From four teams remaining in the Asian-Pacific region down to two left in the winner’s bracket, Sunday’s games showed style clashes in two statement series wins. Here is how the action went down:
The top-ranked Shanghai Dragons (27-2) moved through the third-ranked New York Excelsior (16-8) by recording a 3-1 series win.
While the Dragons prevailed with a seemingly dominant scoreline, New York made them work for it by earning the first draw of the postseason. Excelsior looked confident in what they wanted to do with their DPS rotation but nothing they did could stop Shanghai from doing whatever they wanted.
The Dragons started with a 2-1 win on Oasis led by DPS Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim’s Reaper and Jae-won “LIP” Lee, who played well on Sombra and Widowmaker throughout the series. After a 3-3 draw on King’s Row, Shanghai dominated Volskaya Industries 2-0, going to match point. New York got a shot in with a 2-1 win on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, but the Dragons regained control with a 2-1 victory on Lijiang Tower.
With the win, Shanghai earns a spot in the winner’s bracket finals, where they will take on the fifth-seeded Seoul Dynasty (12-12) on Saturday.
Excelsior will get a shot at redemption, and a possible top-two finish in the APAC region when they face the second-seeded Guangzhou Charge (18-7) on the same day.
On the other side of the bracket, the Dynasty made quick work of the Guangzhou Charge in a 3-0 sweep.
While Seoul looked strong in their playstyle focusing around tank Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong’s Roadhog, the Charge looked underprepared despite having a bye to the double-elimination stage. Part of it might have been the readjustment from the rest of the team to the return of DPS Charlie “nero” Zwarg, who played mostly Pharah.
The Charge tried to innovate on the Dynasty’s signature composition and couldn’t find an advantage. Seoul showed some adaptability as well, putting tank Min-seo “Marve1” Hwang on a variety of heroes from D.va to Sigma to Wrecking Ball to complement Gesture.
Seoul took Busan 2-1, King’s Row 5-4 and finished the series with a 3-2 win in Temple of Anubis.
–Field Level Media