Gladiators defeat Hunters to win OWL’s Countdown Cup final

In the Grand Finals of the Overwatch League’s Countdown Cup, the Los Angeles Gladiators took their first midseason tournament title of the year in a thrilling 4-3 win against the Chengdu Hunters on Saturday.

This series saw two teams with elite pace clash in the Hunters (11-5, 15 points) and the Gladiators (11-5, 14 points). Chengdu started strong with a 2-0 win on Oasis with different dive looks, but the Gladiators were quick to respond, enabling DPS star Kevin “kevster” Persson’s Tracer in a 1-0 full-hold of Temple of Anubis.

The Gladiators continued to shine for the next couple of maps, running through a 3-2 win on Numbani and a 3-2 win on Route 66. In these wins, Los Angeles were in control with Winston-led dive compositions, leaning into their comfort picks to take a 3-1 series lead. Chengdu came alive with the series on the line, dominating Ilios 2-0 and taking King’s Row 3-2 to tie the series up at 3-3.

In the series decider on Havana, the Gladiators shined in an tense map filled with outplays and skirmishes. Gladiator support and MVP candidate Jin-seo “Shu” Kim led the charge as Baptiste, carrying fights with his Amplification Matrixes while the rest of Los Angeles kept the Hunters from trading up, finishing with a 2-1 win for the Gladiators in a 4-3 series victory.

With the win, the Gladiators move into second place in the Western Region while the Hunters secure their spot in second place in the East.

The OWL teams will begin the 2021 playoffs on Saturday, Sept. 4. Seeding will be determined by league points and wins.

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

West:
1. Dallas Fuel, 11-5, +14, 17
2. Los Angeles Gladiators, 11-5, +20, 14
3. Atlanta Reign, 11-5, +20, 13
4. San Francisco Shock, 12-4, +19, 12
5. Houston Outlaws, 11-5, +10, 11
6. Washington Justice, 9-7, +3, 9
7. Toronto Defiant, 9-7, 0, 9
8. Paris Eternal, 8-8, 0, 8
9. Boston Uprising, 7-9, -4, 7
10. Florida Mayhem, 5-11, -12, 6
11. London Spitfire, 1-15, -35, 1
12. Vancouver Titans, 1-15, -35, 1

East:
1. Shanghai Dragons, 12-4, +19, 20
2. Chengdu Hunters, 11-5, +16, 15
3. Seoul Dynasty, 12-4, +18, 12
4. Philadelphia Fusion, 10-6, +13, 10
5. Hangzhou Spark, 7-9, +1, 7
6. New York Excelsior, 7-9, -3, 7
7. Guangzhou Charge, 5-11, -18, 5
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-16, -46, 0

–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media

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