Atlanta Reign Gator: “We knew we could beat them pretty easily. I didn’t think Dallas Fuel were anything special.” cover image

Atlanta Reign Gator: “We knew we could beat them pretty easily. I didn’t think Dallas Fuel were anything special.”

Every team in the lower bracket has picked King’s Row against Atlanta Reign. And the Reign have won every single time. Will Shanghai learn their lesson, or will they pick King’s Row in the Grand Finals?

The lower bracket final at the Overwatch League 2021 saw Dallas Fuel take on Atlanta Reign. The teams were competing for a spot in the Grand Finals of the $3.2 million Overwatch League. A dominant Shanghai Dragons waits patiently. 

Atlanta Reign defeated San Francisco Shock earlier in the day. They had the momentum coming into this match against Dallas Fuel. The Dallas Fuel, having won their first tournament this year, was hopeful of a Grand Finals appearance to get their revenge on the Shanghai Dragons. But first, they had to go through the Atlanta Reign. 

Dallas Fuel fall short of the Atlanta Reign

The series could not have been closer and at no point in the match was there any one favorite. Dallas Fuel started with a 2-1 victory on Lijiang tower, helped immensely by their understanding of the Atlanta Reign composition. The map was very close with both teams often going the distance on every point. 

We knew we could beat them pretty easily. I didn’t think Dallas Fuel were anything special.

Blake "Gator" Scott recorded 40 Earthshatters across both the matches today. He converted 23 (57.5%) into kills and was instrumental in the team's two victories today.

Atlanta has won King's Row Everytime in the Lower Bracket

Dallas brought out the Double Bubble on King’s Row. With a Winston and Zarya lineup, Dallas was more than ready to take damage, as it would only bolster Hanbin’s damage. With a Doomfist to add to the dive and a long-range Hanzo, Dallas’ gameplan was clear. They wanted to give as much space to Yeong-han "SP9RK1E" Kim. It was a different playstyle but at end of the regular play, there were only 9 seconds separating the two teams. Atlanta Reign has won all its King's Row matches in the lower bracket. And everytime, it was the opponent picking King's Row. Maybe its time for the OWL teams to stop picking King's Row into Atlanta Reign (Hello Shanghai?)

I think Shanghai Dragons are the best Dive team of all time.

After the Lijiang tower win, Atlanta Reign carried forward its momentum to Hanamura. The team who had already made a comeback against the San Francisco Shock earlier in the day looked to repeat a similar performance. They relied on a quick and effective push on the first point. After Dallas made some crucial positioning mistakes, the Reign marched in to take over the second point. In the end, Atlanta Reign won the map due to superior timing and effective strategy against the Fuel. The team had only 5-10 minutes of review before coming into this match. So their win is even more impressive and makes them a viable challenger to the Shanghai Dragons.

Dorado came down to the wire with a close match that was decided in the last few seconds on both halfs. Atlanta Reign pushed the payload all the way, barely making it at the end. But that completion was more than enough for them as they stopped Dallas Fuel at the very end in the second half.

Ir1s secures the Match MVP

Atlanta Reign’s Seung-hyun "Ir1s" Kim secured the player of the match. Iris is one of the best Baptiste in the Overwatch League and has consistently delivered in the flex support role. While many people believed Dallas Fuel to be the favorites to win this series, Atlanta's consistency through the lower bracket is not one to be scoffed at.

Atlanta Reign fell to the lower bracket after a close 2-3 loss to Chengdu Hunters. Ever since, the Atlanta Reign has looked unstoppable, eliminating four teams from the Overwatch League. It all started with a win over Washington Justice, a dominant performance by the Reign. They followed it up with a close 3-2 win over LA Gladiators. When Atlanta Reign defeated San Francisco shock, the two-time OWL champions, things looked hopeful for a dream lower bracket run. 

The Grand Finals take place on September 25 and Blizzard will show Overwatch fans a sneak-peek into OW2. Stay tuned to for coverage on the Overwatch League and more news about Overwatch 2.