Looking back on the Overwatch League’s Summer Showdown

by Jessica Scharnagle

The Overwatch League Summer Showdown is now in the books and the Shanghai Dragons have come out on top again. Their second straight tournament win was not entirely unexpected, but there were some upsets along that way that kept the tournament exciting.

Here’s a recap of everything that happened during the Summer Showdown

Qualifying matches

There were some interesting and telling matches that happened along the way. The London Spitfire put the San Francisco Shock in a tough spot after they went to Map 5 early in the Summer Showdown.

The Paris Eternal also showed up in this tournament, scoring themselves the W in three out of four of their qualifying matches. They even beat the Los Angeles Gladiators.

Read more: How the Overwatch League ensures competitive integrity with teams playing online

The rest of the matchups were mostly unsurprising. The Philadelphia Fusion didn’t do quite as well as most fans had hoped, and the Shock and Gladiators sat lower than usual in past tournaments. But fans still got some exciting and surprising matchups in the Summer Showdown.

Regional knockouts

The Dallas Fuel and Atlanta Reign ended up winning the West regional knockouts, and the Dragons and Chengdu Hunters represented their region at Tournament Weekend.

The Seoul Dynasty vs. the Chengdu Hunters was an interesting match in the regional knockouts stage. The Dynasty beat the Hunters 3-1 in their qualifying match, so it’s clear the Hunters came for their revenge in the regionals. It was a tight match that went to Map 5, and the Hunters came out the victor and moved on to Tournament Weekend.

Tournament Weekend

The Dragons asserted their dominance yet again in the grand final match of the Summer Showdown and beat the Hunters 4-1. The Dragons stayed in the upper bracket for the entire tournament, but the Hunters gave them a tough match in the upper bracket final, taking the match to a Map 5 where Shanghai was able to close out the match to stay on top.

In the grand final, the Hunters took the first map on Ilios, but the Dragons found their momentum in Temple of Anubis and dominated from there. The only map that gave them a little trouble was Route 66, which ended 3-2. They finished out the match on Nepal with a 2-0 score to secure their second tournament championship.

Best team of Summer Showdown

Who can deny that the Shanghai Dragons are the best team in the OWL right now? They didn’t drop a single match in the Summer Showdown, and they proved yet again that they are the team to beat. They’ll be a strong contender for reaching the grand finals spots in Los Angeles.

Read more: When and where 2021 Overwatch League playoffs and grand finals will take place


What’s more impressive is that in the entire tournament, which consisted of eight games for the Dragons, they dropped only four maps total. One of those was in the qualifying matches against the Hangzhou Spark, two were against the Hunters in the winners final, and another one was lost in the grand finals against the Hunters.

Most surprising team

The Dallas Fuel have been on a roll since the beginning of the season, making it to Hawaii in every single tournament so far, but the Chengdu Hunters came in and took away their dreams of a third straight grand finals appearance.

The Hunters finished just behind the Dragons after the qualifying matches. They only lost one match to the Dynasty early in the tournament. The regional knockouts weren’t an easy matchup either, but they successfully aced the rematch against the Dynasty and moved on to Tournament Weekend.

The most surprising match in the entire tournament was their 3-1 victory over the Fuel. Dallas started out strong on Lijiang Tower, and they put up a good fight in the rest of the maps, but the Hunters found their momentum and took the next three maps, sending the Fuel to the lower bracket.

To solidify their spot in the grand final, and make sure that fans know that they belonged in the tournament over the Fuel, the Hunters beat them again in the lower bracket final 3-0 and moved on to face the Dragons again.

Although they couldn’t come up with the win in their rematch, the Hunters still gave an amazing performance throughout the entirety of the Summer Showdown, and fans and opponents alike have their eyes on them for the Countdown Cup.

Photo credit: Overwatch League

Most disappointing team

The Dallas Fuel might be the most disappointing team on paper, considering their 4-0 finish in the qualifiers and the fact that they were almost knocked out in regionals, but the Atlanta Reign had so much hype behind them and they failed to deliver on it.

Most expected that the Fuel would make their way to Hawaii again, but some OWL fans were hoping that the Reign could stop their run to another grand finals. There’s always something exciting about the underdog coming in to shake up the expected results. Instead of the Reign being that team this tournament, it was the Hunters.

The Reign reached Tournament Weekend, but they were sent home from Hawaii with no points.

Predictions for the Countdown Cup

With hero pools implemented for the Countdown Cup, it’s less clear who the dominant team might be. Hero pools almost always shake up the competition and can neutralize a team’s strength, which means fans get a completely different viewing experience than when hero pools aren’t part of matches.

That said, it’s hard to deny that the Fuel, Hunters and Dragons are all likely to be contenders. The coaches have a tough road ahead of them for the Countdown Cup, since managing their rosters and picking out strengths in individual heroes might be the deciding factor between who qualifies and who doesn’t.

Either way, hero pools throw in a dynamic that is always fun to watch, and is sure to favor an underdog that will excel without certain heroes available.

Lead photo credit: Overwatch League

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