OWL Midseason Madness Week 1
With the Kickoff Clash tournament behind us, the OWL Midseason madness is next in line. We had some amazing games in the Playoffs of Kickoff Clash, and while certain teams were definitely expected to outperform the others based on their performance during the Qualifiers, there were some surprises.
The ones that stood out in the West region
During the Qualifiers, the top-performing teams were San Francisco Shock, who were undefeated; Dallas Fuel, who lost a single match only; and Los Angeles Gladiators, who lost two matches (like a few other teams but had better performance overall).
San Francisco Shock delivered an unexpected performance
During the Playoffs, San Francisco Shock barely won their first match against Washington Justice, who were ranked last to qualify during the Qualifiers with a score of 3:2.
Their second match in the Winners bracket was against Atlanta Reign, who was second to last to Qualify in the Qualifiers, and they managed to lose with a score of 3:1.
While their next match in the losers bracket was won with a score of 3 to 1 against Houston Outlaws, they got destroyed by Dallas Fuel in Losers Round 3 with a score of 3:0. It can be easily said that the San Francisco Shock underperformed.
Dallas Fuel performed as expected
Being second in the Qualifiers made the expectations for Dallas Fuel quite high, and they definitely managed to step up to those expectations.
While they did lose their second round in the Winners bracket against the Los Angeles Gladiators, they crushed all other games with scores of 3:0 or 3:1.
They came back from the losers bracket after their defeat only to face off with the Los Angeles Gladiators in the Grand Finals, where they, unfortunately, got destroyed with a score of 4:0.
Atlanta Reign was quite a nice surprise
Considering that Atlanta Reign was ranked seventh during the Qualifiers with three wins and three losses, nobody expected them to perform as well as they did in the bracket part of Kickoff Clash.
Their first victory was against Florida Mayhem(ranked 4th during Qualifiers), followed by a second victory against San Francisco Shock(again, ranked 1st during Qualifiers). These two victories are quite impressive, as they got them to Winners Round 3, the final round before the Finals in this bracket.
Unfortunately, in that round, they got crushed by the Los Angeles Gladiators, and then they lost to Dallas Fuel in the Losers Round 4.
Los Angeles Gladiators played almost perfectly
Being 3rd during the Qualifiers puts some kind of expectations on a team, and while stats alone could justify how and why they won the Kickoff Clash tournament, those who watched Los Angeles Gladiators in action know that there is more to it.
LA Gladiators started off strong against Houston Outlaws, having a clean 3:0 win, which was then followed by 3:1 against Dallas Fuel. After that, they faced Atlanta Reign and won without losing a single round again.
In the finals, when they were facing Dallas Fuel, people were not sure what to expect, as Dallas Fuel was the only team to make them drop a round during the whole Playoff Stage. However, LA Gladiators crushed with a clean 4:0 victory, where they performed on a whole other level. Their gameplay was truly fascinating to watch, and those who missed the event should check out the VODS.
The ones who stood out in the East region
Since the East region has fewer teams, things were not as interesting, but there were still some surprises.
The first surprise is the performance of Hangzhou Spark. Even if they were 1st during the Qualifier, they lost their first game against Philadelphia Fusion with a score of 3:1 and then got obliterated by Seoul Dynasty with a score of 3:0 in Losers Round 1.
The Shanghai Dragons barely won against Seoul Dynasty with a score of 3:2 in Winners Round1, only to lose to Philadelphia Fusion without winning a single map. Their third game was in Losers Round 2, where they lost 3:2 against Seoul Dynasty.
Philadelphia Fusion and Seoul Dynasty
Philadelphia Fusion and Seoul Dynasty were both teams that were not expected to end up in the Finals, but somehow they both managed to pull it off. While Philadelphia Fusion won with scores of 3:1 and 3:0 in the Winners bracket to reach the Finals, Seoul Dynasty fought their way from the Losers bracket with scores of 3:0 and 3:2. In the finals, everyone once again expected a close match, but Seoul Dynasty crushed it by winning four maps in a row for a 4:2 score.
What can we expect in Midseason Madness Week 1?
There are a few matches that could be interesting in Week 1:
- Dallas Fuel VS San Francisco Shock (Jun 16th) – Will San Francisco Shock continue to underperform?
- Atlanta Reign VS Boston Uprising (Jun 17th) – Will Atlanta Reign continue to perform as well as they did during the Playoffs?
- Vancouver Titans VS Los Angeles Gladiators and Paris Eternal VS Los Angeles Gladiators (June 18th) – Will LA Gladiators continue to dominate?
- Dallas Fuel VS Atlanta Reign (Jun 19th) – Did Atlanta Reign learn anything from their defeat against Dallas Fuel in Losers Round 4?