Even the most talented Overwatch League writers couldn't have predicted the stunning upsets that shaped the June Joust tournament bracket. The season's second "monthly" competition, which starts on June 10th, 2021, will include four teams. However, some of the attendees aren't who most fans anticipated to see.
The Shanghai Dragons and Dallas Fuel, two of the best teams in their respective areas, will compete in the June Joust for the second time. They last met in the May Melee grand finals, with the Dallas Fuel coming out on top.
The New York Excelsior and the Atlanta Reign, both underdogs in their respective regions, defeated the top seeds and advanced to the June Joust. Here's how each region's upsets came to be, resulting in this wild bracket.
The Shanghai Dragons have been preparing for a rematch in the June Joust after losing to the Dallas Fuel in the May Melee event. With the exception of a solitary loss to the Hangzhou Spark, the Dragons swept the qualifications in this event. The team's meeting against the Seoul Dynasty in the knockout round was no exception.
Longtime Dynasty supporters were anticipating for the return of "Playoffs Profit," the mythical phase in which veteran DPS Park "Profit" Joon-yeong transforms into a carry. Instead, they were greeted by the Dragons' Lee “LeeJaeGon” Jae-gon, who used his characteristic Lcio to throw players off maps. The Shanghai Dragons clinched the top East region seed for the June Joust finals bracket with a 3-0 victory over the Dynasty.The New York Excelsior, who defeated the Hangzhou Spark at their own homestand, provided the biggest upset in the East. The Spark had been dominant throughout the whole June Joust competition cycle, going into knockouts with a perfect 4-0 cycle record. Despite dominating the first map of the series, something went wrong in Hangzhou's ranks, and the rookie NYXL team prevailed 3-1.
In their pursuit of a second Overwatch League tournament victory in Hawaii, the Dallas Fuel spared no one as they annihilated the West region knockouts. The Fuel, masters of the fast-paced “neo-GOATS” meta centred on Reaper and Moira, swept the Houston Outlaws 3-0 before facing the Los Angeles Gladiators.
While the Gladiators put up a valiant battle, the tank and support synergy from Dallas was exceptional. Los Angeles was eliminated after a 3-1 victory for the Fuel. The key test for Dallas will be contrasting techniques with the East's more chaotic, shield-based setups.
The San Francisco Shock were expected to make an appearance in the June Joust finals bracket as the league's defending champions. The Atlanta Reign, on the other hand, had something to say about that.
The Reign swept the 2020 champs 3-0 in an almost unprecedented upset, demonstrating that mastery of the meta is more crucial than previous dominance. Atlanta drew heavily on tank cohesiveness and aerial domination from Oh "Pelican" Se-Echo, hyun's as well as the neo-GOATS approach. San Francisco was uncommonly sloppy, and Atlanta took advantage of every misstep.
The Dallas Fuel and Atlanta Reign will travel to Oahu, Hawaii over the next few days to lower ping for the June Joust finals bracket. The Atlanta Reign will face the New York Excelsior at 8 p.m. CT on June 10th, 2021 to kick off the June Joust.