Overwatch League 2021 Week 4: Dallas Fuel's Top Plays, Prize MoneyMay 9, 2021
The Dallas Fuel emerge victorious, and $100,000 richer, from their first-ever Overwatch League tournament finals appearance. After winning just 34.8 percent of their matches in three seasons of OWL play, the revamped Fuel have broken the mold in 2021.
And to do so, the unlikely winners had to unseat storied favorites the Shanghai Dragons, who are no strangers to reversing history themselves.
Before establishing themselves as title contenders with a league-leading record in 2020, the Dragons boasted the world record for longest losing streak by a professional team. That squad's main tank, Fearless, who helped Shanghai break its 42-game dry spell, now plays for Dallas and, in what could only be a scripted storyline, has defeated his former team 4-2.
The seemingly cursed Fuel came into 2021 with just one remnant from their 2020 roster. Additions of stars like Fearless and Xzi brought soon-to-be derailed expectations, as Xzi—the team's lone hitscan DPS—left the roster because of injury on April 13.
But defying roster depth concerns and emphatically rejecting a history of mediocrity, the Fuel surged past early-season struggles into the May Melee and, subsequently, out of Hawaii with heavier wallets.
Thursday, May 6
Shanghai Dragons 3 - 2 Florida Mayhem
Friday, May 7
Dallas Fuel 3 - 1 Chengdu Hunters
Dallas Fuel 3 - 2 Shanghai Dragons
Florida Mayhem 3 - 1 Chengdu Hunters
Saturday, May 8
Shanghai Dragons 3 - 0 Florida Mayhem
Shanghai Dragons 2 - 4 Dallas Fuel
The OWL is considered to be a narrative-driven anime by many. And by now, it's hard not to dub Fearless its protagonist. Perhaps no player felt more impactful than the versatile main tank during a Dallas run to the finals.
After chasing down Pharahs and outdueling Chengdu 3-1, the Fuel dropped Shanghai 3-2 in the Winners Finals. Then, it was a rematch of the Fearless grudge match, as Shanghai won in the Losers Finals and stormed back into the Grand Finals.
If the Grand Finals proved anything, it's that the Fuel's reliance on non-hitscan heroes was greatly exaggerated. Renowned Genji-specialist Sp9rkle proved doubters wrong with excellent Tracer play to carve out a lead.
But to win the big bucks, Dallas returned to Sombra-centric compositions. Destabilizing Shanghai with an EMP, the team netted kills and pulled off an unexpected victory.
Having won the 2021 season's first tournament, Dallas now adds to its prize purse and, more importantly, its win column. The Fuel will move forward in the season with additional playoff placement points, setting them up for a better chance at $1.5 million in the 2021 playoffs.