Fuel to the fire: Overwatch League Countdown Cup Knockout round results

Narrow wins and close games marked the first day of the tournament.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

The North American side of the Overwatch League Countdown Cup tournament kicked off on Aug. 7 with a series of elimination matches known as the Knockout rounds. After these matches were completed, four teams moved on to the quarterfinal matches taking place on Aug. 8. 

For the Countdown Cup, the Overwatch League was split into two regions, North America and Asia. Asia has seven participating teams and North America began the tournament with 13 teams. The Boston Uprising were eliminated in a qualification match last weekend and four more North American teams were eliminated in today’s Knockout rounds.  

The remaining teams will fight for the Countdown Cup championship, awarded to one team in each region. Each winning team will receive $50,000 and three bonus wins added onto their 2020 season record. 

Atlanta Reign vs. Vancouver Titans (3-0) 

The Vancouver Titans have seen enormous growth over the last two monthly Overwatch League tournaments, but the team couldn’t stand up to a coordinated Atlanta Reign. During the first two maps of this quick series, the Titans looked competitive, especially with a decent attack on Hybrid map Numbani. Temple of Anubis was a more dreadful affair for Vancouver. Atlanta’s newest DPS player, Garret “Saucy” Roland, showed off his Genji skills and sliced through the Titans. 

Los Angeles Valiant vs. Houston Outlaws (3-0)  

After a heartbreaking 2-3 loss to the Los Angeles Valiant earlier in the Countdown Cup, the Houston Outlaws entered this match looking for redemption. Unfortunately, their strategies didn’t match their passion to take the win.

First map Lijiang Tower looked promising for the Outlaws, but the Valiant rallied and took the map. Houston looked completely lost on Numbani, attempting wild strategies with no execution. Despite a long hold on final map Hanamura, Valiant’s DPS stars ended up destroying the Outlaws’ dreams.

Dallas Fuel vs. Washington Justice (3-2)

In the closest match of today’s Knockout rounds, the Dallas Fuel managed to eke out a win. More importantly, Dallas manages to turn the team’s incredibly unlucky week, full of contract releases and scandals, into one of success.

On the Washington Justice side, Genji expert Lee “TTuba” Ho-sung looked clean slicing and dicing through the Dallas Fuel on maps like Watchpoint: Gibraltar. The Fuel’s tank line was wise to his antics, however. Lucas “NotE” Meissner’s expert Sigma play seemed to dash TTuba’s dreams around every corner. This match went the distance, taking both teams to the final round of Control map Nepal. When it mattered, Dallas DPS Kim “Doha” Dong-ha seemed to come alive as Genji and forget the team’s troubles. 

Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Toronto Defiant (3-2) 

The Los Angeles Gladiators chased a redemption arc against the darlings of the Summer Showdown, the Toronto Defiant, in this Knockout match. In the last monthly tournament, the Defiant shattered expectations by climbing all the way to the semifinals. Their run was cut short by a bloodthirsty, if inconsistent, Gladiators roster. 

Toronto looked crisp on King’s Row and Anubis, but the Gladiators came alive on maps they were allowed to choose. Gladiators DPS Gia Huy “MirroR” Trinh flexed across the board, becoming the first player in the 2020 season to play all three roles in a single game. MirroR may have been impressive, but it was DPS Kim “Birdring” Ji-hyeok that repeatedly clutched for the Gladiators. As Junkrat on final map Nepal, he secured the rare “Fleta Deadlift” by causing over half of his team’s eliminations. 

Quarterfinals 

With only seven teams participating, the Asia region jumps right into the Countdown Cup quarterfinals on Aug. 8. The Shanghai Dragons, who earned the first seed in the region, will receive a bye into the semifinal matches.  

  • London Spitfire vs. Chengdu Hunters, 3am CT 
  • Hangzhou Spark vs. Seoul Dynasty, 5am CT 
  • New York Excelsior vs. Guangzhou Charge, 7am CT  

Meanwhile, North American teams will kick off their quarterfinal matches later in the day on Aug. 8. The San Francisco Shock, Paris Eternal, Florida Mayhem, and Philadelphia Fusion, as the top four seeds in the region, chose their opponents from the winners of the Knockout rounds. 

  • Dallas Fuel vs. San Francisco Shock, 2pm CT 
  • Los Angeles Valiant vs. Paris Eternal, 4pm CT 
  • Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Philadelphia Fusion, 6pm CT 
  • Atlanta Reign vs. Florida Mayhem, 8pm CT 

Semifinals and Grand Finals for both North America and Asia will take place on Sunday, Aug. 9. Full brackets and results can be found on the Overwatch League website.