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Spark, Hunters and Dragons pick up key wins in qualifiers

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The Summer Showdown Qualifiers continued Friday in the Eastern Region of the Overwatch League, with the Hangzhou Spark, Chengdu Hunters and Shanghai Dragons picking up wins.

In a battle of teams looking to cement themselves as top three in the region, the Hunters (6-5, 6 points) picked up a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Fusion (7-4, 7 points). The Fusion started hot, taking a 2-0 win on Nepal and a 3-2 win on Volskaya Industries, threatening to sweep the Hunters.

With their backs to the wall, Chengdu came alive, taking King’s Row 3-2 to shift the momentum. Where Philadelphia was able to control the pace early in the game, Chengdu put enough pressure on the Fusion’s frontline that the Hunters took control. Chengdu put up a 3-2 win on Junkertown to force a Game 5, where the Hunters knocked off the Fusion with a 2-0 win on Busan.

With the victory, Chengdu is in control of its own destiny at 2-1 for the Summer Showdown qualifiers, while Philadelphia will need some help to qualify at 1-2.

In other Friday action, the Hangzhou Spark (7-4, 7 points) got revenge for their loss in the June Joust Knockout Round with a 3-2 win over the New York Excelsior (4-7, 4 points). The Excelsior started the series with a 2-1 win on Oasis, setting the tone that this series would be a scrappy affair. Hangzhou responded with a 3-2 win on Volskaya Industries and a 3-2 win on King’s Row to take a 2-1 lead.

Then, in Game 4, New York’s defense on Junkertown gave the Excelsior a 3-2 win, forcing a Game 5. While the Excelsior were strong throughout the series, New York ran out of gas at the end. Hangzhou picked up a 2-0 win on Nepal, raising the team’s Summer Showdown record to 2-1 with a solid chance to advance.

Finally, the Shanghai Dragons (9-2, 14 points) picked up a sweep over the Los Angeles Valiant (0-11, 0 points). Shanghai looked as strong as ever, putting on a master class on how to run Tracer-Sombra dive compositions. The Dragons took Nepal 2-1, full-held Volskaya Industries 1-0 and finished with a 3-2 win on King’s Row.

The OWL teams are competing in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the Summer Showdown’s double-elimination playoff, which will be contested beginning Sunday and running through July 18.

The top six teams from the West and the top four teams from the East will make the initial playoff rounds. Two teams from each region will advance to the double-elimination final playoff round.

The Summer Showdown qualifiers continue later Friday with three matches:
Washington Justics vs. London Spitfire (West)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Toronto Defiant (West)
Dallas Fuel vs. Houston Outlaws (West)

There are six more matches Saturday:
New York Excelsior vs Philadelphia Fusion (East)
Los Angeles Valiant vs Chengdu Hunters (East)
Hangzhou Spark vs Shanghai Dragons (East)
Atlanta Reign vs Boston Uprising (West)
Toronto Defiant vs Dallas Fuel (West)
Washington Justice vs Los Angeles Gladiators (West)

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

West:
1. Dallas Fuel, 7-3, +9, 12
2. Houston Outlaws, 9-2, +14, 9
3. San Francisco Shock, 9-3, +13, 9
4. Los Angeles Gladiators, 7-3, +11, 7
5. Atlanta Reign, 6-5, +10, 7
6. Washington Justice, 6-4, +5, 6
7. Toronto Defiant, 6-4, +1, 6
8. Paris Eternal, 6-6, -1, 6
9. Boston Uprising, 6-5, +4, 5
10. Florida Mayhem, 4-8, -9, 5
11. London Spitfire, 0-11, -26, 0
12. Vancouver Titans, 0-12, -31, 0

East:
1. Shanghai Dragons, 9-2, +18, 14
2. Seoul Dynasty, 9-3, +14, 9
T3. Philadelphia Fusion, 7-4, +9, 7
T3. Hangzhou Spark, 7-4, +9, 7
5. Chengdu Hunters, 6-5, +4, 6
6. New York Excelsior, 4-7, -5, 4
7. Guangzhou Charge, 3-9, -18, 3
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-11, -31, 0

–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media

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