Gladiators knock Mayhem out of running at Countdown Cup qualifying

The Countdown Cup continued on Friday with quick and decisive series as the Los Angeles Gladiators, Paris Eternal and San Francisco Shock picked up wins.

The main event of the day saw the Los Angeles Gladiators (10-5, 10 points) pick up a 3-1 win over the Florida Mayhem (5-11, 6 points), eliminating the Mayhem from postseason contention. The Gladiators came up clutch when the Mayhem were fighting for their lives, outplaying them in a series that’s sure to instill confidence as Los Angeles heads into the Countdown Cup.

The Gladiators were dominant early on, taking Ilios 2-0 and full-holding the Mayhem for a 1-0 win on Temple of Anubis. With Los Angeles putting the pressure on early, Florida DPS Jun-ki “Yaki” Kim had to dig deep to spark the Mayhem comeback, lifting Florida to a 3-2 win on King’s Row. Yaki couldn’t overcome the Gladiators’ star-studded lineup, though, as Los Angeles took Rialto 3-2 to take the series win and the Mayhem’s hopes at an improbable playoff run.

In other Friday action, the Paris Eternal (8-8, 8 points) secured a postseason berth with a 3-0 win over the London Spitfire (0-15, 0 points). The Eternal were dominant throughout the series, winning without conceding so much as a single point. Paris took Busan 2-0, Hanamura 2-0 and Numbani 2-0 in the sweep.

Finally, the San Francisco Shock (11-4, 11 points) made similarly quick work of the Vancouver Titans (1-14, 1 point) in a 3-0 sweep. Vancouver had a few bright spots, but this series mostly served as a reminder that, when they’re hot, San Francisco is one of the best teams in the Western region. The Shock took Oasis 2-0, Volskaya Industries 2-1 and King’s Row 3-0 in a quick sweep.

The OWL teams are competing in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the Countdown Cup’s double-elimination playoff brackets, which will be contested Aug. 19-21.

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 Countdown Cup qualifiers continue on Saturday with five matches:

Los Angeles Valiant vs Chengdu Hunters (East)
Guangzhou Charge vs Hangzhou Spark (East)
London Spitfire vs Vancouver Titans (West)
Los Angeles Gladiators vs Houston Outlaws (West)
San Francisco Shock vs Toronto Defiant (West)

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

1. Dallas Fuel, 11-5, +14, 17
2. Atlanta Reign, 11-5, +20, 12
3. San Francisco Shock, 11-4, +17, 11
4. Houston Outlaws, 11-4, +13, 11
5. Los Angeles Gladiators, 10-5, +17, 10
6. Washington Justice, 9-7, +3, 9
7. Toronto Defiant, 9-6, +2, 9
8. Paris Eternal, 8-8, 0, 8
9. Boston Uprising, 7-9, -4, 7
10. Florida Mayhem, 5-11, -12, 6
11. Vancouver Titans, 1-14, -34, 1
12. London Spitfire, 0-15, -36, 0

1. Shanghai Dragons, 12-4, +19, 20
2. Seoul Dynasty, 12-4, +18, 12
3. Chengdu Hunters, 10-5, +13, 12
4. Philadelphia Fusion, 10-6, +13, 10
5. Hangzhou Spark, 7-8, +2, 7
6. New York Excelsior, 7-9, -3, 7
7. Guangzhou Charge, 4-11, -19, 4
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-15, -43, 0

–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media

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