Shanghai Dragons defeat Dallas Fuel 4-3 in the Overwatch League June Joust Grand Finals. The team wins $100,000 and secures 3 League points.
The June Joust tournament had started with ten teams in the knockout phase and only two remained to play out the Grand Finals. After a very competitive few days, Shanghai Dragons and Dallas Fuel were the final two teams in the $225,000 tournament. Not only was the prize pool significant, but the glory of being the best team in the Overwatch League and the fame accompanying it was a coveted prize for every player present in Hawaii.
The Grand Finals was a best-of-seven series and the first team to reach four map wins would secure the title. Last month, Dallas Fuel won the first ever tournament in the organization’s history when they won the May Melee. Would they be able to repeat the performance, and this is even before Do-hyeon “Pine” Kim joins the roster. Or would Shanghai Dragons finally get their first victory over the Dallas Fuel this tournament? Here’s how the Grand Finals played out.
Lijiang Tower – Dallas all the way
The map started with a brawl but Dallas Fuel secured the first few percentage points. They managed to reach 56% before Lip’s Reaper (helped by LeeJaegon’s Sound Barrier) was able to wipe the Fuel off the map. The early start to the point highlighted Dallas Fuel’s strength and improved performance. Dallas quickly took control of the point extendings its lead and slowly, but surely won map 1.
Continuing its momentum from the first point, Dallas Fuel reached 99% on the next point before Shanghai managed to wrest back control. Throughout the multiple attempts by Shanghai, Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee, Dong-ha “Doha” Kim and Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim were always in the opponent’s face, trying to beat them down. After Shanghai took control of the point, Dallas slowly built up its ultimate economy before they struck back. Fearless’ Winston used its ultimate to knock people off the map. Doha got four kills towards the very end to close the map for Dallas Fuel.
Volskaya Industries: Another 2-0
The stalemate between Dallas Fuel and Shanghai Dragons at the entry gate was broken when Lip got a kill on SP9RK1E. The Dragons’ pressed on with this small advantage, even chasing outside. However, with the close spawn advantage, SP9RK1E respawned and suddenly, Dallas Fuel found themselves with a positional advantage. They slowly, but surely walked on to the point and captured it, eliminating a few more Shanghai players en route.
With a a big time-bank and an ultimate economy advantage, Dallas Fuel used four ultimates in a Point B attempt. And then Doha’s Reaper used the Death Blossom to get two kills. As Dallas tried to capture the point, the Dragons were only filtering on to the point one by one. By now, it was a matter of when rather than if, Dallas will capture the point.
Unlike Shanghai Dragons’ defense, Dallas Fuel allowed their opponents to come on to the point. This allowed the Dallas Fuel enough space to maneuver and out-position their opponents. Always being in a position of control, Dallas Fuel prevented one onslaught after another. Shanghai Dragons could not complete even a single tick on their defense on the first capture point.
Numbani: Shanghai’s defense strikes back
Shanghai Dragons were 4-0 against non-Dallas teams in the June Joust tournament. But Dallas Fuel was obviously the team’s nemesis as the Dragons were yet to win a single match against the Fuels.
Shanghai was able to sustain the brawl on the high ground just enough forDong-ha “Doha” Kim’s Reaper to be out of position. With no Wraith form to help him out, Doha was the first casualty on this map. With their DPS player in spawn, it was only a matter of time before Shanghai rebuffed the entire Dallas roster. Dallas used two ultimates to eventually brute-force their way on to the first point. But they could not do so for the second point, where they were held back by the Shanghai players. Shanghai needed just two points in order to win their first map of the Grand finals.
The Dragons showed the true meaning of aggression on their offense. They chased Dallas Fuel players back to their spawn before even capturing the first point. The sheer aggression and dominance in which the Dragons won this point left fans awestruck and in amazement. This was the first map victory for Shanghai Dragons and possibly the start of an amazing comeback.
Rialto: Penta-kill by Void sets the tone
The Dragons thrived in chaos and continued with a similar playstyle on Rialto. Chasing the Dallas Fuel roster almost back to their spawnon point 1, the Shanghai Dragons set the tone for the map. They completed the third point with a beautiful and well-placed D’va bomb. Void got five kills to secure the third point in what seemed to be an exciting series rebound for the Shanghai Dragons.
But the Dallas Fuel were no walkovers. The team built up its ultimate economy with the constant brawls on their attack. SP9RK1E was very dominant in Dallas Fuel securing the first point with his Echo with his Reaper. He would constantly flank the Shanghai Dragons and sneak out with his Wraith form. Shanghai could not mount a proper defense for the second point and Dallas’ momentum continued through to the end of the map. The Fuel finished the point in overtime, and it was Shanghai’s inability to reach the point in time that allowed Dallas the completion. Despite having a much higher time-bank compared to Shanghai, Dragons were significantly better in overtime. They limited Shanghai Dragons’ attack to secure the third map and take a commanding 3-1 lead.
Busan – Shanghai inches closer to the Fuel
With a 3-1 lead, Dallas Fuel was just one map away from securing the June Joust tournament. Shanghai Dragons’ Wrecking Ball was unable to hold off the Dallas Fuel onslaught. Dallas Fuel was off to a strong start completing 97% on the first point. Shanghai tried to bring it back (and they were successful for a bit), but Dallas’ lead was too far ahead on the first point.
Fleta got an early kill on SP9RK1E on the second point, allowing Shanghai to take first control of the point. Despite having a slight ultimate advantage, Dallas was not able to win the next teamfight. Shanghai was efficient in disengaging and going back to the point to win the fights. The team reached 97% compared to Dallas’ 0, before the Fuel wrested back control of the point. A 97% lead, as seen by the first point, was just too high for Dallas to overcome. Busan was tied at 1-1 at this point and it was championship point for the Dallas Fuel.
The third point started in a similar fashion with Fleta picking off SP9RK1E once again. It was a much more competitive point, but Dallas was simply unable to recapture the point despite being extremely close to doing so. The long draw-out fights only allowed Shanghai Dragons players to respawn and join the fight. But Doha’s Reaper had built his ultimate and the Death Blossom wiped Shanghai Dragons off the point, allowing Dallas a way back. The Dragons took Busan after the consistent brawls and back and forth teamfights.
Eichenwalde: Shanghai Dragons ties the series 3-3
Shanghai Dragons took its own sweet time to capture the first point on Eichenwalde. The team completed the three points in overtime and it was a hard-fought journey. All Dallas Fuel needed to do was to complete the three points in order to force overtime. Dallas Fuel was on the right track with a quick capture of the first point. But Shanghai Dragons held them at bay just as they were about to leave the first point.
Controlling the choke-point, Shanghai Dragons forced Dallas Fuel back to their spawn, removing valuable time from the bank. Shanghai Dragons were extremely aggressive, not allowing Dallas Fuel to cross the second point bridge. The crucial high-ground advantage allowed Shanghai to deal consistent damage from afar. Ultimately, Shanghai Dragons stopped the cart before it reached the second point.
Crazy Junkertown crowns the June Joust champions
What’s a better map than Junkertown to end a month of extremely competitive Overwatch?
Shanghai Dragons had a strong start on Junertown, rolling through to secure the first point. Dallas Fuel’s strategy of defending just after the first point paid dividends. Shanghai had to make multiple attempts in order to break through the chokepoint. The time lost early into the second point would come to bite Shanghai Dragons later in the round. They could not complete the third point, ending at 2 points and 69.31 meters.
Shanghai Dragons put on a very ‘offensive defense’. The team was able to halt Dallas Fuel’s cart progression, just enough to entertain another defense before the first point. It was all part of the plan for Shanghai Dragons and for what it’s worth, it was fairly successful. Similar to the Dallas’ defense, Shanghai also decided to hold off Dallas just after the first point. And just like Dallas, Shanghai was also successful in doing so. The constant aggression and forward-plays allowed Shanghai Dragons to waive off valuable time off the Dallas Fuel time-bank. Dallas was finally able to get the cart moving, but not before it was already overtime.
Shanghai was ultimately able to mount another defense just before the second point. And this time, it was successful.
Shanghai Dragons are your OWL June Joust Champions
With this victory, Shanghai Dragons secured the title of being the OWL June Joust champions. The team won $100,000 and 3 League points with this win.
Featured Image Credit: Shanghai Dragons.