Week 2 of the Summer Showdown qualifiers have wrapped up and that means things have settled a bit. Not completely, we still have some upsets especially in the West region but for the most part we have clear patterns emerging as we head into the knockouts next week.
Let’s get into it.
The Checkmate Effect
On June 30th, 2021, the Florida Mayhem announced that they were benching their main tank OGE and putting DPS player Checkmate into the main tank role.
Moving a DPS player to a critical role like main tank is not a move to made lightly. Going into Florida’s matches this week I wondered how Checkmate was going to handle the pressures of taking on OGE’s mantle on main tank roles.
Checkmate in his first game against the Dallas Fuel confused the Fuel for a little bit with his extremely aggressive Reinhardt play. However, the Fuel eventually figured out the patterns of his engagement and dealt with it. The Mayhem won a couple maps in that series but I’d argue that was the rest of the team performing above average and not because Checkmate had a good performance on the role. They won those maps despite Checkmate and not because of him.
Florida’s second game was against the Washington Justice and the Justice dealt with Checkmate and the rest of the Mayhem with ease and closed out the series with a definitive 3-0 victory. This was my expected result for both of the series this week. Checkmate’s strategies might work on ladder ranked play but against competent OWL main tanks like Mag or Fearless, they are entirely too predictable and inefficient.
Overall, not the worst week for a DPS player turned tank but Florida has ways to go before they can start winning matches again. And Checkmate really needs to play Reinhardt a little less aggressively.
Other than the Florida Mayhem games there were a couple other matches worth talking about.
Seoul Dynasty vs Guangzhou Charge [East]
This one is a classic reverse sweep series. The Charge looked extremely strong in the first two maps of the series but as the third map drew to the close the Dynasty had moved the series’ momentum in their favour and they closed out the series with a 3-2 victory. For Dynasty fans this is a nice consolation prize after losing to the Dragons 3-0 earlier in the weak. For the Charge fans, this is yet another frustrating loss for a team that still quite hasn’t found their groove.
Atlanta Reign vs Dallas Fuel [West]
An extremely close series between two very good teams. This series goes back and forth all the way to a map 5. Fearless continues to be a delight to watch on the main tank role. I reckon we will see these two teams face off again in the tournament bracket again.
It was mostly a quiet week with the most interesting matches happening not because of sheer gameplay quality but because of roster shifts. Here’s hoping the upcoming longer week of games is far more interesting especially when the knockouts happen.
See y’all next week!