Overwatch League 2021 playoffs recap: Day 3
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After coming into the postseason as one of the favorites, Los Angeles Gladiators can enjoy the rest of their Hawaiian vacation without stressing over further competition. Chengdu — who nearly pulled off the longest reverse sweep in Overwatch history — couldn’t handle one final push. These two teams will have to watch the rest of the postseason from the sidelines. There are still three matches of the Overwatch League 2021 playoffs in the next two days though.

Our team at Upcomer will be breaking down all the action — including the best players and moments — each and every day of the postseason, all the way up to the grand finals. We’ll also have quick previews of all the upcoming matches.

Overwatch League 2021 playoffs day 3 scorelines

  • Atlanta Reign – 3                 Los Angeles Gladiators – 2
  • San Francisco Shock –  3   Chengdu Hunters – 2
  • Dallas Fuel – 1                      Shanghai Dragons – 3

Read on for death blossom triplets, Shanghai savagery and spicy previews of the losers bracket matches coming on Friday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m PT.

Top three moments of Overwatch League 2021 playoffs: Day 3

Despite only four teams remaining in contention, today was a great day to watch Overwatch. The Gladiators kept their game close, almost securing that second round on Nepal, while Chengdu nearly pulled off an incredible reverse sweep. We all knew Dallas and Shanghai were going to put on a show, we just didn’t expect Dallas to fall so quickly.

Atlanta has the steepest path toward the trophy and even if they make it to the top, they’ll have to fight Shanghai to stay there. | Provided by Atlanta Reign

Atlanta Reign rope-a-dope secures them map five and match win

The Atlanta Reign and Los Angeles Gladiators match was surprisingly close, coming down to Nepal. In the second round of Control, the Gladiators attacked the Reign as they held control of the point. The Gladiators only needed to win one fight, having already captured 99% of the point. At around 33% captured for the Reign, the Gladiators pushed in to kill the Reign, but it proved tough. Blake “Gator” Scott died first, but a bomb from Xander “Hawk” Domecq evened up the fight. Even as the Reign pushed in to clean it up, the Gladiators didn’t let up, using Transcendence and taking other key picks to extend the fight.

However, with the point never being flipped, the longer the Gladiators took to win, the closer the Reign got to winning themselves. With the Gladiators being aggressive on the backline, they fought the Reign away from point, keeping the fight winnable. Then, a returning Gator kept the fight going, swinging it back to the Reign. As the Gladiators tried to push for the last time — with significant ultimates like EMP and Pulse Bomb available — the Reign decided to push aggressively. They got crucial picks before the Gladiators could ultimate, winning the series after nearly losing the round.

Mike Czarnowski

Nero’s Death Blossom leads to a draw

Chengdu didn’t see Charlie “nero” Zwarg coming while they were pushing onto the second point on Anubis round two. The Hunters had ultimates primed as they tried to rally, but they never got the chance to use them. Nero managed to get into the Hunters’ backline for a crucial three-piece Death Dlossom, removing the majority of Chengdu’s push capabilities. It didn’t lead to a win, but it did prevent Chengdu from evening the odds earlier. It was a crucial play that gave him the chance to pop off and seal the victory later on in Havana.

Nero has said that he hasn’t had time to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii because of all the practice. Luckily for him, that practice has paid off.

– Aron Garst

Shanghai Dragons Overwatch League
It doesn’t feel like there is another team on the same level as Shanghai this postseason. | Provided by Shanghai Dragons

Who would win: a giant monkey or one (1) robot boy?

The Shanghai Dragons and Dallas Fuel were evenly matched going into their winners final, but barring a loss on Volskaya Industries, the Dragons seemed distinctly in control over the series the whole time. They never played with a sense of urgency or concern, something that was on display when the teams went to Dorado.

As the Dragons surged towards point B, flex support Kim “Izayaki” Min-chul was caught in a room with Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok in his Primal Rage. But Izayaki managed to get Fearless down to around 100 HP, then used his ult and let his teammate finish the job. This kill kicked off a domino effect of sorts that had the Fuel reeling; the Dragons took the map and the series. It was the kind of thing only they could pull off, and they looked relaxed while doing it. To add insult to injury, Dorado had been the Fuel’s map pick. Is there anyone that can stop the Dragons?

Bonnie Qu

Who gamed the hardest?

There were too many outstanding players on Day 3 of the Overwatch League 2021 playoffs to select a few, but we have to do just that. Nero saved his team on multiple maps, while Cho “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-bin performed well on every single map. Atlanta had coordinated team wins where everyone played a role, while half of the Dragons squad played out of their minds against Dallas. Here are our top three.

Kim “birdring” Ji-hyeok (Los Angeles Gladiators)

Los Angeles may have fallen short against Atlanta, but birdring was playing like a man on fire for the entire five-game series. From picking Pelican off with a clean shot in King’s Row to landing devastating EMPs on the point in Nepal, Birdring made his presence known no matter how far away he was from his team. His name would pop up in the kill feed time and time again and then he would slink back into hiding in preparation for another flank. His performance was a highlight for Los Angeles and it’ll be something they look back on fondly.


San Francisco Shock Overwatch League playoffs
San Francisco are always contenders as long as Moon “Moon” Byung-chul is at the helm | Provided by San Francisco Shock

Lim “Glister” Gil-seong (San Francisco Shock)

Both the San Francisco Shock and Chengdu Hunters fought for their lives, but none peaked at a more perfect time than Glister. As one of the new additions to the Shock roster in this season, he could never stay on the starting lineup to begin with. Now, with the Shock gunning for their threepeat, Glister is sticking to the roster and is playing at his best. His Sombra play especially was key in their early map victories.

Overwatch League caster Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson mentioned how the new additions to the Shock have been the reason they’re winning in this losers bracket run. This win only exemplified how far Glister has come.

– Czarnowski

Lee “LeeJaeGon” Jae-gon (Shanghai Dragons)

The Dragons’ support line was monstrous yesterday, with main support LeeJaeGon playing especially well on Brigitte. His well-timed Whip Shots and Shield Bashes both kept his teammates alive and shut down crucial enemy abilities (intentionally or otherwise). Try as they might, the Fuel were completely unable to overwhelm the Dragons’ stalwart backline, leading to a 3-1 Dragons victory.

– Qu

Chengdu Hunters Overwatch League playoffs
Leave posted that he “really did his best” on Weibo after the loss to the Shock | Provided by Chengdu Hunters

Upcoming Overwatch League 2021 playoffs matchup previews

No winners will be playing tomorrow. Everyone who loses goes home, as San Francisco take on Atlanta and then the winners of that match play against Dallas.

San Francisco Shock vs. Atlanta Reign

Both of these team’s respective losers bracket matches came down to the wire. Atlanta nearly lost the second capture on Nepal to the Gladiators while Chengdu was only a milestone and a half away from reverse sweeping the Shock. I have a feeling that we’ll see another close match tomorrow when everything is on the line for these squads. I think San Francisco has a slight edge with how Nero and crew have been playing, though.

Overwatch League 2021 playoffs
From an 0-40 season to the Overwatch League grand finals, Shanghai have made the ultimate rebound. | Provided by Overwatch League

Dallas Fuel vs Atlanta Reign/San Francisco Shock

Dallas didn’t look the best against the Dragons, but they are still a level above both Atlanta and San Francisco. After winning the second map and nearly stopping Shanghai on Dorado, Dallas will be hungry for a rebound against whoever wins in the earlier losers bracket match. Either Nero or Pelican — whoever makes it out of that first match — will need to put everything they’ve got into this match, and get a little lucky, in order to beat Dallas.

– Garst