Fuel down Dragons to win OWL’s May Melee

The Overwatch League May Melee final saw a cycle of misery finally get broken as the Dallas Fuel earned the first tournament victory in franchise history, beating the Shanghai Dragons 4-2 on Saturday.

The storied history of the Dallas franchise has been full of teams that collapsed or didn’t achieve their potential, but the 2021 iteration of the team has already shed those narratives.

Not only did the Fuel win the May Melee, but they did it without a traditional hitscan specialist due to the sudden preseason retirement of DPS Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung. Dallas prevailed while utilizing team compositions and strategies that nobody else in the league could pull off.

The Fuel started strong on Lijiang Tower, taking the opening map 2-0 with Reinhardt-led brawl compositions led by inspirational tank Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee. The Dragons were quick to respond, taking Game 2 on Temple of Anubis, where they full-held the Fuel for a 1-0 win.

After that, though, Dallas seemed to figure out a solution to Shanghai DPS and reigning league MVP Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim’s Pharah and Echo. Putting explosive DPS Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim on a surprising hero in Soldier:76, the Fuel were able to handle Fleta on his flying heroes. This allowed Dallas to dictate the tempo of the match, converting that into a 3-2 win on King’s Row.

In Game 4, the Fuel took Watchpoint: Gibraltar running their up-tempo playstyle, which seemed to thoroughly stymie the Dragons. Fearless was just that in his backline dives as Winston, disrupting the Dragons’ backline as Dallas took 3-2 victory.

Shanghai responded with a 2-0 win on Ilios in Game 5, a map where flying characters and slower playstyles can excel, but that just put the Fuel back in the driver’s seat.

Taking the action to Blizzard World, SP9RK1E’s Soldier:76 continued to push the pace and keep the skies clear, giving the Fuel a 2-1 win to take the tournament crown in the biggest moment in franchise history.

With the win, the Fuel (2-2) picked up three league points, which will go toward their standings for the postseason. The Dragons (3-1) took two league points for finishing in second while the Florida Mayhem (3-1) earned one league point for their third-place finish.

The Overwatch League resumes May 21 with two matches:
–Paris Eternal vs Toronto Defiant
–London Spitfire vs Florida Mayhem

Overwatch League standings, with win-loss record, map differential and league points
1. Shanghai Dragons (East), 3-1, +4 — 5 points
2. Dallas Fuel (West), 2-2, +2 — 5 points
T3. Philadelphia Fusion (East), 4-0, +9 — 4 points
T3. Washington Justice (West), 4-0, +9 — 4 points
5. Houston Outlaws (West), 4-0, +7 — 4 points
6. Florida Mayhem (West), 3-1, +3 — 4 points
7. Seoul Dynasty (East), 3-1, +7 — 3 points
8. Chengdu Hunters (East), 3-1, +6 — 3 points
9. San Francisco Shock (West), 3-1, +5 — 3 points
10. Toronto Defiant (West), 3-1, +2 — 3 points
11. Los Angeles Gladiators (West), 2-2, +2 — 2 points
12. Atlanta Reign (West), 1-3, -1 — 1 point
13. Hangzhou Spark (East), 1-3, -2 — 1 point
14. Paris Eternal (West), 1-3, -5 — 1 point
15. Guangzhou Charge (East), 1-3, -6 — 1 point
T16. New York Excelsior (East), 1-3, -7 — 1 point
T16. Boston Uprising (West), 1-3, -7 — 1 point
18. Vancouver Titans (West), 0-4, -8 — 0 points
19. London Spitfire (West), 0-4, -9 — 0 points
20. Los Angeles Valiant (East), 0-4, -11 — 0 points

–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media

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