Week 8 of the Overwatch League’s Eastern Region saw a return to LAN for some teams, marking the first live event in over a year.
In Hangzhou, the Seoul Dynasty, Philadelphia Fusion and Hangzhou Spark picked up wins on Friday.
The Seoul Dynasty (5-2, 5 points) survived a reverse-sweep scare from the Chengdu Hunters (4-3, 4 points), taking a 3-2 series win. This win puts the Dynasty at 2-1 with a strong chance to qualify for the June Joust, while the loss leaves the Hunters on the outside looking in with one game left to play.
The Dynasty were in control early on as they picked Chengdu apart, taking Nepal 2-0 and then winning Temple of Anubis 2-1 through long stagger fights at the end of the map. After going down 0-2, the Hunters began to rely more on DPS Huang “leave” Xin, who is quickly garnering a reputation for being one of the best Echo players in the league.
Leave helped spark a Chengdu comeback, taking over the skies of Eichenwalde in Game 3 en route to a 3-2 Hunters win. The Hunters would then go on to take Game 4 on Dorado 2-1 to send the series to a tiebreaker Game 5. On Busan, Seoul ran compositions designed to take leave off of Echo, such as a Soldier:76/McCree DPS lineup. It worked, as the Dynasty forced the Hunters off of their bread-and-butter strategies, taking the map 2-1 for the 3-2 series win.
Also on Friday, the Philadelphia Fusion (5-2, 5 points) picked up their first win of the June Joust, sweeping the Guangzhou Charge (2-5, 2 points) in a fast 3-0 series.
The Fusion finally got long-time DPS Jose “Eqo” Corona back into the fold, fielding him for the first time this year due to visa issues. Eqo played phenomenally on Echo, pumping out damage and taking pressure off of his teammates vs a Charge team still struggling to put themselves together.
Philadelphia took Game 1 on Oasis 2-0, then both teams drew Hanamura in Game 2, splitting the map 3-3. After the break, the Fusion were quick in taking care of business. Philly took Hollywood 3-1 before closing out the series in Game 4 on Junkertown 3-1.
Finally, the Hangzhou Spark (4-3, 4 points) took a clean 3-0 sweep over the Los Angeles Valiant (0-7, 0 points). The Spark made quick work of the Valiant, taking Oasis 2-0, Hanamura 2-0 and Hollywood 2-1.
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 Saturday with six matches:
Los Angeles Valiant vs Philadelphia Fusion (East)
Guangzhou Charge vs Seoul Dynasty (East)
Chengdu Hunters vs Hangzhou Spark (East)
Paris Eternal vs Los Angeles Gladiators (West)
Vancouver Titans vs Dallas Fuel (West)
San Francisco Shock vs Washington Justice (West)
Overwatch League standings by region, with win-loss record, map differential and league points
1. Houston Outlaws, 7-1, 12, 7
2. Dallas Fuel, 4-3, 4, 6
3. San Francisco Shock, 5-1, 9, 5
4. Florida Mayhem, 4-3, 2, 5
5. Los Angeles Gladiators, 4-2, 7, 4
6. Atlanta Reign, 4-4, 5, 4
7. Washington Justice, 4-2, 3, 4
8. Toronto Defiant, 4-4, -3, 4
9. Boston Uprising, 3-4, -2, 3
10. Paris Eternal, 3-4, -3, 3
11. Vancouver Titans, 0-6, -14, 0
12. London Spitfire, 0-8, -20, 0
1. Shanghai Dragons, 6-2, 9, 8
2. Philadelphia Fusion, 5-2, 8, 5
3. Seoul Dynasty, 5-2, 8, 5
4. Hangzhou Spark, 4-3, 6, 4
5. Chengdu Hunters, 4-3, 4, 4
6. New York Excelsior, 3-5, -6, 3
7. Guangzhou Charge, 2-5, -9, 2
8. Los Angeles Valiant, 0-7, -20, 0
–By Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media