If you thought the Overwatch League’s Summer Showdown tournament would be business as usual, a few teams would like to have a word with you. Three massive upsets during the “knockout rounds” have destroyed brackets and expectations for the summer tournament.
Four winning teams will move on to face the top four seeds in the North American quarterfinals, which will begin on July 4 at 2pm CT. The Asia bracket, which includes May Melee champions the Shanghai Dragons, begins with quarterfinal matches at 3am CT on July 4.
Teams that many analysts and fans expected to see in the North American quarterfinal matches were unceremoniously eliminated by opponents they seem to have underestimated. If these games were any indication, there may be more spice in the Summer Showdown than most of us anticipated.
Paris Eternal vs. Dallas Fuel (3-1)
Most Dallas Fuel fans were looking forward to the return of Jang “Decay” Gui-un, the team’s perpetual DPS carry who hit the bench the past few matches. Unfortunately for those Dallas Fuel fans, Decay’s inclusion in the first Summer Showdown match wasn’t quite enough for the team to move on in the tournament.
Decay and his DPS partner, Kim “Doha” Dong-ha, seemed to be stopped at every turn by Paris’ revolving door of damage dealers. If it wasn’t Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret on Mei, it was newcomer Kim “SP9RK1E” Young-han showcasing his terrifying Genji skills. On final map Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Dallas could have evened the score, but Paris flex support Kwon “Fielder” Joon hit a nearly impossible sleep dart onto a Nanoboosted Genji to hand his team the map and match.
The Paris Eternal and Vancouver Titans will face off tomorrow during the Summer Showdown quarterfinals.
Houston Outlaws vs. Florida Mayhem (3-1)
The last time these two teams matched up, the Florida Mayhem snuck away with a 3-2 victory over the Houston Outlaws. Florida, looking to go another round, chose the Outlaws to face in the Summer Showdown quarterfinals. They may have gotten a little too cocky with their choices this time around.
Mayhem’s top stars, like DPS Kim “Yaki” Jun-gi and off-tank Lee “Gargoyle” Beom-jun, continued showing off their skills in most of the maps today. Unfortunately for the Mayhem, the Outlaws were able to capitalize on massive mistakes in coordination and organization, including several truly painful steps off the payload. Big moves from Houston’s DPS duo, Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin and Dante “Danteh” Cruz, led the team to a surprise win.
In the quarterfinals, the Houston Outlaws will face the Philadelphia Fusion.
Toronto Defiant vs. Los Angeles Valiant (3-1)
Over the course of the Summer Showdown, the Los Angeles Valiant have grown from a mid-level team to a top contender thanks to the talents of their rookie roster. Most analysts and fans expected them to easily defeat an inconsistent Toronto Defiant. Instead, the Defiant dug deep and took the fight to a jumbled Los Angeles team.
Instead of their standard lineup, the Valiant opted to sub in aggressive main tank Rick “GIG” Salazar and DPS Damon “Apply” Conti on Brigitte in the support role. While the team still managed to perform adequately thanks to Kai “KSP” Collins and Johannes “Shax” Nielsen destroying dreams on DPS, something in the Toronto Defiant shifted for this knockout match. Brady “Agilities” Girardi, long known for his expert Genji play, finally seemed to find his groove and get all the mileage in the world.
Tomorrow, the Toronto Defiant will face the second-seeded Atlanta Reign.
Washington Justice vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (3-1)
Of all the upsets during today’s games, this win for the Washington Justice was by far the most surprising. Last week, the Washington Justice snuck into the Summer Showdown bracket by beating the Boston Uprising and claiming the 12th seed. With few expectations for the team, the Los Angeles Gladiators expected an easy win.
A mix of talent from the Justice and a lack of mental fortitude from the Gladiators spelled the latter team’s demise. Washington’s Lee “TTuba” Ho-sung is quickly becoming the star of the rebuilt Justice, destroying backlines on his now-signature Genji. Beyond TTuba’s expertise, the Gladiators seemed too lost in their own heads after a loss on second map King’s Row. All of the mistakes and inconsistencies that have plagued the Gladiators throughout the 2020 season came back to haunt them during this matchup.
The tournament’s first seed, the San Francisco Shock, selected the Washington Justice as their quarterfinal opponents.
Quarterfinal matches begin tomorrow, July 4, at 2pm CT. As for the Asia bracket, those teams will jump directly to quarterfinals at 3am CT on July 4. The Chengdu Hunters will face the Guangzhou Charge to kick off the other side of the Summer Showdown tournament.