Week 13 brings to us the final week of qualifiers and knockouts before the Summer Showdown tournament bracket begins next week. As such, there are close heartbreaking series to talk about. Let’s get into it.
As with all of the tournament brackets before this one, two teams from each region will make it into the bracket and duke it out in a double elimination format until we have our winner.
So on Sunday we had the knockouts to determine the two teams that would make it. These are some of those matches.
Shanghai Dragons vs New York Excelsior [East]
Of all the knockout series this week, this one was the least interesting. The Shanghai Dragons did a clean sweep through the New York Excelsior and secured the spot in the tournament bracket. Despite stellar performances from NYXL DPS Gwangboong this week, New York’s overall performance continues to disappoint.
Seoul Dynasty vs Chengdu Hunters [East]
Going into this I predicted the Seoul Dynasty to win, however it turns out that one should never count on the Dynasty to close out a series when it matters most and the Chengdu Hunters took advantage of that to bring this series to a fifth tiebreaker map where the Hunters won 2-1 to close out the series 3-2 and thus securing their spot in the tournament. I’m sure this was a very frustrating loss for Seoul fans. Despite good performances from the Dynasty DPS lineup, this team still performs inconsistently enough to where one cannot really call them a top team.
Washington Justice vs Dallas Fuel [West]
This is the first of our two heartbreaker series this week. In an incredible performance from both the Washington Justice and the Dallas Fuel, this series was closer than anyone had predicted. Dallas won this series at the end of a five map barn burner of a series but the Washington Justice did not make this an easy journey. Standout performance from the Justice’s main tank Mag put the phrase “main tank difference” in everyone’s mouth as he hit incredible shatter after incredible shatter against the OWL 2021’s main character of Fearless.
The Justice have shown that they are capable of going toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the world, they just need that last bit of juice in their tank to close out these series. That fifth map showcased just why the Fuel have been so dominant this season. They bring their all when it matters.
Los Angeles Gladiators vs Atlanta Reign [West]
Heartbreaker number two was a quick one. No really, this is the fastest map 5 series in OWL history. In a series which really showcased the strength of the map pick, non-KOTH maps were all full holds. This series felt a bit cursed, because Atlanta won the first map and therefore in a back and forth series, Atlanta also gets the final map pick for the fifth map giving them the advantage and indeed, Atlanta won that map 2-1 to close out the series 3-2. Extremely frustrating for the Gladiator fans out there.
So the tournament bracket consists of the following four teams:
- Shanghai Dragons
- Chengdu Hunters
- Dallas Fuel
- Atlanta Reign
Looking at those four teams, Chengdu is the weakest of the four and I expect they will get eliminated quickly. I am otherwise hoping for another rematch of Shanghai vs Dallas in the finals that goes to 7 maps.
See y’all next week!