Dragons win June Joust with 4-3 upset over Fuel

Dragons win June Joust with 4-3 upset over Fuel

The Shanghai Dragons battled from an early two-map deficit and upset the Dallas Fuel 4-3 in the June Joust Tournament Finals.

Shanghai fell last month to Dallas 4-2 in the May Melee finals and was swept 3-0 by the Fuel in the first round of the June Joust. However, the Dragons breezed through the losers bracket without losing a map to the Excelsior or Reign to set up a finals rematch against the Fuel.

Dallas jumped out to a commanding 2-0 lead, including a full-hold on Volskaya Industries, as Shanghai struggled to find value from ultimate abilities and failed to score a point.

The Dragons selected Nubani for Map 3 and continued to play outside the conventional tank composition with Pan-Seung “Fate” Koo on the Wrecking Ball hero. Koo ultimately found success by coordinating attacks with Player of the Match Byung-Sun “Fleta” Kim, who finished the series with 11,440 hero damage and 8.5 final blows per 10 minutes.  The high-tempo strategy disrupted the Fuel backline, and the Dragons claimed victory on the hybrid map to flip the momentum in the series.

Dallas selected Rialto for the following map and responded with a narrow win, but it was evident the Dragons had the formula to disrupt the flow of Dallas. Koo utilized the Wrecking Ball hero to record 14.7 knockback eliminations per 10 minutes and was a critical part of Shanghai securing their first franchise victory against the Fuel.

“I was aware that our comp was quite weak against Wrecking Ball,” Dallas Fuel head coach Hee-Won “Rush” Yoon said after the game. “At the beginning it felt like the East teams didn’t realize that was the key, but when they figured it out, that’s when we felt like we could be at a disadvantage.”

Dallas had control of Map 5 on Busan with both teams at 99%, and with match-point on the line, the Dragons seized the point in overtime to take the map and extend the series. The Dragons continued the fast-paced approach on Eichenwalde and focused Yeong-Han “Sp9rk1e” Kim early in engagements to take the finals to a decisive map seven.

Shanghai went into Map 7 with all the momentum, and Dallas had no solution except to mirror the Dragons, swapping Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee to the Wrecking Ball. Koo found more value in coordinating with his team, and Shanghai completed the comeback in the streets of Junkertown to claim the June Joust title in a thrilling seven-map series.

The Dragons have won a tournament in the last three consecutive seasons and denied the Fuel’s quest for a repeat tournament championship.