The Overwatch League’s Countdown Cup tournament continued rolling on with quarterfinal matches in both regions. After yesterday’s North American Knockout rounds, four teams entered the proverbial ring with the top four seeds in the region. The Asia bracket also kicked off on Aug. 8 and three teams will move on to fight it out during the semifinal rounds.
Six teams entered the Asia region quarterfinals, vying for the chance to join the Shanghai Dragons in the semifinal rounds. The Chengdu Hunters, who have been having an outstanding performance in the Countdown cup, earned a quick 3-0 sweep over the London Spitfire.
The Hangzhou Spark took a tough 3-2 win against the Seoul Dynasty, getting a rare reverse sweep. Dynasty’s newest addition, off-tank Lim “Toyou” Hyun-woo, faced off against substitute Spark off-tank Song “Sasin” Sang-hyeon as both teams changed up their usual starting rosters.
In the most anticipated match of the night, the New York Excelsior eked out a win against Summer Showdown champions the Guangzhou Charge. New York had a quick 2-0 lead before halftime, looking for a quick win, but the Charge rallied back for the next two maps. On final map Lijiang Tower, tense fights eventually lead to a 3-2 win for the Excelsior squad.
North America Quarterfinals
San Francisco Shock vs. Dallas Fuel (3-0)
As the 2019 Overwatch League champions and previous winners of the May Melee tournament, the San Francisco Shock know when to take advantage of another team’s weaknesses. The Dallas Fuel may have defeated their drama demons yesterday against the Washington Justice, but they couldn’t topple the Shock. Dallas looked alive on second map King’s Row, but the team was mostly destroyed by Lee “ANS” Seon-chang, Shock’s hitscan expert. San Francisco DPS Kim “Rascal” Dong-jun also brought out his much-improved Genji play, likely to practice for tomorrow’s semifinals.
Philadelphia Fusion vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (3-0)
The Philadelphia Fusion may be known for taking the Overwatch League to map five, but this quick match against the Los Angeles Gladiators didn’t require that level of commitment. In previous tournaments and the early weeks of the Countdown Cup qualifiers, the Gladiators suffered heavily from a lack of cohesion within their ranks. The Fusion took full advantage of this confusion, sending DPS Lee “Ivy” Seung-hyun to destroy the backline while off-tank Gael “Poko” Gouzerch harassed the front. Even though the Gladiators perked up on Numbani, they were often little match for MVP candidate Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok doing Carpe things for Philadelphia.
Florida Mayhem vs. Atlanta Reign (3-0)
If there was a memo out today instructing every higher-seed team to get a clean 3-0 sweep on their opponents, the Florida Mayhem certainly got the message. The Atlanta Reign has been inconsistent at best over the past few weeks, seeing enormous highs from star DPS players and incredible lows from a lack of coordination. As usual, Florida’s star DPS and MVP candidate Kim “Yaki” Jun-gi ran circles around the competition. The Mayhem obviously have their sights set on a May Melee rematch against the Shock.
Paris Eternal vs. Los Angeles Valiant (3-1)
In stark contrast to the rest of the North America quarterfinal matches, the Los Angeles Valiant dragged the Paris Eternal through a set of incredibly competitive maps. A win was a mostly expected ending to Paris’ difficult day dealing with an unfortunate power outage.
Los Angeles handed the Eternal their first loss on Lijiang Tower in the 2020 season and looked strong going into King’s Row. Unfortunately, no matter how much the rookie squad of the Valiant adapted, they were never quite ready for the absolute domination from Paris off-tank Choi “Hanbin” Hanbeen.
Even though Paris took the win and will move on to the semifinals, the team’s performance was sometimes sloppy. The Valiant made this the most competitive match of the day by fighting hard against the Eternal.
Semifinals and finals
In the Asia region, the first-seeded Shanghai Dragons will finally enter the arena during the semifinals on Aug. 9. The Dragons are looking to take another monthly tournament win, but several teams stand in their way. After the semifinal matches are over, the Countdown Cup Grand Finals begin immediately with a first-to-five match.
- Shanghai Dragons vs. New York Excelsior, 3am CT
- Hangzhou Spark vs. Chengdu Hunters, 5am CT
- Grand Finals between the two semifinal winners, 7am CT
The North America region jumps right into the semifinals on Aug. 9, starting two hours earlier than normal to account for long games. Much like the Asia region, two semifinal matches will be held and the Grand Finals will take place immediately after.
- San Francisco Shock vs. Florida Mayhem, 12pm CT
- Philadelphia Fusion vs. Paris Eternal, 2pm CT
- Grand finals between the two semifinal winners, 4pm CT