Fuel, Dragons advance to grand final of OWL’s June Joust

In a repeat of the May Melee grand final, the Dallas Fuel and Shanghai Dragons will square off Saturday for the championship of the Overwatch League’s June Joust.

The Fuel (5-3, 8 points) earned a 3-1 series win over the Atlanta Reign (4-4, 4 points) on Friday in the upper-bracket final, a matchup of West Region squads.

That result dropped the Reign into the lower-bracket final, where they fell 3-0 to the Dragons (6-2, 8 points). Shanghai had advanced earlier Friday with a 3-0 win over the New York Excelsior (3-5, 3 points) in the lower-bracket first round.

The Fuel stayed true to their identity, playing pseudo-GOATs the entire match with DPS Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim playing various primary carry heroes.

Atlanta came into the series with a playbook of ideas on how to counter that composition, but it turned out the only way to win was to mirror the composition. The Reign started strong with a 2-1 win on Nepal, but the Fuel responded on Volskaya Industries, getting the better of the Reign for a 3-2 map win to tie the series.

From that point on, the Fuel stayed in control of the series, taking Numbani 3-2 and Rialto 2-1 to secure the series win.

In the lower-bracket final, the Dragons dominated the Reign. Both Shanghai and Atlanta strayed away from the pseudo-GOATs composition, preferring their team-specific lineups. Shanghai made the most of it, though, winning through a variety of standout individual performances. The Dragons took Lijiang Tower 2-1, Hanamura 3-2, and Numbani 4-3 in the sweep.

Earlier Friday, the Dragons cleaned up their compositions since their first series against the Fuel while the Excelsior tried to copy the Fuel’s strategies.

Shanghai returned to its dominant form, taking Busan 2-0, Temple of Anubis 2-0 and Numbani 3-2.

Next up is the Fuel-Dragons rematch of a May Melee final that Dallas won 4-2.

The OWL teams competed in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the June Joust’s double-elimination playoff brackets, with two teams from each region advancing.

Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points:
1. Dallas Fuel, 5-3, +4, 8
2. San Francisco Shock, 7-1, +13, 7
3. Houston Outlaws, 7-1, +12, 7
4. Los Angeles Gladiators, 6-2, +11, 6
5. Washington Justice, 5-3, +5, 5
6. Florida Mayhem, 4-4, -1, 5
7. Atlanta Reign, 4-4, +5, 4
8. Toronto Defiant, 4-4, -3, 4
9. Boston Uprising, 3-5, -4, 3
10. Paris Eternal, 3-5, -5, 3
T11. Vancouver Titans, 0-8, -20, 0
T11. London Spitfire, 0-8, -20, 0

1. Shanghai Dragons, 6-2, +9, 8
2. Seoul Dynasty, 6-2, +11, 6
3. Philadelphia Fusion, 6-2, +10, 6
4. Hangzhou Spark, 5-3, +8, 5
5. Chengdu Hunters, 4-4, +2, 4
6. New York Excelsior, 3-5, -6, 3
7. Guangzhou Charge, 2-6, -12, 2
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-8, -22, 0

–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media

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