The 2021 Overwatch League continued on Saturday with more June Joust Qualifiers as the Houston Outlaws, San Francisco Shock and Los Angeles Gladiators picked up wins.
The biggest of the day belonged to the Gladiators (4-2, 3 points), who took down the Atlanta Reign (3-4, 3 points) in a 3-1 series win. Both of these teams looked strong in their previous June Joust qualifiers and looked to continue their winning ways.
Both teams ran double shield compositions throughout the series, which was ultimately decided by DPS play. The Gladiators took Busan 2-1 in Game 1 on the back of some excellent play from the DPS duo of Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim and Kevin “kevster” Persson. In Game 2, birdring’s Ashe carved through the Atlanta frontline, giving Los Angeles a 4-3 win on Rialto to put the Gladiators up 2-0.
After the break, the Reign showed signs of life, full-holding the Gladiators for a 1-0 win in Game 3 on Volskaya Industries. That wouldn’t last, though, as the Gladiators took Game 4 on Numbani 3-2 to win the series.
In other Saturday action, the reigning OWL champions looked solid in their June Joust debut as the Shock (4-1, 4 points) took down the Toronto Defiant (4-3, 3 points) in a 3-1 series win. The Shock started strong with a 2-0 win in Game 1 on Oasis, though the Defiant put up a fight in both maps.
In Game 2, though, Toronto’s latest signing, former Contenders DPS Luka “Aspire” Rolovic, impressed in his debut. Though he only signed a 30-day contract, the young hitscan player showed he belonged in the league by carrying the Defiant as Widowmaker on Junkertown, leading Toronto to a 2-1 map win.
After that, though, the Shock locked in, taking Game 3 on Hanamura 2-1 with impeccable frontline play. San Francisco then wrapped up the series with a 3-1 win on Hollywood.
Finally, the Houston Outlaws (6-1, 6 points) made quick work of the London Spitfire (0-8, 0 points), in a 3-0 series sweep. Houston took Oasis 2-0, Dorado 3-2, and Temple of Anubis 3-2 in the win.
The OWL teams are competing in three weeks of matches to determine qualification for the June Joust’s double-elimination playoff brackets, which will be contested June 6-12.
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.
June Joust qualifiers continue on Sunday with five matches:
New York Excelsior vs Los Angeles Valiant (East)
Seoul Dynasty vs Shanghai Dragons (East)
Toronto Defiant vs Houston Outlaws (West)
Vancouver Titans vs Atlanta Reign (West)
Dallas Fuel vs San Francisco Shock (West)
Overwatch League standings, with win-loss record, map differential and league points
1. Shanghai Dragons (East), 5-2, +7, 7
2. Houston Outlaws (West), 6-1, +10, 6
3. Dallas Fuel (West), 3-2, +5, 6
4. Florida Mayhem (West), 4-2, +3, 5
5. Seoul Dynasty (East), 4-1, +9, 4
6. San Francisco Shock (West), 4-1, +7, 4
7. Los Angeles Gladiators (West), 4-2, +7, 4
T8. Philadelphia Fusion (East), 4-2, +5, 4
T8. Chengdu Hunters (East), 4-2, +5, 4
10. Washington Justice (West), 4-2, +3, 4
11. Toronto Defiant (West), 4-3, -1, 3
12. Hangzhou Spark (East), 3-3, +3, 3
13. Boston Uprising (West), 3-3, -1, 3
14. Atlanta Reign (West), 3-4, +2, 3
15. Paris Eternal (West), 2-4, -4, 2
16. Guangzhou Charge (East), 2-4, -6, 2
17. New York Excelsior (East), 2-5, -9, 2
18. Vancouver Titans (West), 0-5, -11, 0
19. Los Angeles Valiant (East), 0-5, -14, 0
20. London Spitfire (West), 0-8, -20, 0
–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media