Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
The biggest month yet of the 2020 Overwatch League season has finally come to a close. Amid the global pandemic as most traditional sports have completely shut down, the Overwatch League thrives. At the beginning of the month all the teams tossed their regular season standings aside. They played instead with fresh slates for placement in the May Melee Tournament. The result has been one of the most exciting, upsetting, and spectacular weekend of Overwatch in quite some time. The Overwatch League May Melee Tournament results surprised everyone at one turn or another.
May Melee Tournament Results
North American Finals
The Road to Victory: San Francisco Shock
No one’s surprised that the 2019 Grand Champions took the win in the May Melee. They’ve been a top contender and an absolute force of nature within the league since their 2019 season. They have one of the most stacked rosters and play well under pressure in any meta. Going into the weekend they were the number seed. During the quarterfinals got to choose their opponent. Despite the Dallas Fuel looking stronger than they’ve ever been, the Shock still decided they were the weakest of the four
Vs Dallas Fuel
The Fuel came into the match fresh off a win against their rivals, the Houston Outlaws. It was a close-fought victory and mostly thanks to an amazing performance on Widowmaker by Gui-un “Decay” Jang on Rialto. With that momentum they were able to take the first control map, but it would be the only ground the Shock conceded. King’s Row went into extra rounds but San Francisco would net the win 4 to 2. On Hanamura the Shock finished the map, but the Fuel was only able to secure point B. Going into Map 4 on Rialto, where the Fuel had set a new attack record against the Outlaws, the Shock put their foot down. A full hold on point A allowed the Shock to finish the match 1 to 0.
Vs Los Angeles Valiant
In the semifinals the San Francisco Shock choose the Los Angeles Valiant as their opponents. The Valiant is a rookie squad that has shown tremendous promise in their gameplay. However, the further up the ladders they climb the quicker it becomes apparent that the young talent still lacks experience. The Shock rolled through the Valiant with a clean sweep, taking the control map 2 to 0, holding the Valiant at point B in King’s Row. Finally, the Shock let the rookies capture but one point on Hanamura before sending them home.
Vs Florida Mayhem
The Overwatch League May Melee Tournament final came down to the San Francisco Shock and the Florida Mayhem. A match-up that no one would’ve predicted in the 2018 or 2019 season. The Mayhem, however, has become a force to be respected now that they conquered the Philadelphia Fusion and put the San Francisco Shock on their heels. The match started with a win on control map by the Shock, 0, and 2. The Mayhem proved on Blizzard World that they have what it takes to go toe to toe with the 2019 champions. The Florida Mayhem fully held the Shock on point A before taking the map win on their own attack.
The Mayhem mounted a decent defense on map 3 Volskaya before the Shock managed to break through and snowball through into point B for a quick take, thanks to a C9 from the Mayhem. Unfortunately, the Mayhem couldn’t make much of their own attack and were fully held on point A. Junkertown proved to be the gauntlet for both teams as each of them completed the map, pushing through to extra rounds. In their, OT pushes both teams made it halfway through point B, but the Shock retreated a bit too far and despite their players still being alive, left the point allowing the Mayhem to score the win.
Tied up at 2 and 2, the San Francisco Shock slowly started to pull ahead of the Mayhem in the final two maps. Control Map Lijiang Tower went their way in a 2 to 1 map score. But it was Hollywood where the Mayhem ran out of gas. The Shock finished the map with just under a minute left on the clock. But the Mayhem didn’t have what it takes to break through and were held halfway to point B, scoring the Shock the win.
May Melee Tournament Results
The Road to Victory: Shanghai Dragons
The story of the Shanghai Dragons is one of rags to riches. Although the roster is completely different from the inaugural season, no one can forget the 0-40 record that is part of their history. In 2020, however, the Dragons are to be feared and respected. They sit on top of the regular season leader board for the Asian region. Their only misstep so far this season was an off-game against the Seoul Dynasty were they managed to come alive and take a win of Shanghai in game 5. Little did any of us know that would be a precursor for the finals in the Overwatch League May Melee Tournament for the Asian region.
Based on Shanghai’s previous matches they had one big hurdle to overcome on their ways to the Asian region finals, but it wasn’t the one anyone expected. The London Spitfire is mostly a rookie roster but has shown some great promise this year. They have the ability to really come alive and shock their opponents, but they still lack the experience and discipline of veteran teams. Despite losing four matches (and only taking a single map in those four) preceding the Tournament, the London Spitfire made Shanghai work for it.
Vs London Spitfire
The Spitfire had a strong opening salvo against the Dragons taking control map Lijiang Tower 2 to 0. The Dragons refused to be pushed around and clapped back on Hollywood, but the Spitfire pushed back. The Dragons evened up the series with a 3 to 2 map score. After the break, London came back out just as strong and both teams completed Volskaya pushing the map to extra rounds. The Spitfire was able to take the map away from the Dragons in the extra rounds setting them up for match point.
On Watchpoint: Gibraltor’s escort map, the London Spitfire was able to stop the Shanghai Dragons from completing the map. giving them a clear win condition. However, the Dragons were not willing to give up the win this round and fully held the Spitfire. In game 5, the Dragons finally broke ahead of the Spitfire and finished the map 0 and 2.
Vs New York Excelsior
In the semifinals the Shanghai Dragons faced off against the New York Excelsior, which everyone thought would have been their biggest challenge. The Dragons rode the momentum of their win over the Spitfire and rolled New York in a clean sweep. The Dragons were in complete control from the very beginning to the end of this series.
Vs Seoul Dynasty
The finals for the Asian region could not have been a closer a match. The Seoul Dynasty have struggled to find their playstyle throughout the weeks of seeding leading up to the Overwatch League May Melee Tournament. The Shanghai Dragons, have dominated nearly every opponent they’ve faced. Though the Dynasty is one of the few to hand them a single defeat. Without hero pools and the freedom to play whatever they desired, the Dynasty seemed to have found the secret to success, at least to start.
The Dynasty managed to stay one step ahead of the Dragons for most of the match. They took the first three maps and put the Dragons in a position of do or die. Control map Lijiang Tower, hybrid map Blizzard World, and capture point map Hanamura all ended with the Dragons one point behind the Dynasty. The escort map of Gibraltor should’ve been the final map for the Dynasty to secure their victory, but the Dragons had something else in mind. After a full hold on point A, the Dragons began their incredible reverse sweep. They won control point Busan 2 to 0, went on to take King’s Row 3 to 2 and finished out the full series with a win on Junkertown 56 to 3 in extra rounds.
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