The Overwatch League's last tournament cycle of the year was a fast-paced battle between two teams vying for the league title for the first time. The Chengdu Hunters were defeated 4-3 by the Los Angeles Gladiators after a seven-map series.
On Oasis, the native home of Yi "Jinmu" Hu's destructive Pharah, the Countdown Cup began. He tore through the Gladiators' supports and shields on behalf of the Hunters, propelling his team to a fast point advantage. On the next map, Los Angeles reversed the script. Anubis, on the other hand, is depending on DPS Kim “birdring” Ji-superb hyuk's Sombra performance to keep Chengdu from taking the first point.
Chengdu then led the Gladiators to Numbani, a typically chaotic map that suits the Hunters' style of play. Birdring's exquisite Sombra hacks immobilised the Hunters' quick-paced composition as Jinmu continued to rain horror from above. Chengdu did not sail through Route 66 as the squad expected, despite the addition of a few outstanding substitutes. With his clutch and terrifying Hanzo play, MVP contender Huang "Leave" Xin proved why he's up for the award, but the Gladiators' superior coordination led to a last-minute hold on the Hunters barely meters from the finish line.
The Hunters, not to be outdone, used the "Control boost" once more when they moved Los Angeles to sunny Ilios for map five. By annihilating the Gladiators on both Hanzo and Tracer, Leave boosted his own MVP chances, allowing the Hunters to win the round 2-0. Despite the fact that it was chosen by the Gladiators, map six -King's Row, showed a similar sight. The Hunters tied the game at 3-3 thanks to Leave's utter destruction.
The Hunters started the last map, Havana, with mayhem, sending Leave and Jinmu out as snipers to take out the Gladiators. Unfortunately for them, birdring went into overdrive on Hanzo and put on a show worthy of a champion. With a last-minute multi-kill, Los Angeles' flex support, Kim “Shu” Jin-seo, preserved both the map and the series for the Gladiators.
The Los Angeles Gladiators will receive $100,000 as the Countdown Cup champions, which will be shared among the team. More importantly, the squad has earned three "league points," which will help them advance in the playoff standings.
The second-place finisher receives $70,000 and two league points, which is still a substantial sum. The Chengdu Hunters have clinched the second seed in the playoff standings as a result of this victory. They'll also avoid the play-ins, which start September 4th. Teams will compete in regional matches during the play-ins for a limited number of remaining spots in the formal playoffs, which begin on September 16th, 2021.