OWL 2021 Week 14 Reactions

Last Week

The Overwatch League’s Summer Showdown 2021 is in. Another fairly exciting set of 6 games, quality obviously varying from game to game, but overall, another solid tournament. The only real disappointment for me was the fact we didn’t get to see the third installment of Dallas vs. Shanghai. Oh well, I doubt it would’ve changed the ultimate result anyway. With that said, let’s jump into it.

Chengdu Hunters: Chengdu’ing It…

Welp, they actually surprised us. They still didn’t win it all, but they came much closer than I think anyone was really expecting. I tell you what, if people weren’t singing Leave’s praises before, they damn sure are now.

To me, though, Leave is far from the main story of this team’s performance in this tournament. I already said what I needed to say about Leave last week. This week, though, it was all about the rest of the team. Namely, Mmonk. Way back in week 1 or 2, I talked about how much I love the Hunters’ backline. The way they played around Mmonk this weekend was giving me 2018 Jjonak vibes. Fitting that both players choose to double the first letter of their tags. Mmonk was going off. He had just as many clutch plays as anyone else on the team had, really. It felt like a huge step up in performance from this team’s last appearance in the May Melee, and the results speak for themselves.

Something definitely ‘clicked’ for this team at the right time. Sometimes, that’s all you really need to make a strong run. As I mentioned with the Mayhem back in May, this league is all about playing your best Overwatch at the right time. That’s definitely what the Hunters were doing. It’s unclear if any of this momentum will carry over into the next tournament cycle for this team, though. Especially with hero pools back in effect. Regardless of this run, the Hunters have still been just as inconsistent as any other mid-table team in the East. It’s just, with this particular performance, they’re probably the third most “consistent” behind Seoul and then Shanghai.

There just isn’t anything that says they won’t end up having another rough tournament cycle again, is all I’m saying. I mean, honestly, flubbing this next tournament cycle would stay with the pattern they’re on, so… I hope that isn’t the case, though. We can’t keep having these ‘flash in the pan’ type moments from different teams all of the time. I want the Hunters to prove to me that they can keep playing at this top level. If they can’t do that, then we’ll just be searching around for the next flash-in-the-pan in the East. And I really don’t want to have to deal with watching that again…

Dallas Fuel: Oof…

So, Dallas gets knocked down to losers right from the jump. Go a grueling 5-maps against Atlanta. Another clutch map-5 win for them. Just to get rolled by the team that sent them to losers in the first place. The Fuel’s issues with this meta were definitely better exploited by the Hunters, for sure. Dallas just really couldn’t come up with the answers when they needed them.

It’s hard to say how I feel about Dallas after this. When factoring in this entire tournament cycle, it does put into perspective how much Dallas may or may not have been affected by the meta as a whole. It brings up a few questions of what adjustments they may or may not have made to fix whatever problems they were having. Perhaps to them, they weren’t exactly having many problems and just assumed that teams in the West were just getting that much better. Which, that’s probably reasonable enough to think, with possibly Florida being the only questionable team, results-wise, at this juncture for Dallas.

I suppose what I’m saying here is; could complacency have played a hand in their results this weekend? I mean, they did still beat Atlanta in another 5-map game. But this game felt a lot… stranger… than their first matchup in week 12… I don’t know. It’s hard to say. Perhaps Dallas really just wasn’t prepared for the East’s style of play and adjustments were futile at that point. If complacency did have any kind of effect over them, large or small, it was still enough to get the job done again against Atlanta. Still, I await seeing how Dallas will bounce back from this. Technically, no one in the West has dethroned them yet. But who knows how these losses to Chengdu will affect them, and how other teams could possibly capitalize on it.

Atlanta Reign: Poetic Irony

Alright, even I can’t deny just how poetic that match against the Dragons for this team was. I mean, they hit London with probably the most disrespectful BM I’ve ever seen in OWL in week 13 on King’s Row, just to get full-held on that very same map. Again, you want to talk about a spawn camp? I knew one of these teams was going to spawn camp the other hard going into that match. You live by the sword; you die by it. I’m pretty sure Atlanta understands this. It’s pretty much a requirement to be a team like Atlanta. Nothing more really needs to be said about it. It’s just really funny.

Anyway, as for the Reign’s actual matches, I mean, they were pretty much outclassed by the Dragons in every conceivable way. Forget about “comp diff” and whatever other buzz words that are flying around after this weekend. I’m pretty sure the Dragons could’ve played any comp they wanted to against the Reign and the results would’ve been similar. Hell, that’s practically what they did. That game was an absolute flex from the Dragons in every sense of the word. Nothing short of a disappointing performance from Atlanta.

As for the Dallas match. Well, it was closer. It’s at least reassuring for this squad, I think, that they still competed with the Fuel. Though, you really would’ve liked the ultimate result to be different. Not just another 5-map loss. This means that Atlanta finished in a slightly worse place than they did in the June Joust. Slightly. Not what you would’ve wanted, but it definitely could’ve been worse. Could’ve gotten rolled by both Shanghai and Dallas. Still, results-wise, not what any team wants.

Shanghai Dragons: Shanghaied

Okay, so, there’s actually a more personal reason for why I chose this pun. So, some storytime here.

As I was watching that grand finals match, I was running my own music in the background, as I tend to do. After, like, the first 3 maps or so, Shanghai are up 2-1, and I think it was Custa that said during the game break that this was going to be a 7-map series. I was pretty much of the opposite mindset. I thought it was probably more likely that Shanghai takes the next 2 maps to win the series right there.

I couldn’t tell you why I thought that. Perhaps it was just me simply trying to be a contrarian. I just had that feeling, you know? The Dragons like to do what I like to call “Shanghai’ing”, which is something that only this team is capable of. That ‘something’ varies from context to context and isn’t really set in stone for me. So, it isn’t something I can easily define for you. I guess you can call it an intangible ‘X-factor’ about this team for me. Except that X-factor changes almost every game.

Anyway, right after the game break ended,

started playing in my playlist. (Watch_Dogs 2 has an excellent OST BTW) This was all of the superstitious confirmation I needed to be sure that the Dragons were going to end this series early. And that’s pretty much exactly what they did.

The moral of the story is; Shanghai should definitely change their theme song to “Shanghaied” by Hudson Mohawke. I knew that song held power.

Oh, and congratulations, again, to the Dragons. They started and ended this tournament cycle with a flawless record, basically. No real stumbles this time around with only the first match against Chengdu coming close. It’s about as close to perfection as you can conceivably get to in this league. Excellence doesn’t look like it’s stopping any time soon for this squad. With a whopping 18, yes, 18 LPs in the East, they now double the number of points for the next closest team.

Absolutely wild stuff. They essentially have the East on lock. No one is catching them now. They could take the next stage off and still finish 1st in the East, and probably finish at least 2nd to 4th overall across both regions. They’ve set themselves up beautifully going into the post-season, and there’s still one more stage to play. I don’t expect them to settle for just these two tournament victories either.

Thanks for reading! Hope your team does well next time!


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