Fuel, Reign secure spots in OWL’s June Joust

The June Joust Knockouts finished for the Western region on Sunday with the Dallas Fuel and Atlanta Reign earning a trip to Hawaii for the June Joust tournament.

The Fuel started the day with a 3-0 win over the Houston Outlaws (7-1, 7 points) in this latest iteration of the Battle for Texas. The Outlaws tried to play compositions designed to counter the Fuel’s favorite composition of the June Joust; the pseudo-GOATs comp, by running characters like McCree to counter Echo. In the end, the attempt at innovation might have been Houston’s downfall.

Dallas kicked the series off with a 2-0 win on Busan, followed by a 2-1 victory on Hanamura. Try as the Outlaws might to find an answer to what the Fuel were doing, nothing proved to be effective. With its backs to the wall, Houston fought hard, but ultimately fell under Dallas’ pressure as the Fuel took Eichenwalde 3-2 to secure the series sweep.

On the other side of the bracket, the Atlanta Reign (4-4, 4 points) made quick work of the Boston Uprising (3-5, 3 points) in a 3-0 series. While Dallas is all about running pseudo-GOATS, the Reign made it to the Knockout rounds behind great flexibility in their team compositions as well as standout individual performances from their always-lethal DPS rotation.

The Reign started with a 2-0 win on Lijiang Tower, setting the pace for the entire set. The Uprising stuck with the pseudo-GOATs composition for the most part and were subsequently torn apart by Atlanta. With a slower-paced, Orisa-led composition, the Reign took Temple of Anubis 2-1, threatening to sweep the series.

Boston fought hard in Game 3 on Numbani as both teams finished the map with time in the bank, but an incredible overtime push from the Reign gave them the 5-3 map win to move on in the tournament.

Dallas qualified for the June Joust with a 3-1 win over the top seed in the region, the Los Angeles Gladiators (6-2, 6 points). The Fuel kept strong with their pseudo-GOATs, taking Oasis 2-1 and Hanamura 3-2 to go up 2-0 in the series.

Coming into Game 3, the Gladiators decided to try changing their composition to more anti-dive characters like Torbjorn, which worked well on Hollywood as Los Angeles full-held Dallas for a 1-0 win. In Game 4, though, the Fuel adapted to the Gladiators, putting star DPS Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim on his signature Doomfist and letting him wreak havoc en route to a 3-2 win on Junkertown. With the win, the Fuel qualify for their second in-season tournament.

In what some might consider an upset, the Reign took out the 2020 Overwatch League champions, the San Francisco Shock (7-1, 7 points) in a 3-0 sweep. Like Boston, San Francisco mostly ran pseudo-GOATs early on, but that got repelled by the Reign early on, leading to Atlanta taking Nepal 2-0 and Hanamura 2-1.

The Shock would change their composition up for Game 3 on Hollywood, but the Reign’s ironclad control over the tempo of the game proved too much for the Shock to overcome. Atlanta took Hollywood 4-3 in overtime, qualifying for the June Joust in the biggest match for the franchise since the 2019 season.

The OWL teams have been competing in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the June Joust’s double-elimination playoff brackets, which will be contested next week, with two teams from each region advancing.

The June Joust begins on Thursday with two matches:
New York Excelsior vs. Atlanta Reign
Dallas Fuel vs. Shanghai Dragons

Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points:
West:
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

East:
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

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