What a year for the Shanghai Dragons! They have fought harder than any other team to end up where they are today. They came from humble beginnings, they were once the worst team in the league, but that is all in the past. With some fantastic plays against Atlanta Reign, they have won the league and taken home $1.5 million in prize money.
The finals of the 2021 Overwatch League championship finals ended up being just a four map set. Not once in the four maps did the Dragons give Reign a chance at a win.
The first map was Ilios. Since it was the finals, both teams came out of the gate aggressive and ready to score some early wins. It was pretty evenly matched at first, but the US-based Reign couldn’t keep up with the pace being set by the Shanghai Dragons and folded.
The second map, Hanamura, saw Atlanta put up more of a fight. However, it really looked like Reign were following behind the Dragons for the entire match. Even when they choose maps that suited their playstyles, the Dragons were always ready for their strategies with their own replies in t rotations and set plays.
The third map of the map, King’s Row, was the closest of the entire match. Despite Havana being the final map of the match, this seemed like Reigns last chance to turn the match around. They choose the map that their team played best on and got to work. In response, the Shanghai Dragons proved they weren’t one trick ponies and brought out a completely new composition compared to what they had been using in the rest of the event. Almost as if they decided on the spot, the Dragons choose Ashe, Wrecking Ball, Tracer, Zenyatta, Sigma, and Baptiste. Atlanta tried their best to stop them, but the Shanghai Dragons won the map 6-5.
After an almost perfunctory half-time break, the teams return for the fourth and what would be the final map of the match. It was Havana, and while Atlanta managed to win a couple of points in the escort portion, they inevitably fell to the Dragons and lost the match.
The Shanghai Dragons are only the second team to win the finals of the Overwatch League championship with a clean sweep. The other team was the San Francisco Shock who beat the Vancouver Titans 4-0 in 2019.
For a team that went 0-40 in the very first Overwatch League, they have overcome so much to get to where they are today. It was down to some fantastic plays, as well as recruiting some of the best Overwatch players in the world, that got them the win. They have Jae-Won “Lip” Lee, a damage dealer, who was named MVP of the 2021 Overwatch League Grand Finals. They also have Byung-sun "Fleta" Kim, MVP in 2020 as well as being what many consider to be the best Overwatch player in the world. The Shanghai Dragons have come far, and we can’t wait to see what they get up to in the future.