The final week of June Joust qualifiers kicked off with a bang on Thursday as the Paris Eternal and Dallas Fuel picked up wins.
The Dallas Fuel (4-3, 6 points) took a 3-2 slobberknocker of a series against the Florida Mayhem (4-3, 5 points). Both teams were committed to the Winston-led brawl composition that has dominated the meta (Winston/D.va/Echo/Reaper/Lucio/Moira), resulting in long fights similar to the GOATs meta of seasons past.
Both teams fought tooth and nail from map to map, with Florida taking Game 1 on Lijiang Tower 2-1 and Dallas taking Game 2 on Hanamura 3-2. The Fuel picked up Hollywood 4-3, going up 2-1 in the series, but the Mayhem responded with a 3-1 win on Junkertown. In Game 5, though, the Mayhem ran out of gas, allowing the Fuel to take Oasis 2-0 for the series win.
In other Thursday action, the Paris Eternal (3-4, 3 points) picked up an upset win over the Boston Uprising (3-4, 3 points) in a 3-2 nail-biter. The Eternal won this match despite the sudden retirement of tank Elliot “ELLIVOTE” Vaneryd due to injury, replacing him with longtime Contenders stalwart, Ilari “Vestola” Vestola.
Boston was committed to the Winston brawl composition, using that to take Game 1 on Nepal 2-1 and never switching off of it. The Eternal opted to not fight the mirror going forward, instead relying on double shield and Roadhog compositions to push Boston out of their comfort zone.
The Eternal used Roadhog to capture Game 2 on Volskaya Industries 2-1 but fell short in Game 3 on Numbani as the Uprising full-held them 1-0. With their backs to the wall, Paris soared, dominating Game 4 on Rialto 3-1 through DPS Stefan “Onigod” Fiskerstrand’s ability on hitscan/sniper heroes like McCree, Widowmaker and Hanzo.
With the series tied up, the Eternal stuck with their guns, taking Busan 2-1 through their off-meta compositions and picking up a crucial upset to stay alive in the June Joust qualifiers with a freshly-assembled team.
The OWL teams are competing in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the June Joust’s double-elimination playoff brackets, which will be contested June 6-12.
The top six teams from the West and the top four teams from the East will make the initial playoff rounds. Two teams from each region will advance to the double-elimination final playoff round.
June Joust qualifiers continue Friday with six matches:
Guangzhou Charge vs Philadelphia Fusion (East)
Chengdu Hunters vs Seoul Dynasty (East)
Los Angeles Valiant vs Hangzhou Spark (East)
Boston Uprising vs Los Angeles Gladiators (West)
San Francisco Shock vs Vancouver Titans (West)
Florida Mayhem vs Washington Justice (West)
Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points
1. Houston Outlaws, 7-1, +12, 7
2. Dallas Fuel, 4-3, +4, 6
3. San Francisco Shock, 5-1, +9, 5
4. Florida Mayhem, 4-3, +2, 5
5. Los Angeles Gladiators, 4-2, +7, 4
6. Atlanta Reign, 4-4, +5, 4
7. Washington Justice, 4-2, +3, 4
8. Toronto Defiant, 4-4, -3, 4
9. Boston Uprising, 3-4, -2, 3
10. Paris Eternal, 3-4, -3, 3
11. Vancouver Titans, 0-6, -14, 0
12. London Spitfire, 0-8, -20, 0
1. Shanghai Dragons, 6-2, +9, 8
2. Seoul Dynasty, 4-2, +7, 4
T3. Philadelphia Fusion, 4-2, +5, 4
T3. Chengdu Hunters, 4-2, +5, 4
5. Hangzhou Spark, 3-3, +3, 3
6. New York Excelsior, 3-5, -6, 3
7. Guangzhou Charge, 2-4, -6, 2
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-6, -17, 0
–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media