The final day of Week 26 saw teams in the American region battle it out for seeding -- and the final slot -- for the Countdown Cup. Sunday's action was mostly one-sided, however, with some of the teams expected to make a run at the final tournament of the year before the playoffs flexing their muscles.
But the biggest match of the day was the last, as the Boston Uprising (2-17) faced the Vancouver Titans (4-12) in the Countdown Cup's play-in game -- to decide who gets the 12th and final spot in next weekend's tournament. Both teams have struggled recently (hence their being in the play-in game), but when it came down to it the Titans prevailed in dominant fashion with a dominating sweep.
Star DPS Niclas "sHockWave" Jensen, who played hitscan heroes like Ashe and Widowmaker to great success, helped propel Vancouver to the win. The Titans picked up a 2-1 win on Oasis, a 5-4 win on King's Row and a 3-2 win on Hanamura, though they might not have beaten the Uprising so much as Boston beat itself. Throughout the series -- and the last few weeks -- it has become apparent that DPS Kelsey "Colourhex" Birse is uncomfortable on Genji, yet the Uprising have insisted on running Genji-focused compositions.
Colourhex's reluctance to challenge sHockWave when he was alone on the flank proved to be Boston's downfall, since allowing sHockWave to post up with zero pressure on him is a surefire way to lose to this young roster. What's more, positioning woes throughout the series from front and backline alike ensured that Vancouver was able to slow Boston's approaches to a crawl with spam damage. This is the second straight tournament for which Boston has failed to qualify.
With the win, Vancouver earned the 12th seed at the tournament and a first round matchup against the Atlanta Reign (10-7).
Speaking of Atlanta, the Reign shined on Sunday, taking a 3-1 series win over the Dallas Fuel (7-10). Atlanta looked comfortable and confident, taking Nepal 2-0 and full-holding Watchpoint: Gibraltar 1-0 for a 2-0 lead at the half. Atlanta felt confident putting some of their substitutes in for Game 3 on Numbani, which helped the Fuel get a win in a hard-fought 4-3 win. With the starting lineup back in for Hanamura, though, the Reign went back to dominating the Fuel, taking a 1-0 win to secure the victory. Dallas will match up against the Washington Justice (4-16) to open the Countdown Cup.
The second-place Philadelphia Fusion (21-2) looked dominant in their warm-up match against the Los Angeles Valiant (10-9), taking a 3-0 sweep. The Fusion looked ready for the Countdown Cup after losing in the final game of the Summer Showdown grand finals, pressuring the Valiant on all fronts. Philadelphia took the series with a 2-0 win on Busan, a 3-1 win on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, and a 2-1 win on Eichenwalde. Philadelphia will sit back with a first-round Cup bye while the Valiant will take on the Houston Outlaws (6-15) in the first round.
Sunday's remaining series saw the Florida Mayhem (14-6) take a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Gladiators (7-9). The Mayhem looked solid on a variety of compositions, with support Seong-ju "Byrem" Lee taking the main support role and looking strong a variety of heroes. Florida's dive compositions were led by DPS Jun-ki "Yaki" Kim, who dominated the Gladiators as Genji.
Los Angeles struck first, taking Lijiang Tower 2-1, but Florida responded by taking three straight maps. The Mayhem won Havana 2-1, Numbani 3-2 and Hanamura 6-5 to wrap things up. The Mayhem secured a first-round bye with the win while the Gladiators will take on the Toronto Defiant (8-12) in the first round of the Countdown Cup.
Week 27 of the Overwatch League -- and the Countdown Cup -- kicks off on Friday with four matches:
Houston Outlaws vs Los Angeles Valiant
Vancouver Titans vs Atlanta Reign
Washington Justice vs Dallas Fuel
Los Angeles Gladiators vs Toronto Defiant
Overwatch League Season 3 standings, with match record (W-L), map record (W-L-T) and map differential:
1. (Pacific East) Shanghai Dragons, 23-2, 56-15-1, 41
2. (Atlantic South) Philadelphia Fusion, 21-2, 56-19-0, 37
3. (Pacific West) San Francisco Shock, 19-2, 47-12-2, 35
4. (Pacific East) Guangzhou Charge, 18-7, 44-39-1, 5
5. (Atlantic North) Paris Eternal, 16-6, 44-28-0, 16
6. (Atlantic South) Florida Mayhem, 14-6, 40-25-0, 15
7. (Atlantic North) New York Excelsior, 14-7, 47-26-2, 21
8. (Atlantic South) Atlanta Reign, 10-7, 37-23-0, 14
9. (Pacific West) Los Angeles Valiant, 10-9, 33-36-0, -3
10. (Pacific East) Hangzhou Spark, 9-11, 33-40-2, -7
11. (Atlantic North) Toronto Defiant, 8-12, 31-42-0, -11
12. (Pacific East) Seoul Dynasty, 8-11, 21-35-2, -14
13. (Pacific West) Los Angeles Gladiators, 7-9, 30-33-4, -3
14. (Pacific West) Dallas Fuel, 7-10, 28-37-0, -9
15. (Pacific East) Chengdu Hunters, 7-14, 33-47-1, -14
16. (Atlantic North) London Spitfire, 6-10, 24-36-0, -12
17. (Atlantic South) Houston Outlaws, 6-15, 32-50-3, -18
18. (Pacific West) Vancouver Titans, 4-12, 16-38-0, -22
19. (Atlantic South) Washington Justice, 4-16, 21-51-1, -30
20. (Atlantic North) Boston Uprising, 2-17, 14-55-3, -41
--Field Level Media