It is tournament week! Specifically, week 4 is the May Melee tournament. A double elimination bracket featuring four teams, two from the East region and two from the West region. Let’s get right into it.
The Dallas Fuel: A Cycle Broken
Going into the May Melee tournament the biggest talking point and story was one team. The Dallas Fuel. After defeating both the San Francisco Shock and the Houston Outlaws in stunning 3-0 matches last week, the Dallas Fuel started their journey to the top.
The Fuel had dethroned both old and new kings alike. But, the question remained, were those matches a fluke? Could the Dallas Fuel finally be not only good but /consistently/ good? Could the infamous cycle of misery be broken? Was this Dallas’ year to shine? This tournament was their chance to prove that they were here break free of their miserable past and rise to the top.
Another talking point through this rise of the Fuel was their lack of a hitscan DPS player. Would this come to bite them in the ass when another team in the tournament took advantage of their lack of hitscan prowess?
Their first match in this tournament was against the Chengdu Hunters, a team with Jinmu, quite possibly the best Pharah player in the league. The Hunters are no slouch of a team, yet they proved no match for the Fuel. The Hunters took a consolation map but ultimately the Fuel slid past them with a relatively easy 3-1 victory.
Their next opponent was a tougher one, the Shanghai Dragons. The Dragons were fresh off a 3-2 victory against the Florida Mayhem and they were hungry to stay in that winners bracket. This match against the Fuel was another 3-2 banger of a match with both teams going back and forth on maps until Dallas won it. The tiebreaker map of Dorado was a heartbreaking loss for Shanghai, at the end of it we saw Void visibly emotional at the loss. The Dragons were banished into the losers bracket to face off against the Florida Mayhem.
The Dallas Fuel had made it to the tournament finals. Their opponent would be the angry Shanghai Dragons who bested the Florida Mayhem in a 3-0 sweep and exited the losers bracket hungry for a rematch against the Fuel.
The stage was set for a epic battle of titans. Since this was a finals match, it was first to four so the possibility of a map 7 affair remained on the horizon. The first map of the series looked rough for Shanghai, Lip failed multiple EMP executions and the Fuel were able to win that first map with ease. The Dragons then took them to Temple of Anubis where they showcased the most dominant showing in this series, winning the map 1-0 by virtue of a stellar point A defence.
Map 2 was the highest point of the series for the Dragons, after that they took two more map losses. Both King’s Row and Gibraltar went to the Dallas Fuel. Gibraltar was especially heartbreaking since the Fuel won that off the back of an absolutely ridiculous overtime defence on the last point.
The Dallas Fuel were at match point, 3-1. The Dragons would have to win 3 more maps in a row to be able to win the series. Ilios was fortunately a victory for the Dragons. Some hope remained in the Dragons in this series.
The last map of the series was Blizzard World, Dallas were able to hold Shanghai’s offence just before point B. At this point I started to dread the Shanghai loss and yet Shanghai /almost/ pulled off another stellar defence of their own but ultimately the Dallas Fuel were able to push the cart to the golden box of victory in overtime. Heartbreaking to watch if you are a Dragons fan.
A 4-2 victory for the Dallas Fuel. The star of the match was Fearless but I would like to commend the rest of the Dallas Fuel squad on an incredible match performance. I hope this is the first of multiple tournament victories for this team this season. The cycle of misery has finally been broken.
Return of the Big Boss
The Dallas Fuel announced on Monday May 10th that they were signing Pine on to fill the hitscan DPS role. For those of us who have been watching OWL since the inaugural season this was fantastic news. I cannot wait to see what the Big Boss can do when he returns to matches.
This first tournament of the season was a fantastic one to start the season with. If this is the quality of tournaments going forward in this season, it is going to continue to be a fantastic season.
The Overwatch League takes a break this week and will be returning next week on the 21st of May. That means no post from me as well, see y’all in week 6!