The final week of Summer Showdown qualifiers kicked off Thursday with a pair of sweeps as the Atlanta Reign and the Boston Uprising picked up wins.
In a major upset, the Boston Uprising (6-5, 5 points) dominated the second-ranked team in the Western Region, the Houston Outlaws (9-2, 9 points), in a 3-0 sweep. Both teams came into this match with momentum and needing a win to lock in a spot in the Summer Showdown Knockout Round. The Outlaws were heavy favorites, especially since they looked like they had a firm grasp on the meta, but the Uprising used that against Houston to great effect.
The Uprising brought out a Genji-Sombra dive early on, which hasn’t been seen so far in the Summer Showdown. The dive look got all over Houston’s Orisa-led compositions, giving Boston unparalleled tempo control and a 2-0 win on Ilios. Try as the Outlaws might throughout the remainder of the series, they couldn’t find an answer for Boston’s dive.
Boston took Game 2 on Temple of Anubis 2-1 after nearly allowing Houston to complete the map, largely due to DPS Byeong-ju “Valentine” Kim’s Genji. Valentine repeatedly sliced through the Outlaws, stuffing Houston’s attacking attempts with ease. By the time the Outlaws tried to swap their composition up on Eichenwalde in Game 3, it was too late. Boston cruised to a 2-1 win on Eichenwalde to secure the 3-0 series win and earn a spot in the Summer Showdown Knockout Round.
In other Thursday action, the Atlanta Reign (6-5, 7 points) dominated the hapless London Spitfire (0-11, 0 points) in a 3-0 sweep. After the Spitfire put up a close loss to the San Francisco Shock (9-3, 9 points), it seemed as though London was on the verge of turning the corner and possibly picking up their first win. Unfortunately for them, Atlanta put a stop to that with their lethal double-shield setup.
After London took the Lighthouse round on Ilios by a razor-thin 100-99 margin, the series was all Atlanta. The Reign took Ilios 2-1, won Volskaya Industries 3-2, and then flexed their muscles with a 1-0 on King’s Row to secure the win.
The OWL teams are competing in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the Summer Showdown’s double-elimination playoff brackets, which will be contested July 11-18.
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 on Friday with six matches:
Hangzhou Spark vs New York Excelsior (East)
Chengdu Hunters vs Philadelphia Fusion (East)
Los Angeles Valiant vs Shanghai Dragons (East)
Washington Justice vs London Spitfire (West)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs Toronto Defiant (West)
Dallas Fuel vs Houston Outlaws (West)
Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points
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
1. Shanghai Dragons, 8-2, +15, 13
2. Seoul Dynasty, 9-3, +14, 9
3. Philadelphia Fusion, 7-3, +10, 7
4. Hangzhou Spark, 6-4, +8, 6
5. Chengdu Hunters, 5-5, +3, 5
6. New York Excelsior, 4-6, -4, 4
7. Guangzhou Charge, 3-9, -18, 3
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-10, -28, 0
–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media
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