Unexpected Outcomes: OWL May Melee Roundup

Overwatch League 2020 Season2020-02-15 / Photo: BEN-PURSELL For Blizzard Entertainment

The Overwatch League concluded its May Melee tournament series on Sunday, May 24th. Both the APAC and NA regions saw exciting and unpredictable matches. Although there was only one upset (in terms of bracket seeding), there were many unexpected outcomes. Here are the most memorable highlights and takeaways of the May Melee weekend.

APAC: Seoul shines, Shanghai reigns supreme

While there were only 7 teams in this bracket (compared to 13 in North America), the Asia-Pacific May Melee was not any less exciting. The first-seeded Guangzhou Charge, who were undefeated on the month with a first-round bye, lost by a 3-2 margin to the red-hot Seoul Dynasty. The last-seeded Dynasty managed to reach the grand finals of the May Melee, where the Shanghai Dragons (seed 2) awaited them. 

This final match was the first best-of-seven series this year, but it proved to be one of the most memorable in Overwatch League history. The Seoul Dynasty initially surged ahead, capitalizing off of some timely mistakes– especially the Dragons’ unfortunate C9 on Blizzard World. Despite securing a 3-0 lead, however, the Dynasty were not one bit comfortable with their lead. The Shanghai Dragons had fought neck-and-neck through each map; as a result, they continued to exert pressure, forcing the series to go the distance. 

Through the help of Jae-Won “LIP” Lee’s Sombra play and Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee’s dominating Winston play, the Shanghai Dragons were able to eventually complete the reverse sweep and take the APAC May Melee tournament. Fearless took the MVP award for the long series, which nearly lasted three hours.

2018-06-01 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

NA: Florida men make a formidable run but get Shocked

The North American bracket was much more expansive, and the race to the finals did not fail to disappoint. The Dallas Fuel (seed 8) defeated their Texas counterparts and also put up a surprising fight against the San Francisco Shock (seed 1) in the quarterfinals. Despite the Shock winning 3-1, it was clear that the Fuel had stepped up their game massively throughout the month of May. The Florida Mayhem (seed 2) also produced a respectable tournament run, securing convincing victories off of the Atlanta Reign (seed 6) and Philadelphia Fusion (seed 3). The Mayhem’s DPS duo especially helped the team power through the bracket, securing a top-2 finish.

The championship match of the North American May Melee featured the former best and worst teams of the 2019 Overwatch League season— but the skill levels of the two teams were much closer than that of the previous year. The San Francisco Shock and the Florida Mayhem faced off, each taking turns in winning maps. Much of the series featured a back-and-forth sniper duel, with Florida’s Sang-Bum “BQB” Lee and San Francisco’s Seon-Chang “ANS” Lee slinging their deadly Ashe and Widowmaker play against each other.

With a 3-2 lead at the second halftime break, the San Francisco Shock bested the Florida Mayhem in another memorable finals series. Flex support player Min-Ki “Viol2t” Park (finally) received MVP of the May Melee grand finals for his excellent Baptiste play.

Tournament Action

As the May Melee tournament concludes, a few weeks of rest is due for the Overwatch League. However, the action is set to continue soon. The new monthly tournament format will continue on for the month of June. Games will begin once again on June 13th, with another playoffs bracket at the end of the month.

Make sure to stay tuned to @Slashshout for more updates on Overwatch League news!

Stephen No

Stephen "Steph" No is a communications major and esports journalist. Currently covering the LCS and the OWL, Steph is aiming to become a prominent Asian-American voice in Western esports media. You can follow his twitter @kdpanthera for more LCS and Overwatch League related content.

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