Atlanta Reign qualify for the 2021 Overwatch League Grand Finals

Meanwhile, last year’s champs and a top Western contender head home.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

This year’s Overwatch League Grand Finals matchup is finally set in stone after one last day of playoff bracket competition. Over the past two days, four top teams have been sent home packing with their championship dreams dashed. On Sept. 24, two surprising teams joined them.  

Last year’s champions, the San Francisco Shock, returned home alongside the league’s May Melee winners, the Dallas Fuel. An underdog coming into the lower bracket, the Atlanta Reign rose above and will join the Shanghai Dragons in the Grand Finals.

In a do-or-die match, the Atlanta Reign and San Francisco Shock faced off first in the lower bracket. San Francisco had a solid start on Nepal, with Matthew “super” DeLisi dealing out main tank justice. Unfortunately for the Shock, the tide shifted on Atlanta’s second map pick, Hanamura, and the latter team evened the score.  

Reign DPS Kai Collins inspired snipers everywhere with a massive first pick on King’s Row, which allowed his team to steamroll through the map. This singular shot seemed to bolster the Atlanta squad, inspiring Oh “Pelican” Se-hyun and Blake “Gator” Scott to kick their skills into high gear. 

Though Shock off-tank Choi “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-bin gobbled up ultimates throughout final map Havana, the Reign’s defenses were too much for the two-time champions to break. San Francisco went home after a 1-3 loss and the team’s “threepeat”championship dreams were shattered. 

The Atlanta Reign went immediately back into the battlefield against the Dallas Fuel, who looked crisp and clean on first map Lijiang Tower. Not even Dallas Fuel’s roster full of Role Stars could stop a confident Reign, though. Atlanta sailed through their map choice of Hanamura and the pace of the series was set. 

Dallas made the questionable decision to take Atlanta to King’s Row, one of the latter’s best locales, for the third map of the series. A sharp double-bubble composition looked good for the Fuel on attack, but the Reign stopped them short in overtime rounds. By the time Dallas took Atlanta to Dorado—another Reign favorite—the Fuel’s adventurous dives failed to land. 

With a 3-1 win against the Fuel, the Atlanta Reign clinched a spot in the Grand Finals. Tomorrow, they face off against the winner’s bracket champions, the Shanghai Dragons, in a first-to-four series to determine the 2021 Overwatch League champion. The action starts at 6:45pm CT, when the Watchpoint pre-show will include an exclusive look at Overwatch 2.