The Overwatch League's 2021 May Melee Qualifiers proved to be as unpredictable as ever. After three weeks of Overwatch play, the Dallas Fuel somehow emerge as one of just two Western teams to clinch a spot in the $225,000 May Melee tournament.
Coming into this week, the Fuel were not on anyone's radar as a legitimate threat. The team lost highly touted hitscan Xzi to retirement and sat at 2-2 through two weeks. But things turned around in a major way in Week 3, as the team quickly jelled and swept its way through an intimidating qualifiers bracket.
Here's how Dallas overcame the two-time reigning champion San Francisco Shock and formerly undefeated Houston Outlaws to clinch its chance for big bucks in Hawaii.
Thursday, April 29
Paris Eternal 0-3 Atlanta Reign
Washington Justice 3-1 Boston Uprising
Friday, April 30
Los Angeles Valiant 0-3 Guangzhou Charge
Seoul Dynasty 3-0 New York Excelsior
Shanghai Dragons 3-2 Hangzhou Spark
Boston Uprising 3-2 London Spitfire
San Francisco Shock 3-0 Florida Mayhem
Toronto Defiant 0-3 Washington Justice
Saturday, May 1
Seoul Dynasty 3-0 Los Angeles Valiant
Guangzhou Charge 0-3 Hangzhou Spark
Florida Mayhem 3-1 Paris Eternal
London Spitfire 1-3 Toronto Defiant
San Francisco Shock 3-2 Atlanta Reign
Sunday, May 2
Shanghai Dragons 3-2 Philadelphia Fusion
Chengdu Hunters 3-1 Seoul Dynasty
Toronto Defiant 0-3 Florida Mayhem
Dallas Fuel 3-0 San Francisco Shock
Florida Mayhem 3-1 Washington Justice
Dallas Fuel 3-0 Houston Outlaws
Dallas revamped in a major way for 2021, bringing in new talents across the board. And, while there were bumps in the road—including Xzi's retirement—the team coalesced at the perfect time.
In the Fuel's first matchup, against the Shock, it was main tank Fearless who proved just how badly he wanted to get to Hawaii and earn a chance to compete against his former rivals from overseas. The former Shanghai Dragon went off as Winston, pushing momentum in his team's favor.
Then, against the Outlaws, Dallas proved once again that its team chemistry is bubbling up dangerously. With sophomore flex tank Hanbin trapping practically all of Houston in the air, the Fuel squad laid waste and secured a team wipe.
Now, Dallas gets to go to Hawaii, the first chance for the Fuel to play against teams from the OWL's APAC region.
From the West, Dallas will be joined by Florida in the May Melee. From the East, the Shanghai Dragons and Chengdu Hunters. The 4-2 Fuel are set to meet a 4-1 Chengdu squad on May 6, in yet another test of their newfound cohesion.