The Atlanta Reign and Dallas Fuel posted sweeps Thursday to advance to the winners-bracket final of the Overwatch League's June Joust.
The four-team, double-elimination event got underway Thursday.
The Fuel (5-3, 8 points) won the May Melee championship by beating the Shanghai Dragons (6-2, 8points) in the final, and they started the June Joust with a victory over the same opponent. Unlike the prior matchup, a hard-fought 4-2 Dallas win, the Fuel made quick work of the Dragons on Thursday, prevailing 3-0.
Dallas ran its tried-and-true pseudo-GOATs composition, with the only changes coming from which DPS character Yeong-han "SP9RK1E" Kim would play between Doomfist and Echo. Shanghai struggled heavily in figuring out what to play, running an odd combination of looks and compositions while getting thoroughly run over again and again.
The Fuel started with a 2-0 win on Busan, setting the tone for the series. Dallas went on to take Volskaya Industries 2-1 and Numbani 3-2.
The Dragons, the East region's No. 1 seed, fall to the losers bracket, where they will meet the East's No. 2 seed, the New York Excelsior, on Friday.
In Thursday's other match, the Reign (4-4, 4 points) took down the Excelsior (3-5, 3 points) by a 3-0 count.
While Shanghai struggled to deal with the pseudo-GOATs composition, the Reign had no problem dealing with the Excelsior's version of it. Though the East region has stayed away from pseudo-GOATs, the West has embraced it, leading to Atlanta's counter composition with Torbjorn and Orisa among other hero picks.
New York simply didn't know how to execute the composition as well as Dallas, running repeatedly into Atlanta's anti-dive buzzsaw. The Reign took Lijiang Tower 2-0, Temple of Anubis 4-2 and Numbani 4-3.
The OWL teams competed for three weeks to determine qualification for the June Joust's double-elimination playoff brackets, with two teams from each region advancing.
The June Joust continues on Friday with three matches:
Winners-bracket final: Dallas Fuel vs. Atlanta Reign
Losers-bracket first round: New York Excelsior vs. Shanghai Dragons
Losers-bracket second round: Teams determined based on early Friday results
Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points
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
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
--By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media