The Shanghai Dragons took down the New York Excelsior 3-1 on Saturday to remain atop the Overwatch League standings ahead next week's Countdown Cup.
The San Francisco Shock (19-2) kept pace with the Dragons (23-2) in the loss column by sweeping the Houston Outlaws (6-15).
Elsewhere on Saturday, the Guangzhou Charge (18-7) downed the Seoul Dynasty (8-11) by a 3-2 margin, the Hangzhou Spark (9-11) swept the London Spitfire (6-10), the Paris Eternal (16-6) won 3-1 over the Washington Justice (4-16) and the Toronto Defiant (8-12) survived a reverse-sweep bid by the Vancouver Titans (4-12) to win 3-2.
The Dragons started off hot against the Excelsior (14-7) with a 2-0 win on Busan, setting the tone and showing that their dive compositions would be taking control of the game. The Excelsior fought back with a 2-1 win on Route 66, but Shanghai would adjust to New York's strategies at halftime. The Dragons rolled through Eichenwalde 3-1 and then outlasted the Excelsior 4-3 on Volskaya Industries to take the series.
The win helped Shanghai build its lead over the rest of the APAC region and gave the Dragons a 3-0 record for Countdown Cup seeding. New York is at risk of getting overtaken in the overall standings by North America's Florida Mayhem (13-6), who are currently in seventh.
In other APAC action, the Dynasty were far from lost against the Charge, putting star player Joon-yeong "Profit" Park on tank duty to play Zarya when he wasn't playing DPS. While Seoul's preparation didn't pay off, Guangzhou was taken to the limit throughout the series.
The Charge took Oasis 2-1 to start the series, then the Dynasty picked up Havana 2-1. After the break, Guangzhou took Eichenwalde 2-1 and then the teams drew on Volskaya Industries 3-3, preceding a 2-0 win on Nepal for the Charge. The win will help Guangzhou build some momentum towards a tournament where their preferred playstyle isn't meta, while Seoul should be happy with the improvement they showed in their recent losses.
In the region's final match, the Spark took Ilios 2-0, Route 66 5-4 and Eichenwalde 3-2 to secure the sweep of the Spitfire.
In the American Region, the third-ranked Shock cruised by the struggling Outlaws despite starting support Minki "Viol2t" Park getting suspended for the series by the team for detrimental conduct. They used their deep roster to replace an All-Star with another All-Star in support Grant "moth" Espe. The Shock took Nepal 2-0, Watchpoint: Gibraltar 2-1 and King's Row 4-3.
The Summer Showdown champions in the American region, the fifth-ranked Eternal took down the Justice in an action-packed match. The clash between both teams' DPS stars -- Paris' Yeong-han "SP9RK1E" Kim and Washington's Ho-sung "TTuba" Lee -- was a flashy, mostly-Genji duel, with both players making big plays throughout the series. At the end of the day, though, SP9RK1E simply could not be contained, averaging 33.3 eliminations per 10 minutes with 17.8 final blows, all incredible numbers for a player with a little over a month of professional experience.
After Washington took Oasis 2-1, Paris took over with a 1-0 full-hold on Route 66 and a 3-2 win on Numbani, where SP9RK1E picked up 30 kills and only six deaths. They clinched it by claiming Hanamura 2-1, where SP9RK1E tied the map's final-blow record with 28 confirmed kills.
The Defiant came out hot against the Titans, threatening to sweep with a 2-1 win on Nepal and a 3-2 win on Havana. After the break, though, the Titans adjusted and thrived, taking Numbani 2-1 and winning a marathon Volskaya Industries 6-5. But Vancouver proved to be gassed in the tiebreaker, allowing a veteran Toronto side to breeze to a 2-0 win on Lijiang Tower to seal the series.
Week 26 of the Overwatch League concludes on Sunday with four matches:
Dallas Fuel vs. Atlanta Reign
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Florida Mayhem
Philadelphia Fusion vs. Los Angeles Valiant
Countdown Cup Tiebreaker Play-in: Boston Uprising vs. Vancouver Titans
Overwatch League Season 3 standings, with match record (W-L), map record (W-L-T) and map differential:
1. (Pacific East) Shanghai Dragons, 23-2, 56-15-1, 41
2. (Atlantic South) Philadelphia Fusion, 20-2, 53-19-0, 34
3. (Pacific West) San Francisco Shock, 19-2, 47-12-2, 35
4. (Pacific East) Guangzhou Charge, 18-7, 44-39-1, 5
5. (Atlantic North) Paris Eternal, 16-6, 44-28-0, 16
6. (Atlantic North) New York Excelsior, 14-7, 47-26-2, 21
7. (Atlantic South) Florida Mayhem, 13-6, 37-24-0, 13
8. (Atlantic South) Atlanta Reign, 9-7, 34-22-0, 12
9. (Pacific West) Los Angeles Valiant, 10-8, 33-33-0, 0
10. (Pacific East) Hangzhou Spark, 9-11, 33-40-2, -7
11. (Atlantic North) Toronto Defiant, 8-12, 31-42-0, -11
12. (Pacific East) Seoul Dynasty, 8-11, 21-35-2, -14
13. (Pacific West) Los Angeles Gladiators, 7-8, 29-30-4, -1
14. (Pacific West) Dallas Fuel, 7-9, 27-34-0, -7
15. (Pacific East) Chengdu Hunters, 7-14, 33-47-1, -14
16. (Atlantic North) London Spitfire, 6-10, 24-36-0, -12
17. (Atlantic South) Houston Outlaws, 6-15, 32-50-3, -18
18. (Pacific West) Vancouver Titans, 4-12, 16-38-0, -22
19. (Atlantic South) Washington Justice, 4-16, 21-51-1, -30
20. (Atlantic North) Boston Uprising, 2-17, 14-55-3, -41
--Field Level Media