The 2021 Overwatch League Summer Showdown officially kicked off on Saturday for the Eastern Region with the Seoul Dynasty, Guangzhou Charge and Hangzhou Spark picking up wins.
The Seoul Dynasty (7-2, 7 points) started their Summer Showdown with a convincing 3-1 win over the Chengdu Hunters (4-5,4 points). While Chengdu’s recent struggles have led to a losing streak and roster changes, the Dynasty looked strong coming into this tournament cycle featuring no hero restrictions.
The Dynasty started strong with a 2-0 win on Ilios, followed by a 3-2 win on Hollywood to go up 2-0. Of note, the Hunters started rookie DPS Zhong “TAROCOOK1E” Yunlong, but he struggled against Seoul’s star-studded DPS line.
Chengdu fought for a 1-0 full-hold on Watchpoint: Gibraltar in Game 3 to make the series interesting, but Seoul’s command of Hanamura led to a 2-1 win for the Dynasty to complete the 3-1 series win.
In other Saturday action, the Guangzhou Charge (3-6, 3 points) took down the New York Excelsior (3-6, 3 points) in a hard-fought 3-2 series between teams fighting to pick up wins and potentially climb up the standings. Guangzhou got started with a convincing 2-0 win on Lijiang Tower but New York was quick to respond, taking King’s Row 3-2 to tie the series up.
As the series went on, individual players from both teams put up major carry performances to get their teams wins. Charge DPS Ou “Eileen” Yiliang led the charge for Guangzhou as they took Junkertown 4-3. Then, Excelsior DPS Youngwoo “Flora” Lim dominated Volskaya Industries as Tracer, leading the charge for the Excelsior as they full-capped the map in overtime for a 4-3 win, forcing a series-deciding Game 5.
It was a chaotic and hectic Game 5 on Oasis, with City Center going 100-99 to New York after a series of overtime staggers, contests and point flips. In the end, though, New York ran out of steam. Guangzhou dominated the second and third points, taking the map 2-1 to secure the 3-2 series win.
Finally, the Hangzhou Spark (6-3, 6 points) took down the hapless Los Angeles Valiant (0-9, 0 points) in a 3-0 sweep, kicking off their Summer Showdown campaign after their rough exit from the June Joust. Hangzhou made quick work of their opponents, taking Lijiang Tower 2-1, Eichenwalde 2-1, and full-holding Route 66 1-0 for the sweep.
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 later Saturday with three matches:
London Spitfire vs San Francisco Shock (West)
Florida Mayhem vs Toronto Defiant (West)
Vancouver Titans vs Boston Uprising (West)
Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points
1. Dallas Fuel, 5-3, 7, 10
2. Houston Outlaws, 7-1, 12, 7
T3. San Francisco Shock, 7-2, 12, 7
T3. Los Angeles Gladiators, 7-2, 12, 7
5. Washington Justice, 5-3, 5, 5
6. Atlanta Reign, 4-4, 5, 5
7. Florida Mayhem, 4-4, -1, 5
8. Toronto Defiant, 4-4, -3, 4
9. Paris Eternal, 4-5, -3, 4
10. Boston Uprising, 3-5, -4, 3
11. Vancouver Titans, 0-8, -20, 0
12. London Spitfire, 0-9, -22, 0
1. Shanghai Dragons, 6-2, 9, 11
2. Seoul Dynasty, 7-2, 13, 7
3. Hangzhou Spark, 6-3, 11, 6
4. Philadelphia Fusion, 6-2, 10, 6
5. Chengdu Hunters, 4-5, 0, 4
6. New York Excelsior, 3-6, -7, 3
7. Guangzhou Charge, 3-6, -11, 3
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-9, -25, 0
–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media