West Region Overwatch League teams participating in the Midseason Madness tournament may be in paradise—also known as Oahu, Hawaii—but it’s been nothing but business for the players still fighting it out this week.
Four out of twelve teams were sent packing yesterday, including the Seoul Dynasty, who won the season’s first tournament but couldn’t seem to get it together against the Atlanta Reign in the lower bracket.
Though the latter half of the July 21 games focused on the upper bracket, narrowing the field of teams vying for a spot in the grand finals, the first two games of the day sent even more Overwatch League stars right back to their training facilities.
Atlanta Reign vs. Houston Outlaws (3-1)
Both teams were still flying high from upset wins during yesterday’s nine-hour lower bracket extravaganza, but they immediately faced another do-or-die scenario. As the higher seed, the Houston Outlaws selected first map Oasis, and 2021 Rookie of the Year Pelican looked in peak form for his team.
Atlanta brought them to King’s Row and, once the map was in their favor, the wind seemed to shift. Once again, ace DPS Kai kicked things into the highest gear with his Sojourn play and made life miserable for the Outlaws. Houston opted for Dorado as their Escort pick and nearly had the Reign, but a last-minute switch to D.Va from ultra-flexible tank Hawk secured the win for Atlanta.
Colosseo has been a boon for the Outlaws in the past, but something in the green team’s cohesion broke down in the Roman halls. Atlanta, and notably Tracer expert Venom, took the victory and sent Houston packing.
Philadelphia Fusion vs. Florida Mayhem (3-2)
It wouldn’t be a true Philadelphia Fusion game without a map five showdown and approximately 17 heart attacks for their fans. The Florida Mayhem—who took an upset win against the London Spitfire yesterday—started out strong on the initial Control map, with tank Someone and support Rupal looking in crisp form.
The next few maps were, at best, a bit of a confusing game of musical chairs. On King’s Row, Philadelphia’s map choice, rookie DPS duo Zest and MN3 once again took the pain to their enemies and swiftly took down the Mayhem. Directly after on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, however, Florida managed to confuse the Fusion with unusual composition choices; Philly somehow looked lost, even after a previously solid performance.
As if someone had snapped them back to reality or, at the very least, brought them cups of coffee, the Philadelphia Fusion instantly woke up on New Queen Street, capitalizing on the strange choices that had benefited the Mayhem previously. On the final map Lijiang Tower, the teams took fans to the absolute final minute with a third round that went to overtime. MN3 and Zest added to their 2022 Rookie of the Year sizzle reels by clutching critical kills at the end of the match.
The Atlanta Reign will face the Shanghai Dragons in the lower bracket to kick off the day on July 22, starting at 6pm CT. Immediately after, the Philadelphia Fusion will take on the Hangzhou Spark at approximately 7:30pm. The upper bracket matches of July 22 will send one lucky team directly to the grand finals, which begin at 7:30pm on July 23.