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The Dallas Fuel swept the San Francisco Shock 4-0 in the Overwatch League 2022 Summer Showdown finals to win their first 2022 title. After sweeping the Shock to send them to the lower bracket, fans were expecting a rematch in the grand finals. After the Shock beat the Toronto Defiant 3-1 earlier in the day, they couldn’t even take a map from the Dallas Fuel for the second time in the tournament. That win from Dallas marks them as the first Western champion not named the Los Angeles Gladiators. Now, the Dallas Fuel are the champions of the West and the Shanghai Dragons are the champions of the East for the 2022 Summer Showdown.

Some fresh faces get their first title

While this Dallas Fuel roster is mostly the same from their 2021 season, they had to make some changes. Heading into the Summer Showdown, the team looked the same as last year, if not a little worse. Now, with this victory and stage title, the fresh faces of Han “ChiYo” Hyeon-seok and Kim “Edison” Tae-hoon got to lift an Overwatch League trophy for their first time. For rookie ChiYo, he was worried that his addition to the roster wouldn’t work, but the team helped him fit in.

“At first, I was worried because I thought the team wouldn’t work with my style,” ChiYo said. “But, everyone on this team accepted me and were like my older brothers. They helped me meld into the team really fast. Due to that, we fit together well.”

As for Edison, someone who reached the grand finals with the Atlanta Reign in 2021, he was familiar with the scenario. Much like ChiYo, he was worried about his fit in the team, but it wasn’t because of his team. He knew confidence could be an issue for him, but this tournament helped build it for him.

“I’ve made it to the finals a couple of times, but I lacked confidence,” Edison said. “But right now, we’re doing well and I gained a lot of confidence in this tournament. I worked really hard for this and I’m happy I got it. But, the way we won, it felt almost too easy and I don’t think I have fully realized it yet.”

Dallas Fuel Summer Showdown 2022
The Dallas Fuel lift the OWL 2022 Summer Showdown LAN trophy. | Provided by Stephen Kazumi.

As for the man who helped develop this modified Dallas Fuel, the 2021 coach-of-the-year Yun “RUSH” Hee-won pointed out that he had full confidence in this 2022 roster from the start.

“I had already knew that we could win with this roster,” RUSH said. “With how I built the team with the new players coming in, I knew they were more than capable of winning.”

Another one-sided tournament finals in the Overwatch League

Aside from their first series of the tournament against the Washington Justice, the Fuel ran rampant in this tournament. With Edison mentioning how easy the grand finals win felt, ChiYo explained that while the series started close, they felt the match get easier as it went on.

“When we played the first map against the Shock today, it felt harder than our previous matchups against them,” ChiYo said. “But they made some mistakes and as the match went on, it became easier than our previous sweeps of them.”

Kwon “Fielder” Joon seconded that feeling, acknowledging the early scare against the Justice but giving the Shock their credit.

“At first, I thought Washington was the most difficult opponent,” Fielder said. “But as we realized that our Ashe comp wasn’t as good against the Shock, they became the toughest team.”

Out of all the players on the Dallas Fuel, it’s clear that Choi “Hanbin” Han-been is the tournament MVP. He got to lift the tournament trophy all by himself, albeit after his team peer pressured him to kiss it on stage in front of the Toronto crowd.

“I was just ecstatic about the win,” Hanbin said. “Everyone egged me on to kiss the trophy, and I was shy and nervous. After I did go to do it, everything else was a blur, I don’t remember much.”

What this means for the rest of Dallas’ 2022 season

Out of all the metas in this 2022 Overwatch League season, this one shifted the league the most. The Junker Queen addition was hard for some top teams to work around, like the Los Angeles Gladiators. So, with the Countdown Cup set to have some changes coming to Junker Queen, fans are curious to see if Dallas can take this win and keep it up to end the season. Hanbin was quick to shut down any doubt in the post-match press conference.

“I feel like if there was a Junker Queen nerf that happened mid-stage that would’ve impacted us more,” Hanbin said. “After this success, I don’t think anything can come up and surprise us this year.”

Teammate Kim “SP9RK1E” Yeong-han also hopped in. He agreed that with what their team has gone through this year, they can do it all.

“Even after this upcoming nerf, throughout this tournament, one of the main things we’ve learnt is that we can play anything at the top level,” SP9RK1E said. “We have the confidence we can pull it off, no matter what comes up next.”

sp9rk1e Dallas Fuel
SP9RK1E celebrates the Dallas Fuel winning the OWL 2022 Summer Showdown LAN. | Provided by Stephen Kazumi.

In the end, it was clear that in the 2022 Summer Showdown, the Dallas Fuel and Shanghai Dragons are the best two teams in the league. This tournament wasn’t international, with both teams sharing the title, owning it for their own division. When asked, RUSH was quick to point to both teams’ adaptability as a key to their success.

“The narrative is that Shanghai and Dallas are the best teams across the past two seasons,” RUSH said. “Even if either team plays poorly for a game or a stage, or if they have to make changes, both know how to work around that quickly and how to win games in the end.”

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