San Francisco Shock earns spot in the Midseason Madness tournament finals and other OWL results

The Atlanta Reign also proved to be the East Region's worst nightmare, sending two more teams home.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

Teams fought for their lives in the lower bracket and took fans through a series of high-stress, high-caliber matches through the penultimate day of the Overwatch League’s Midseason Madness tournament.

Over the past five days, the competition’s field has narrowed, and most of the tournament’s twelve invited teams have headed home. In their place, a former championship team has secured its spot in the July 23 finals, and multiple teams faced a brutal double-game day. Here’s how it all went down on July 22.

Atlanta Reign vs. Philadelphia Fusion (3-1)  

Weary but still ready to head to war, the Reign and Fusion kicked things off on Lijiang Tower, which was an easy win for Atlanta, considering it was their map choice. Atlanta kept riding that wave onto King’s Row, where the Philadelphia Fusion could only get a single point despite choosing the map themselves. Small mistakes from the Fusion’s players began to add up, and Atlanta could smell blood in the water.

Just when it looked like the Fusion would be done and dusted, clutch plays from MN3 and Belosrea inspired the team to rally and maintain cohesion on Route 66. Unfortunately for the Fusion, Atlanta chose to go to Colosseo for Push, the team’s lucky map, throughout most of the Midseason Madness tournament. It was much more competitive than other maps throughout the series, but a last-minute standoff between Reign DPS Kai and most of the Fusion clutched the win for the Atlanta roster.

Atlanta Reign vs. Shanghai Dragons (3-1) 

The Atlanta Reign continued to be the East Region’s worst nightmare today, taking down last year’s grand champions in a spectacle of snipers and subpar decisions. 

As one of the league’s best Doomfist players, Reign tank Hawk had to use every bit of his talent to take down the Dragons’ DPS players on the first map, Lijiang Tower. Shanghai then took them to King’s Row, a staple for the team, and hitscan ace LIP once again showed why he’s arguably the Dragons’ most reliable player.

Tied at the half, Atlanta made the easy decision to take Shanghai to Circuit Royal, the land of sniper duels. LIP and the Reign’s sniper specialist Kai duked it out the entire map, trading headshots and mind games. Thanks to his support line, Kai and the Reign came out ahead.

The series’ final map, Colosseo, ended with more of a whimper than the Dragons likely wanted. For some reason, these one-time champions looked disorganized in the Roman streets and the Reign were able to capitalize on those mistakes. 

Philadelphia Fusion vs. Hangzhou Spark (3-2) 

No one in the Overwatch League community expected the Philadelphia Fusion and Hangzhou Spark to be the East Region’s final representatives in this tournament, but the two teams took that honor seriously and duked it out over five incredibly close maps. 

Hangzhou and Philadelphia traded maps evenly throughout the series, focusing mostly on the teams’ DPS lines. On the Spark, Shy and AlphaYi–who is compiling quite a convincing reel for a Rookie of the Year nomination– made life hellish for the Fusion’s backline, especially on their selected maps, like Dorado. Not to be outdone, Zest and MN3 once again stepped up for the Fusion, shining bright when given the space to work.

As is standard for every important Philadelphia Fusion match, the team took fans to a heart-stopping third round on map five. Though all the focus has been on Zest and MN3, tank Belosrea was the hero for Philadelphia on Lijiang Tower. From taking entire fights by himself to last-second critical elims from his ultimate, the rookie tank clutched victory for his team. 

With this win, the Hangzhou Spark was sent home, while the Shanghai Dragons took their leave after a defeat from Atlanta. The Reign and Fusion only had a short rest before clashing once again at the end of the day.

San Francisco Shock vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (3-2)  

While the lower bracket teams prepared for another battle, we switched over to the extremely competitive upper bracket. The two remaining teams in the top tier, the Los Angeles Gladiators and San Francisco Shock, took fans to a wild Battle for California. 

Ilios and Eichenwalde were standard maps with the expected performances from each team’s respective DPS players, but the third map, Circuit Royal, was where things got interesting. The Gladiators chose the Escort map but weren’t prepared for Shock DPS Proper, a Rookie of the Year frontrunner, to get the ace against them.

Colosseo was the Gladiators’ last stand and for a tense first half of the map, the Shock looked to take the robot straight to the end, staggering Los Angeles again and again. Thanks to hero plays from DPS Kevster, though, the Gladiators managed to turn things around. 

San Francisco took their enemies to Oasis, where the Gladiators appeared to be asleep for the first round, scoring only one elimination throughout its duration. Los Angeles woke up for the second round, and both teams’ tanks decided to have a Roadhog battle on the point, but the Shock looked dominant and booked their ticket for the Midseason Madness grand finals.

The lower bracket finals begin at 6pm CT on July 23, where the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Atlanta Reign will battle it out for the last spot in the grand finals. At approximately 7:30pm, the grand finals will begin, and one team will have to face the San Francisco Shock for the Midseason Madness crown.