Gesture and Profit blaze through OWL Playoffs
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October 9, 2020

Gesture and Profit blaze through OWL Playoffs

Overwatch League Grand Finals Weekend finally started with two teams from APAC and North America. San Francisco Shock, Philadelphia Fusion, Shanghai Dragons and Seoul Dynasty were the final four participants of the $3,050,000 tournament.

OWL Grand Finals Weekend

After moving online due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Grand Finals matches are being played on the previous patch where Roadhog dominates the meta. However, with the long gap between the playoffs and the grand finals, nearly four weeks passed and Overwatch fans expected surprises. And the first two days of the Grand Finals did not disappoint and we had many upsets and new storylines were formed.

Two semifinal matches started Overwatch League Grand Finals Weekend. San Francisco Shock faced off against Seoul Dynasty in the opening match. The other match was between the two top seeds from each region, Philadelphia Fusion and Shanghai Dragons.

San Francisco Shock vs Seoul Dynasty

San Francisco Shock versus Seoul Dynasty 2020/

Image Credit to Overwatch League.

Seoul Dynasty faced San Francisco Shock in the grand finals opener. But Overwatch fans and analysts predicted Seoul Dynasty to be the weakest of the four teams while San Francisco Shock, the reigning champions, was a contender for the title.

Shock countered Seoul Dynasty’s playstyle with some amazing positioning and movement. The team was prepared for the Dynasty’s dispersed playstyle. With excellent positioning, Shock forced “Profit”and “Gesture” to play out of their comfort zone. Oasis and Hollywood ended with Seoul Dynasty failing to win a single point. The first match of Grand Finals Weekend looked set to be a washout 3-0 victory, but Seoul’s experienced players remained determined to win.

Profit, Gesture and Bdosin are ‘playoff kings’. The trio had a championship run in the 2018 season where their team, the London Spitfire, held a dominant playoff run. In the 2020 OWL Grand Finals, Seoul Dynasty almost managed a reverse sweep, winning Volskaya and Havana. But the team was unable to continue its new-found momentum on Busan and San Francisco Shock advanced to the upper bracket finals.

Regardless of this loss, Seoul Dynasty showed that they were not the underdogs in the Overwatch League and could challenge the best teams for the win.

Shanghai Dragons vs Philadelphia Fusion

Image Credit to Overwatch League.

Shanghai Dragons were the heavy favorites to win the tournament. Several factors contributed to the Dragons’ dominant performance in the regular season. Shanghai had 27 wins and just two losses standing clear of the next best APAC team.

But Philadelphia Fusion, the first seeded team from North America, was a worthy contender to Shanghai’s dominance. Shanghai Dragons started the series with better positioning and took advantage of faster ultimates to win team fights.

Though there was no lack of skill on the Fusion and strong performances from “Carpe” brought them back into the game. The DPS player had impact frags, including a pulse bomb on Ashe through transcendence. His target selection allowed him to run free in the team fights after eliminating the enemy Ashe.

While Busan was relatively close, the next two maps were washouts. Shanghai Dragons won King’s Row off a strong defense and the Fusion could not find a single entry-point to the first point on Volskaya. It required a wayward Roadhog for Fusion to gain any leeway into the first point, but even then it was not enough  The Dragons won King’s Row with ease and followed it up on Volskaya to secure a 3-0 victory.

Shanghai Dragons vs San Francisco Shock

Shanghai Dragon and San Francisco Shock faced each other in the winners’ final match on Day 2. The winner of this match would qualify for the 2020 Overwatch League Grand Finals while the loser would have to play another series on the same day.

Shanghai Dragons looked strong coming into the series, but the Shock prepared for everything that the Dragons had to offer. San Francisco punished the Dragons’ trademark aggression. On Oasis, “LeejaeGon” was often the first to die on multiple occasions granting Shock the much-needed opening kill. Then on Hollywood, “Super” subbed in, always on the lookout for an enemy Roadhog. While LeeJaeGon was often the first death in the previous map, Hollywood saw “Stand1” getting caught on multiple occasions in a similar fashion.

Shanghai Dragons, however, did rebound later in the series. Stand1 took his time to get back into form but more than made up for his mistakes in Hollywood. With a very high hook accuracy, Stand1 on Roadhog often caught enemy supports out of position. By Gibraltar, it seemed like the Shock were out of steam as they failed to win a single point on the map. The iron-clad defense was too much for the 2019 Overwatch League Champions.

Despite the late resurgence on the team, there were inherent problems with the Shanghai Dragons gameplay. The team looked uncoordinated and like a far cry from its regular-season dominance. Shock’s assessment before Busan proved accurate and the team won the series 3-2, sending Shanghai down into the losers bracket.

Seoul Dynasty vs Philadelphia Fusion

Overwatch 2020 finals.

Image Credit to Philadelphia Fusion.

Philadelphia Fusion entered the Overwatch League Grand Finals weekend as a fan-favorite. Along with Shanghai Dragons, Fusion saw an exceptional regular season. But the playoffs are a different beast, with additional pressure and sometimes different metas.

Profit and Gesture were the MVPs of the match. Gesture played Roadhog, but his playstyle relied on his teammates backing him up with Nanoboost and lots of healing. Gesture did not have had the best hook accuracy, but he still took up a lot of space and attention away from the rest of the squad. Often unnoticed, Gesture went on long flanks. Sometimes confusing, these flanks often proved the deciding factor in a team fight.

Seoul Dynasty swept Philadelphia Fusion 3-0 to stay alive in the tournament.

Seoul Dynasty vs Shanghai Dragons

Losers Finals saw a battle between the two APAC teams. Shanghai Dragons, the favorites to win this match, had to compete against a resurgent Seoul Dynasty. Dragons started the lower bracket match in style with “Diem” getting multiple kills and cracking open the Seoul Dynasty defense. The three 2CP points were heavily favored towards Shanghai Dragons. Even though Seoul Dynasty took a point, Shanghai Dragons had a strong start to the lower bracket finals.

The second map, King’s Row, was Seoul Dynasty’s choice, a surprising choice considering Shanghai Dragon’s strength on this map. Shanghai Dragons had a dominant start on the attacking side, but Seoul did one better and finished the map in the second phase with more time left than Shanghai. This time bank proved decisive as Shanghai could not defend point A in the second phase of the game.

The constant tussle between the two APAC teams had a common theme. Gesture, on his Roadhog, was always running around creating confusion in the Shanghai ranks. True to his nature, Roadhog is a tanky hero but still dealth a lot of damage. It is often a mistake to ignore Roadhogs and Shanghai paid the price for these mistakes.

OWL 2020 finals.

Profit and Gesture stepped up their game in the Grand Finals. Seoul Dynasty has the momentum going into the next match versus San Francisco Shock. Image Credit to Seoul Dynasty.

2020 Overwatch League Grand Finals

The MVPs of Day 2 were Gesture and Profit. The two players (along with Bdosin) proved themselves previously during an incredible playoffs run in 2018 on the London Spitfire. The fact that Seoul Dynasty, the weakest of the four teams, defeated Shanghai and reached the Grand finals is an accomplishment in itself.

Overwatch League 2020 playoff standings.

Image Credit to Overwatch League.

San Francisco Shock and Seoul Dynasty will face each other in the Grand Finals of Overwatch League 2020. Can the Shock be back-to-back Overwatch League champions or will Profit, Gesture and Bdosin win their second OWL trophy?

The Overwatch League Grand Finals broadcast kicks off on YouTube at 6 AM PST on October 10.

Written by Rohan Samal


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