Tue, 26 Oct 2021

Reign roll to two wins, move into OWL playoff final

Field Level Media
25 Sep 2021, 16:19 GMT+10

The Atlanta Reign earned two wins Friday to emerge from the losers bracket and earn a spot in the Overwatch League playoff final.

The Reign will oppose the Shanghai Dragons in the championship match Saturday.

In the losers-bracket third round on Friday, the Reign dropped the first map before rallying for a 3-1 win over the two-time defending champion San Francisco Shock.

That result moved Atlanta in the loser-bracket final, where the Reign followed the same pattern, dropping the opening map but emerging with a 3-1 win.

The first match of the day came down to a clash of styles. The Reign and the Shock both had good looks with brawl compositions, with the Shock winning a heads-up brawl mirror on Nepal 2-0, but subsequent adaptions gave the Reign an edge.

Atlanta was aggressive in chasing down the Shock's backline playmakers, wresting control of the tempo to stun the Shock. The Reign took Hanamura 3-2, then dominated King's Row 3-1, a map they've been excellent on all tournament long.

Needing a victory to extend their season, the Shock couldn't find enough openings in Atlanta's armor, giving the Reign a 3-2 win on Hanamura to secure the series win.

The Reign then took on the Fuel and won with ease, showcasing some new compositions in the process. Dallas started with its signature brawl look, taking Lijiang Tower 2-1. The Reign adjusted well, shutting down the Fuel's DPS with a combination of offtank phenom Xander "Hawk" Domecq's D.va and multiple heroes played by Rookie of the Year DPS Se-hyun "Pelican" Oh.

Atlanta took Hanamura 2-1, and then the Fuel brought the Reign to King's Row, a map on which Dallas has looked unstoppable all tournament. Atlanta took that 4-3 before showing a new Wrecking Ball dive composition on Dorado, taking the map 3-2 to seal the series.

The double-elimination playoffs featured the Overwatch League's top eight teams. The winner of the Saturday finale will pocket $1.5 million from the $3.2 million prize pool.

The 18-week OWL regular season determined qualification for the playoff brackets, with three teams from the Eastern Region and five teams from the Western Region advancing to the event.

Overwatch League playoff prize pool

1. $1.5 million

2. $700,000

3. $350,000 -- Dallas Fuel

4. $250,000 -- San Francisco Shock

5-6. $150,000 -- Chengdu Hunters, Los Angeles Gladiators

7-8. $50,000 -- Philadelphia Fusion, Washington Justice

--By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media

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