Back to back. The Chengdu Hunters made a statement, but the Shanghai Dragons secured the win, fattened their wallets and proved why they've yet to miss a 2021 Overwatch League Grand Final.
After coming up just short in the May Melee, Shanghai has now followed up a June Joust win with more gold in the Summer Showdown. That's another $100,000 to its name, even more tournament experience and, more importantly, a firmer grip of the OWL standings.
And this time, the Dragons didn't even need to outduel the Dallas Fuel for the honor. The Hunters got rid of the Fuel after Shanghai sent them to the Losers' Finals but couldn't build enough momentum to overtake the Dragons in a Grand Finals rematch.
Thursday, July 15
Chengdu Hunters 3-1 Dallas Fuel
Atlanta Reign 0-3 Shanghai Dragons
Friday, July 16
Winners' Bracket Finals
Chengdu Hunters 2-3 Shanghai Dragons
Atlanta Reign 2-3 Dallas Fuel
Saturday, July 17
Losers' Bracket Finals
Chengdu Hunters 3-0 Dallas Fuel
Chengdu Hunters 1-4 Shanghai Dragons
It was an impressive run for the Hunters. From highly doubted underdogs to perhaps the league's scariest, most versatile threats—Chengdu got all the way to the Grand Finals and even carved out a 1-0 lead.
But Shanghai is the final boss of creative team compositions and playmaking, and that was proved throughout the Summer Showdown. During the Dragons' Winners' Bracket matchup against the Hunters, it was Fleta who showed that JinMu isn't the lone Pharah specialist around with a nasty, Nano-boosted Barrage.
Then, in the Grand Finals, Fate demonstrated why he's more than just a replacement for Fearless. Doubted after the Dallas Fuel's May Melee victory, Fate was a decisive presence on Winston as Shanghai built a lead.
Those two may have had some big plays, but Shanghai's win is built on a cohesive six. LIP's Sombra is the league's best, Void plays a fluid flex tank and the support duo—Izakaya and LeeJaeGon—provides a practically infallible backbone.
With the majority of this tournament's prize cut (and three OWL points) going their way, the Dragons head into the next few weeks as the league's Countdown Cup favorites. But, considering this run of form, the team is likely beginning to eye the postseason's big-money OWL Grand Finals.