Shanghai Dragons Crowned 2021 Overwatch League Champion
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September 27, 2021

Shanghai Dragons Crowned 2021 Overwatch League Champion

With their signature dive composition, the Shanghai Dragons swept the Atlanta Reign, securing the title of 2021 Overwatch League champion and $1.5 million in prize money.

The OWL grand finals between the Dragons and the Reign sums what has been a very exciting Overwatch season. The Dragon’s journey that began with a disastrous start in 2018 probably could not have ended any better. After all, they are the first Asia-Pacific team to win the title of Overwatch League champion.

Dragons vs Reign

Ilios

On the first round of the Grand Finals, the Dragons took Reign to Ilios, where they immediately unleashed their dive composition in the control matchup. Atlanta’s rush-style gameplay was no match for the Dragon’s aggressive dive that set the pace for the entire game. Shanghai easily secured both rounds, winning Ilios 2-0.

Hanamura

Raining barrage with the Pharah-led poke composition, Shanghai followed up on its aggressive strategy. Hanamura was one of Atlanta’s favorite maps, proven by their multiple results in the bracket playoffs. On this map, they went toe-to-toe with Shanghai, who edged past them narrowly with a 3:2 victory thanks to Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun who put on unbelievable performances. The Dragon’s win on Hanumura took the tie to 2-0.

King’s Row

For Atlanta, winning on King’s Row was mandatory to stay in the match. But despite delivering a great showdown, they could not outsmart the Shanghai Dragons. King’s Row became the closest and the longest map of the series, with Shanghai unleashing lethal composition with Tracer, Ashe, Wrecking Ball, Sigma, Zenyatta, and Baptiste. After back-and-forth fights, the Dragons took the map 6-5, giving them a 3-0 lead as they headed for halftime.

Havana

Coming off from the break, Havana was Atlanta’s last chance. However, Jae-won “LIP” Lee performed exceptionally well with Sombra, securing Grand Finals MVP. On this map, Atlanta broke Shanghai’s defensive formation to claim two points, but Fleta’s catastrophic Pulse Bomb sealed their fate. Shanghai won Havana 3-2, ultimately winning the 2021 OWL Championship.

2021 Overwatch League

Having gone the entire season winning none of the 40 games, the Shanghai Dragons has morphed to become what is arguably one of the best Overwatch teams. They had a fantastic season 4 in the OWL, finally taking home trophies at the June Joust and the Summer Showdown tournaments. They were ranked number 1 before heading to the championship playoffs.

On the other hand, the Atlanta Reign came to the grand finals after sending home the Dallas Fuels and San Francisco Shock, one of the tournament’s favorites. This team was consistently strong throughout the season, attending various mid-season tournaments. By being the 2021 Overwatch League runners-up, the Atlanta Reign took home $750,000.

The halftime show featured Overwatch 2 trailers and meta, further announcing that this Shanghai’s win would be the last competitive OWL game played on the original version of the game. Overwatch 2 is expected to launch early next year, ushering in a new era of Overwatch where teams will move to a 5v5 format.

Written by Daniella Johnson

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