The 2021 Overwatch League Summer Showdown continued to deliver unpredictable action on Sunday as the Paris Eternal, Boston Uprising and Toronto Defiant picked up victories.
The biggest match of the day was the Paris Eternal (5-5, 5 points) making a shocking comeback against the Los Angeles Gladiators (7-3, 7 points), completing a 3-2 reverse sweep. The Gladiators started strong and looked poised to sweep through the Eternal, taking Oasis 2-0 and Eichenwalde 2-1.
Then, on Route 66, Paris adjusted their play style, shifting their tempo up to try and wrestle control of the flow away from Los Angeles. The Gladiators didn’t respect the adjustment, leading to a 3-2 win for the Eternal. This would continue on Temple of Anubis, leading to a 2-1 Paris win to bring the series to a Game 5.
Despite how strong the Gladiators looked at the start, the Eternal were in full control in Game 5 on Nepal. Paris put constant pressure on Los Angeles’ back line, largely due to DPS Nikolai “Naga” Dereli, who shone in this match. Against all odds, the Eternal completed the reverse-sweep with a 2-0 map win, stunning the Gladiators and picking up a huge win for a young and growing team.
In other Sunday action, the Boston Uprising (5-5, 5 points) continued their winning ways with a 3-0 win over the Florida Mayhem (4-6, 5 points). The Uprising and the Mayhem have been on opposite trajectories in recent weeks, with Boston ascending after a rough start to the year while Florida, with this loss, dropped their last five games.
The Uprising started with a 2-1 win on Nepal, then forced a 3-3 draw in a sloppy Game 2 on King’s Row. While the games throughout the series were by no means clean, Boston consistently found edges over Florida, thanks in large part to DPS Jin-ui “im37” Hong, who dazzled on hitscan heroes all series long against a formidable Mayhem DPS lineup.
In Game 3, the Uprising used im37’s Symmetra to great effect, teleporting around the Junkertown map to pick up a 3-2 win. Then, Boston closed out the series with a 3-2 win on Volskaya Industries.
Finally, the Toronto Defiant (6-4, 6 points) took down the Vancouver Titans (0-10, 0 points) in a 3-0 sweep in this latest installment of the Battle for Canada. This series wasn’t close, though the Titans showed some signs of life early on. The Defiant took Oasis 2-1, then shut the door on Vancouver with a 3-0 win on Eichenwalde and a 2-0 win on Route 66.
Once again, Toronto was led by rookie DPS Luka “Aspire” Rolovic, who has made a name for himself by being fearless and unstoppable at times.
The OWL teams are competing in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the Summer Showdown’s double-elimination playoff brackets, which will be contested July 11-18.
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.
The Summer Showdown qualifiers continue on Friday with two matches:
Paris Eternal vs San Francisco Shock (West)
Washington Justice vs Atlanta Reign (West)
Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points:
1. Dallas Fuel, 5-3, +7, 10
2. San Francisco Shock, 8-2, +13, 8
3. Houston Outlaws, 7-1, +12, 7
4. Los Angeles Gladiators, 7-3, +11, 7
5. Toronto Defiant, 6-4, +1, 6
6. Washington Justice, 5-3, +5, 5
7. Boston Uprising, 5-5, +1, 5
8. Paris Eternal, 5-5, -2, 5
9. Atlanta Reign, 4-4, +5, 5
10. Florida Mayhem, 4-6, -5, 5
11. London Spitfire, 0-10, -23, 0
12. Vancouver Titans, 0-10, -25, 0
1. Shanghai Dragons, 6-2, +9, 11
2. Seoul Dynasty, 8-2, +16, 8
3. Philadelphia Fusion, 6-2, +10, 6
4. Hangzhou Spark, 6-4, +8, 6
5. Chengdu Hunters, 5-5, +3, 5
6. New York Excelsior, 4-6, -4, 4
7. Guangzhou Charge, 3-7, -14, 3
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-10, -28, 0
–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media