The Shanghai Dragons have finally reached new heights after a few years of struggle. The Dragons won the 2021 Overwatch League title with a 4-0 sweep over the Atlanta Reign, capping off an extraordinarily successful season. The Shanghai Dragons arrived determined to defend their title after winning two events in a row earlier this year.
The first map, Ilios, was a very balanced matchup, with Atlanta's rush approach facing off against Shanghai's aggressive dive. While the Reign's DPS put up a brave fight, the Dragons set the tempo in both rounds and dominated the battlefield.
Atlanta then led us to Hanamura, which has a long history of being one of the team's most successful playoff maps. Shanghai were up to their old tricks, but Reign finished the map and put up a good fight. On Pharah, last year's MVP Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun was in fine form, regularly stopping the Reign's attacks. Shanghai had a 2-0 lead, but Atlanta didn't make it easy for them.
Shanghai was delivered to King's Row by The Reign next, a map that favored all of Atlanta's strongest heroes. In the series' most recent map, Shanghai unveiled what appeared to be a fresh composition in response to the Reign's rush.
Flex support from the dragons Grand Finals MVP Lee “LIP” Jae-won rotated around heroes, causing havoc on all of them, while Kim “Izayaki” Min-chul stunned on his iconic Zenyatta. Pro shooter Kai Collins of Atlanta did his best to deal with the assaults on Hanzo, but Shanghai eventually overcame his team.
On the final map, Havana, Atlanta broke through part of Shanghai's fortifications to capture two Escort points. However, that effort wasn't nearly enough, as former MVP Fleta sealed the deal with a final Pulse Bomb that demolished Atlanta's fortifications.
The Shanghai Dragons will finish a chapter in their history by winning the 2021 Grand Finals. The original Shanghai Dragons lineup was the first team in the initial Overwatch League season to go winless, posting a 0-40 record. Three years later, the squad has won the final championship from Overwatch's original edition with a 4-0 score, following a huge rebuild and renewed enthusiasm for the game.
The Shanghai Dragons have earned $1.5 million in prize money and the glittering Overwatch League trophy as the season's winners. As a runner-up, the Atlanta Reign will get $750,000.