The second-seeded Shanghai Dragons survived an upset scare by the London Spitfire on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the May Melee Asian region.
Shanghai looked shaky early, with London taking Lijiang Tower 2-0 to start the series. The Dragons won Hollywood 3-2, but the Spitfire took Volskaya Industries 3-2 to go up 2-1 in the series.
Most of Shanghai's early pains seemed to be self-inflicted. The Dragons chose compositions that weren't their bread-and-butter Sombra-Dive, like running a Torbjorn and Ashe on Hollywood and preventing themselves from taking high ground control.
With their backs against the wall, though, the Dragons took flight. Led by DPS Byung-sun "Fleta" Kim, who played exceptionally well as Echo, Shanghai roared back, taking Watchpoint: Gibraltar 2-0 and capping off the 3-2 series win with a 2-0 decision on Oasis.
Shanghai will face third-seeded New York Excelsior in the semifinals.
New York had struggles of its own Saturday against the fifth-seeded Chengdu Hunters but emerged with a hard-fought 3-2 series win.
Chengdu took Lijiang Tower 2-0, New York grinded out a 4-3 win on Hollywood, then Chengdu full-held Volskaya Industries for a 1-0 win to go up 2-1 in the series.
Like Shanghai, New York battled back, winning Watchpoint: Gibraltar 5-4 before finally solving the Hunters' puzzle on Ilios. The Excelsior played exceptionally well on Ilios, winning the map 2-0 with a dive composition focused on DPS Jong-ryeol "Saebyeolbe" Park's signature Tracer.
In Saturday's other quarterfinal matchup, the seventh-seeded Seoul Dynasty upset the fourth-seeded Hangzhou Spark with a 3-0 sweep.
Seoul looked abysmal in the weeks leading up to this event on Sombra-Dive compositions, but looked to have solved a lot of those issues in this series. Starting with a 2-0 win on Oasis, the Dynasty looked more dynamic and comfortable on compositions that weren't their bread-and-butter Double Shield composition with Orisa and Sigma.
Seoul's tank line in particular shined, with Jae-hee "Gesture" Hong excelling as Winston and Min-seo "Marve1" Hwang performing well on D.Va. With the tanks leading the way, Seoul took Hollywood 3-2 before wrapping up the series with a 1-0 full-hold on Temple of Anubis.
The semifinals and finals of the May Melee Asian region begin Sunday with two semifinal matchups:
--Guangzhou Charge (1) vs Seoul Dynasty (7)
--Shanghai Dragons (2) vs New York Excelsior (3)
The Overwatch League's midseason tournament has the league's teams divided into separate regional brackets. Thirteen teams are competing in the North American competition, with seven in the Asian region.
Both single-elimination events -- featuring a combined $225,000 prize pool -- end Sunday. All matches are first-to-three map wins, except for the finals, which will be first-to-four map wins.
Seedings were based on teams' results over the first three weekends in May.
The champions will receive $40,000. The runners-up will get $20,000, and the third- and fourth-place teams will earn $5,000 apiece. All teams will also get $5,000 per tournament win.
While individual tournament matches do not count toward the Overwatch League regular-season standings, the top teams will be credited with standings bonuses. The first-place finisher will receive three extra wins in the standings. The second-place club will get two wins, and the third- and fourth-place sides will get one win each.
--Field Level Media