The 11th-seeded Toronto Defiant stunned the second-seeded Atlanta Reign 3-2 in overtime on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the North American region of the Overwatch League Summer Showdown tournament.
The upset of the day put the Defiant (5-10) into a semifinal matchup against the third-seeded Philadelphia Fusion (15-2), who swept the 10th-seeded Houston Outlaws (6-11) in four maps. Sunday's other semifinal will feature the top-seeded San Francisco Shock (14-2) -- who swept the 13th-seeded Washington Justice (3-13) -- and the eighth-seeded Paris Eternal (9-6), who downed the fourth-seeded Vancouver Titans (4-8) by a 3-1 margin.
The final will also be held Sunday, with the champion claiming $50,000 and the runner-up winning $25,000.
Atlanta entered against Toronto with its usual levels of swagger and bravado, easily taking Busan 2-0 to start the series. Instead of rolling over, though, the Defiant fought back with a 3-2 win on King's Row.
The teams traded wins after the halftime break, with Toronto taking Volskaya Industries 3-2 and Atlanta dominating Rialto for a 3-0 win. In the series decider on Nepal, the Defiant DPS duo of Brady "Agilities" Girardi and Andreas "Logix" Berghmans dominated the Reign's, with Agilities' Genji earning a Dragon Blade ultimate nearly every fight, while Logix chipped in with impressive hitscan play as Symmetra on Village and Ashe on Sanctum. The Defiant claimed the map 2-0.
The Outlaws earned the matchup with the Fusion after upsetting the Florida Mayhem (11-5) through sublime DPS play from Dante "Danteh" Cruz's Tracer and Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin's Ashe and Widowmaker. Against the Philadelphia, though, neither were very effective.
Throughout the series, the Fusion showed that they were a cut above their competition in terms of player quality. The key to the win was their DPS, namely star Jae-hyeok "Carpe" Lee and a returning Josue "Eqo" Corona on Genji. The Fusion showed mastery of the Genji-brawl team composition and playstyle, enabling Eqo to dissect the Outlaws while Houston cowered behind walls for fear of dying to Carpe's deadly aim.
The Fusion took Lijiang Tower 2-1, Blizzard World 3-2, drew Volskaya Industries 3-3 and then finished the series with a 2-1 win on Junkertown.
On the other side of the bracket, the Shock looked dominant in a sweep of the Cinderella story of the tournament, the Justice. San Francisco didn't show much that the league hadn't seen before, preferring to run the Tracer variations of the popular team compositions in the meta. It didn't seem to matter what the Shock ran, though, as their top-level roster tore through the Justice.
Washington's DPS star Ho-sung "TTuba" Lee, who had a breakout tournament on Genji, couldn't stand up to the sheer firepower of San Francisco's lineup. The Shock took Ilios 2-0 -- winning the first game on Ilios: Lighthouse without surrendering a single kill -- King's Row 3-2 and Temple of Anubis 3-2 to secure the sweep, despite some technical difficulties in the final game as a fire near the Shock apartment complex forced a lengthy pause.
The Shock will face the surging Eternal, who looked strong against the Titans. Despite Vancouver's regular-season record, the Titans looked competent and displayed a good understanding of how to play the meta. This didn't help the fact that Paris was simply better at the meta, though, especially since the dynamic rookie DPS duo of Ki-hyo "Xzi" Jung and Yeong-han "SP9RK1E" Kim were able to play some of their signature heroes.
With SP9RK1E dominating as Genji and Xzi shining on Widowmaker and Ashe, the Eternal cruised to a series win. The Titans did take Oasis 2-0 to start the series, but the Eternal were quick to adapt, securing King's Row 3-1 and Volskaya Industries 2-1 and full-holding Watchpoint: Gibraltar 1-0 to secure the win.
San Francisco Shock vs. Paris Eternal
Philadelphia Fusion vs. Toronto Defiant
Final: TBD vs. TBD
Matches in the Summer Showdown do not count toward the league standings, but the top teams in both regions will get bonus wins added to their regular-season records. The tournament champions will each receive three bonus wins, with the runners-up getting two bonuses wins and the third- and fourth-place teams adding one bonus win.
--Field Level Media