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On Sunday, May 2, The Shanghai Dragons eliminated the Philadelphia Fusion from the May Melee Tournament with a score of 3-2.

The knockouts of the May Melee tournament brought many upsets, with the higher seed frequently being eliminated first. The Dragons were having issues with the current meta, while the Fusion were soaring high. Yet, the tables turned and the Dragons proved their tournament talent, beating the Fusion at their own game in this series. The decisive moments were a result of pure skill and big plays. This is why this match is the Upcomer Overwatch League match of the week.

Match of the week: Shanghai Dragions vs. Philadelphia Fusion

It all started with the expected lineups for both teams. The only major change with their starting lineups was that Lee “LIP” Jae-won got the start over the recent favorite Ba “diem” Min-seong. It was clear that, with diem, the team struggled. So, starting LIP was meant to change the team for the better. It was almost immediate, as the Dragons won Nepal and started the series up 1-0.

However, diem was brought back for Volskaya for his hitscan prowess. It ended up being very close, ending in a draw, keeping Shanghai in the lead for a short time.

On Eichenwalde, the next map, the Dragons put LIP back in. Here, the Fusion were dominant. A very strong hold before the second checkpoint led to a strong attack and eventual map win. As mentioned in our recent power rankings, the duo of Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok and Kim “Rascal” Dong-jun came out in full swing to tie the series. This great defense was also applied to the next map, Havana.

This time, the Fusion didn’t let the Dragons get the first point, as the tank line of  Kim “Mano” Dong-gyu and Choi “HOTBA” Hong-joon worked together to stifle the Dragon’s offense. This gave the Philadelphia Fusion the chance to eliminate the Shanghai Dragons if they won one more map.

Shanghai Dragons take the win

The fifth map ended up being Ilios, chosen by the Dragons. Even after losing the first section of Ilios, the Dragons rallied behind Kang “Void” Jun-woo’s D.Va two-pointer and Fleta’s Echo and Tracer play to win the map. It was very close from start to finish but some key picks from the Dragons won them the round.

This means that the entire series hinged on the escort map of Gibraltar, chosen by the Fusion. The thought behind them was to play around the Widowmaker of Carpe, but the combo of LIP’s hitscan and Fleta’s Echo made it close.

They both finished the map on their attacks, with the Fusion having a longer time bank to push. However, as the Dragons attacked first, they managed to almost push the entire map with only a minute to start. The Fusion tried to replicate that great attack but got held halfway through, losing Gibraltar and the series to the Dragons.

What this means for the Dragons and Fusion

For the Dragons, this win is what they needed. They weren’t the dominant team they had been last season in the qualifiers. The best example of that was their loss to the Chengdu Hunters. But, they learned from their lessons and adapted for this series against the Fusion. The team compositions made more sense and the swaps were more timely. Additionally, every player stepped up to the plate in this series. You can easily find a moment for each Shanghai player where they clutched a fight to help win a map.

For the Fusion, this is what the fans originally expected of them. Of course, this loss doesn’t erase the great start they’ve had this season. Yet, it seems to be the same issue for the Fusion since their team’s beginning. They simply seem to lose in the playoffs, ever since the first season. However, fans of the Fusion should hold their heads high.

It was an extremely close game and their recent games should allow them faith for the future. Some coaching decisions and hero picks led to small mistakes and the Dragons capitalized. It’s harsh to lose in that fashion, but they’ll be back next tournament. Either way, this match was great from start to finish and it is well-deserving of our match of the week.