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Dragons, Outlaws open Midseason Madness with sweeps

Sep 29, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Fans react during the Overwatch League Grand Finals e-sports event between the Vancouver Titans and San Francisco Shock at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Shanghai Dragons and the Houston Outlaws opened the Overwatch League Midseason Madness tournament with sweeps on Monday to advance to the upper bracket quarterfinals.

Also moving on to the quarterfinals were the London Spitfire and the Hangzhou Spark, who both won their matches in four maps.

The Dragons knocked off the Toronto Defiant in three straight maps and will take on the Dallas Fuel in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Outlaws swept the Florida Mayhem to set up a match with the Los Angeles Gladiators.

The Spitfire defeated the Atlanta Reign 3-1 and will meet the San Francisco Shock. The Spark’s 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Fusion gives them a Tuesday date with the Seoul Dynasty.

The Fuel, Dynasty, Shock and Gladiators earned first-round byes by finishing in the top four spots in Midseason Madness qualifying action. Because they had the highest point totals in qualifying, the Shock, Gladiators and Dynasty were able to pick who they faced in the quarterfinals.

The tournament winner will receive $500,000 and four league points. The Grand Final will be Sunday.

The Dragons won a series of tightly-contested maps: 2-1 on Ilios, 3-2 on Eichenwalde and 3-2 on Dorado. The Outlaws had a bit of an easier time, prevailing with 2-0 and 3-0 wins on Oasis and Midtown, respectively, before clinching 4-3 on Watchpoint: Gibraltar.

The Spitfire built a lead by winning 2-0 on Lijiang Tower and 2-1 on Eichenwalde before the Reign responded with a 2-1 victory on Circuit Royal. The Spitfire then secured the victory on Colosseo.

The Spark also came out on top in their first two contests, picking up a 2-1 victory on Lijiang Tower and a 3-2 win on Eichenwalde, but saw the Fusion recover for a 3-1 win on Circuit Royal. The Spark’s clincher came with a 1-0 victory on Colosseo.

Midseason Madness prize pool, league points:
1st place, $500,000, 4 points, TBA
2nd place, $250,000, 3 points, TBA
3rd place, $125,000, 2 points, TBA
4th place, $75,000, 1 point, TBA
5th-6th place, $25,000, 1 point, TBA
7th-8th place, no money, 1 point, TBA
9th-12th place, no money, 1 point, TBA

–Field Level Media