In stark contrast to Saturday, when a trio of matches went the full five maps, Sunday’s action at the Overwatch League North American playoffs saw primarily lopsided affairs.
That didn’t make the day’s impact any less dramatic, however, as a pair of teams went home and everyone got to see where the power sits in this new postseason meta as the region’s regular-season powers did what they were expected to do.
In the day’s only true “upset,” the 12th-seeded Washington Justice dominated the third-seeded Paris Eternal to the tune of a 3-0 sweep to continue their Cinderella run. While the Justice look more and more like a top-tier threat in the region, the Eternal completed a stunning playoff collapse in which they won only two of eight maps played.
Washington stayed true to its Roadhog-centric compositions that feature star Gui-un “Decay” Jang on Zarya. With their best players on their best heroes, it should be no surprise that the Justice felt comfortable and confident. Washington took Lijiang Tower 2-0, Numbani 3-2 and Volskaya Industries 3-2 to secure the series sweep.
In the day’s other elimination match, the fourth-seeded Florida Mayhem eliminated the No. 6 seed Los Angeles Gladiators in another sweep. The Mayhem looked comfortable after getting dropped into the lower bracket, playing in an assertive manner against a Gladiators team that looked defeated coming into the matches. Florida took Busan 2-0, full-held Hollywood 1-0, drew Volskaya Industries 2-2 and then finished the series with a 2-1 win on Dorado.
In the upper bracket, the top-ranked Philadelphia Fusion swept the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Valiant — who looked good in their playstyle choices and looked decent in their execution. Ultimately, however, the Fusion were simply the better team from the top of the roster to the bottom. Philadelphia overwhelmed Los Angeles through sheer firepower, taking Lijiang Tower 2-0, King’s Row 3-2 and Volskaya Industries 4-3 to secure the sweep.
In the day’s final match, the San Francisco Shock set up a 1 vs. 2 upper-bracket final by beating the Atlanta Reign 3-1 in the only match Sunday to see both teams win at least one map. The seventh-seeded Reign tried to use mostly brawl-oriented compositions but couldn’t overwhelm the No. 2 seed Shock’s frontline, which stifled incoming aggression and turned the tables on the Reign’s frontline. San Francisco would alternate between a variety of compositions, including Atlanta’s signature Reinhardt-Zarya brawl back at them.
The Shock took Ilios 2-1, then the Reign full-held Hollywood 1-0. San Francisco stormed back and took Volskaya Industries and Havana, each 3-2, to close out the series. The Reign have questions surrounding them in terms of what compositions they can actually play, and their elimination match against the Florida Mayhem should provide some answers.
When play resumes next week, the Reign will face the Mayhem and the Valiant will try to finally figure out the Justice in a pair of elimination matches. The winners will advance to play one another, while the Shock and Fusion will play for a spot in the grand final.
–Field Level Media