The San Francisco Shock, Philadelphia Fusion and Florida Mayhem each swept their way into the semifinals of the Overwatch League's Countdown Cup on Saturday.
The Shock downed the Dallas Fuel, the Fusion handled the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Mayhem dispatched the Atlanta Reign, all by a 3-0 margin. The Paris Eternal also reached the semifinals with a 3-1 victory over the Paris Eternal.
San Francisco will face Florida before Philadelphia battles Paris in Sunday's semifinals, with the winners meeting later Sunday in the final.
The top-seeded Shock took care of business against the seventh-seeded Fuel, looking dynamic with their lineup throughout the series and utilizing substitutions across every position. In contrast, the Fuel stuck with their starting lineup throughout the series. Dallas tried their best to keep up with San Francisco's star power, but fell well short against last season's world champions.
The Shock played a variety of team compositions throughout the day, taking Busan 2-0, King's Row 3-2 and Hanamura 2-1.
The third-seeded Fusion looked like they normally do: dominant against weaker teams. Philadelphia rolled over the ninth-seeded Gladiators. Like San Francisco, Philadelphia utilized its bench to its fullest, making substitutions throughout every position other than DPS.
Fusion DPS and MVP candidate Jae-hyeok "Carpe" Lee showed up in a big way, as he usually does in tournaments, picking the Gladiators apart with Ashe. In addition, Carpe's DPS partner Seung-hyun "Ivy" Lee was exceptional throughout the series, leading to the Gladiators struggling to find any individual advantages.
Philadelphia picked up Oasis 2-1, Numbani 4-3 and dominated Temple of Anubis for a 1-0 full-hold win. In the loss, the Gladiators showed traces of the mercurial and lost performances that plagued the team throughout the year, seemingly undoing weeks of solid work.
The fourth-seeded Mayhem looked incredibly strong in their win over the fifth-seeded Reign, who had come into this match with momentum on their side and with some of the top teams looking to dodge an early matchup. The Mayhem, though, reminded the league that there are four teams to watch out for in the American region.
Florida DPS and MVP candidate Jun-ki "Yaki" Kim shined throughout the series, taking control of team fights with explosive plays, while support Nam-jin "Gangnamjin" Gang put in a stellar performance to lead the Mayhem backline. Atlanta put up a fight throughout the series, but Florida had an easier time than the scores would suggest. The Mayhem took Ilios 2-1, King's Row 4-3 and Hanamura 3-2.
The Valiant fought hard but got overwhelmed by the second-seeded Eternal, as the Summer Showdown champions persevered through technical delays and the Valiant's gameplanning.
The Eternal didn't have the best day at the office, with their match getting delayed from the first match of the day to the last due to technical problems with the team's headquarters. The fatigue was palpable as Paris came out of the gates flat, losing Lijiang Tower for the first time all year by a score of 2-1. The Valiant's momentum threatened to take the series over, but the Eternal turned it on during Game 2 on King's Row, picking up a 3-1 win and wrestling momentum back.
From there, the Eternal methodically dispatched of their opponents, with DPS and MVP candidate Ki-hyo "Xzi" Jung putting in work on hitscan heroes like Ashe and Widowmaker. Paris took Volskaya Industries 3-2 and closed out the series with a 2-1 win on Havana.
Los Angeles was hoping for a better result from the Countdown Cup to make their playoff odds better but, like Atlanta, should still be a threat coming outside of the top four teams.
Week 27 of the Overwatch League and the Countdown Cup concludes on Sunday with six matches:
Shanghai Dragons (1) vs New York Excelsior (5)
Chengdu Hunters (2) vs Hangzhou Spark (3)
Finals: TBD vs TBD
San Francisco Shock (1) vs Florida Mayhem (4)
Paris Eternal (2) vs Philadelphia Fusion (3)
Finals: TBD vs TBD
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, 28-34-0, -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