The final day of the North American region of the Overwatch League Summer Showdown delivered on promises of intense action and drama, featuring a surprising young team earning the title of champion.
The Paris Eternal (9-6) won the Summer Showdown in an impressive Sunday showing, taking down thetop-ranked San Francisco Shock 3-2 in the semifinals and then winning a dramatic Grand Finals in a 4-3 series against the third-ranked Philadelphia Fusion (15-2).
The Fusion and Eternal traded blows in an epic, back-and-forth series. Paris started with a clean 2-0 victory on Lijiang Tower, but the Fusion responded with a 4-3 win on King's Row and a 3-2 win on Volskaya Industries. The Eternal got back into the series with a 3-1 win on Watchpoint: Gibraltar and a 2-0 win on Nepal to go up 3-2.
Threatening match point, the Eternal couldn't break the Fusion's defense on Blizzard World, letting Philadelphia take the map 4-3. In the final match of the tournament, the Eternal came through in the clutch on Rialto, taking a 2-1 win to become Summer Showdown champions.
The Fusion started the day with a 3-0 win over the 11th-seeded Toronto Defiant (5-10), led by DPS Jae-hyeok "Carpe" Lee. Carpe was a playmaker on Widowmaker and Ashe, dominating the field and rendering the Defiant's strong DPS core useless.
Philadelphia took this series with a 3-0 win on Lijiang Tower, a 4-3 win on King's Row and a 1-0 shutout of Temple of Anubis. Despite the loss, the Defiant's performance in this tournament was a great showing for a team that had been struggling, especially since their placement at the Summer Showdown should give the team a few much-needed regular-season wins.
On the other side of the bracket, the Eternal earned their spot in the finals with a hard-fought 3-2 win against San Francisco. The Shock opted out of the meta, running Tracer-Ashe compositions rather than the Genji-Ashe compositions favored by the Eternal. DPS Yeong-han "SP9RK1E" Kim dominated throughout the day as Genji, posting an absurd 22.9 Eliminations per 10 Minutes throughout the series.
San Francisco (14-2) was expected to win this series in dominant fashion, seeing as they had not lost a map since the May Melee tournament.
The Shock started strong with a 2-1 win on Ilios, but the Eternal pulled even with a 3-2 win on King's Row on an absurd showing from SP9RK1E. San Francisco then took Hanamura 2-0, followed by Paris clawing a 6-5 win out of Rialto. In a crucial game five on Oasis, the Eternal eked out a 2-1 win, swapping DPS Ki-hyo "Xzi" Jung onto McCree to counter San Francisco DPS Nam-joo "Striker" Kwon's Tracer.
This loss for San Francisco isn't a backbreaker in terms of playoff placement, as the Shock will probably hold onto the second overall seed for the North American region. Still, since the Shock were expected to win after winning the May Melee, so anything less than a finals win is disappointing.
Time will tell if the young Paris Eternal are as good as this result would indicate or if the Eternal merely got hot in a meta in which Genji is the strongest hero and they have the best Genji player on the planet in SP9RK1E. Still, with the win here, Paris should all but guarantee a postseason appearance.
The Guangzhou Charge won twice on Sunday to win the seven-team Asia bracket of the Overwatch League Summer Showdown.
Matches in the Summer Showdown do not count toward the league standings, but the top teams in both regions will get bonus wins added to their regular-season records. The tournament champions each receive three bonus wins, with the runners-up getting two bonus wins, and the third- and fourth-place teams adding one bonus win.
--Field Level Media