14, 9

T3. Philadelphia Fusion, 7-5, +5, 7

T3. Hangzhou Spark, 7-5, +5, 7

T3. Chengdu Hunters, 7-5, +5, 7

  1. New York Excelsior, 5-7, -3, 5
  2. Guangzhou Charge, 3-9, -18, 3

  3. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-12, -34, 0

–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media

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