Two bigs teams faced off today to determine who was going home, and who still had a chance in the Overwatch League 2020 finals to take home the massive first-place prize of $1.5 million, of the $2.25 million prize pool.
The Atlanta Reign (ranked #12) were surprisingly the underdogs today against the Florida Mayhem (#6), but it was frankly still a surprise to see either team relegated to the lower bracket with such efficacy. Still the fight was scheduled and there was little standing in the way of these two teams going blow for blow across the Best of 5 series.
Play began on Ilios Well, with the massive pit in the center of the control point playing foil to both teams; both teams ran a mirrored comp with Reaper/Sombra/Winston/D.Va/Moira/Lucio.
Atlanta took fast control of the first point and ran up 21% before Mayhem returned in kind, and began stocking up a massive amount of ultimate in the bank until Hawk’s D.Va for the Reign managed to poke down a Mayhem back-liner which allowed control to transition again; the flurry of combat on the point continued to alternate back and forth until both teams were locked into overtime at 99/99, and the ensuring overtime battle lasted almost two minutes until Mayhem’s Lucio was able to bump them off the point.
Ilios Lighthouse was next up, and the Reign opted for a Zen/Mercy backline that quickly crumpled within the first thirty seconds of the gates opening; Mayhem easily took control of the point and the ult bank began to climb in favor of the Mayhem until Sharp could pick two for the Reign followed by Edison’s Sombra taking an additional two picks; control of the point swapped as Mayhem banked 56%.
Reign was able to maintain point control to 95% until Mayhem dropped on top from heaven, again quickly wiping Reign’s backline; battle traded back and forth as both teams worked into overtime yet again, and the Reign took the second point of Control on the back of Pokpo’s Winston leaping into the back of the point, surprising the Mayhem.
This brought us to Ruins, and it was tightly contested; if we’ve learned anything thus far in the finals, it’s that winning the first control map series can easily spell out how the remainder of the battle will play out.
Reign took an easy first point up to 52% until control shifted to Mayhem; Mayhem then played aggressively fighting in the temple ruins to keep the Reign from the point, and the strategy worked to bring Mayhem to 99% on their first control until Reign managed to bring it back in a one-fight territory.
The Mayhem simply managed to out frag the Reign on the point at a 99/99 in a neutral as Reign threw multiple ultimate into the Mayhem that were actively ducking and dodging, giving Mayhem the man-advantage on point and the first point in the Bo5 series.
Up next was Numbani, and Control showed us that these two teams were going to offer a very scrappy fight as it continued with Reign beginning on the attack; both teams continued to mirror compositions that were similar to the first Control series, eschewing the more popular double off-tank comp seen more recently.
Mayhem put forth a solid first defense of the capture point until Edison’s Sombra managed to pull off a sneaky hack and brought out a weak spot in the armor of the Mayhem with four minutes remaining; the attack continued easily to the second point, stalling at 0.66 meters away from the second point, and the Mayhem began their aggression renewed, refusing to succeed an inch of space while the Reign fruitlessly tried to lob ults in to change the fight in their favor; a failed coalescence from LR1S on behalf of the Reign solidified their fate at 96 meters.
Mayhem’s attack on the first point was an absolute clinic of modern dive, bringing over five and a half minutes to achieve the second point while Reign noticeably failed to peel for their backline. The cart continued almost unobstructed by the defending team as the Mayhem took, again, impressively aggressive positions of high-ground and cart as they brought the cart easily to the second point with over four minutes to spare.
Mayhem was up 2/0 at the half, and the question was readied to Reign; what will they shift in the half to give themselves a fighting chance?
Volskaya Industries was the third map, and the Reign once again took the attack first as both teams, no surprise, maintained mirror comps that have been shown throughout the series.
Reign took 86% until Mayhem collapsed on the Reign’s backline, and managed to route the Reign with one minute remaining on the clock for the attack. Once again, Mayhem’s aggression took the Reign off-guard as the clock dropped into one-fight territory, and the Reign began trickling onto the point one at a time making easy fodder for the grouped and eager Mayhem. The Mayhem had four minutes to gain 92% of control and win the series; it turned out they only needed one 1:15 in order to collapse the frustrated Reign.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) September 11, 2020
Mayhem continues on in the lower bracket, and the Atlanta Reign has time to work on what went wrong during the off-season.
The Atlanta Reign had a multitude of strong players on the roster, and they were expected to play far better throughout the season, in spite of losing Babybay half-way through for Valorant. The Florida Mayhem, on the other hand, seems like a frightening lower-bracket contender that could stretch their streak farther than most would have considered.