The Shanghai Dragons won their second tournament of the 2021 Overwatch League season on Saturday, taking down the Chengdu Hunters 4-1 to win the Summer Showdown.
These two teams have battled a couple of times throughout the course of the Summer Showdown, so it came as no surprise that they cameprepared for each other in the Grand Finals.
The Chengdu Hunters (7-5, 9 points) started strong on Ilios, beating the Dragons in a heads-up Pharah match and then putting their star DPS and MVP candidate Huang “leave” Xin on Ashe on Ilios-Ruins, powering the Hunters to a 2-0 map win.
The Shanghai Dragons (10-2, 18 points) were quick to respond, though, taking control of the series on Temple of Anubis. Chengdu’s attack stalled out on the second point, with the Hunters’ poke composition unable to take control of the point. Shanghai put 2020 Overwatch League MVP Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim on Reaper so he could threaten Chengdu’s frontline, leading to a 2-1 win for Shanghai.
Throughout the rest of the series, the Dragons devoted considerable resources to keeping the Hunters’ frontline down, disrupting Chengdu’s entire lineup in the process.
In Game 3 on Eichenwalde, Shanghai finished their attacking round with 2:13 on the clock behind Fleta’s Reaper and then turned up the aggression on defense, spawn-camping Chengdu multiple times en route to a 3-1 win.
Chengdu started to adjust on Route 66, putting leave on McCree, but they couldn’t get past Fleta and the rest of Shanghai. The Dragons’ defense was staunch, leading to a 3-2 win for Shanghai to put them at match point.
Chengdu showed signs of life in a do-or-die Game 5 on Nepal, but tragedy struck in Round 2 on Nepal-Village, where the Hunters failed to contest the point in Overtime, leading to a 2-0 Shanghai victory and back-to-back tournament crowns for the Dragons.
With the series win, the Dragons all but qualify for the 2021 Season Playoffs with their 18 league points. Chengdu gets two points for their second-place finish, while the West’s Dallas Fuel (9-3, 15 points) get one point.
After a week off, OWL teams will compete in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the Countdown Cup’s double-elimination playoff brackets, which will be contested Aug. 19-21. 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 kick off on Friday, July 30 with two matches:
Dallas Fuel vs Paris Eternal (West)
Houston Outlaws vs Washington Justice (West)
Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points:
1. Dallas Fuel, 9-3, 14, 15
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
1. Shanghai Dragons, 10-2, 20, 18
2. Seoul Dynasty, 9-3, 14, 9
3. Chengdu Hunters, 7-5, 7, 9
T4. Philadelphia Fusion, 7-5, 7, 7
T4. Hangzhou Spark, 7-5, 7, 7
6. New York Excelsior, 5-7, -3, 5
7. Guangzhou Charge, 3-9, -18, 3
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-12, -34, 0
–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media