The sixth-seeded Atlanta Reign and seventh-seeded Los Angeles Gladiators swept matches Friday, leading a parade of better-seeded teams that advanced to the quarterfinals on the opening day of North American action in the Overwatch League's May Melee.
The fifth-seeded Paris Eternal and the eighth-seeded Dallas Fuel also won opening-round matches.
The midseason tournament has the league's teams divided into separate regional brackets. Thirteen teams are competing in the North American competition, and seven will battle in the Asian competition that starts Saturday.
Both single-elimination events, featuring a combined $225,000 prize pool, will run through Sunday. All matches are first-to-three map wins, except for the finals, which will be first-to-four map wins.
Seedings are based on teams' results over the first three weekends in May.
The top four seeds in the North American bracket -- No. 1 San Francisco Shock, No. 2 Los Angeles Valiant, No. 3 Philadelphia Fusion and No. 4 Florida Mayhem -- received byes into the quarterfinals. The bye teams got to pick their quarterfinal opponents, with the No. 1 team making the first pick, then the No. 2 team and the No. 3 team.
The Shock selected the Fuel as their opponent. The Mayhem then chose the Reign, and the Fusion opted to oppose the Gladiators. That left a matchup of the Valiant vs. the Eternal.
May Melee action began Friday with a play-in match, and the 12th-seeded Toronto Defiant edged the 13th-seeded Vancouver Titans 3-2. Toronto opened with a 2-0 win on Lijiang Tower before Vancouver won 3-2 on Hollywood and 2-1 on Temple of Anubis. The Defiant eked out the series by claiming Rialto 2-1 and Nepal 2-1.
Toronto didn't advance further, though, falling 3-0 to Atlanta in first-round play. The Reign captured Busan 2-0, King's Row 5-4 and Temple of Anubis 3-2.
The Gladiators rolled in their first-round match against the 10th-seeded Washington Justice, winning 2-0 on Oasis, 3-2 on Hollywood and 2-1 on Volskaya Industries.
"Our win against Washington was just a warmup, and now we get to actually show if we are really a top dog or not," Gladiators off tank player Indy "SPACE" Halpern said.
The eighth-seeded Dallas Fuel got past the Houston Outlaws 3-1. The Fuel opened with a 2-1 victory on Nepal before the Outlaws drew level by claiming Blizzard World 4-3. Dallas closed out the series with a pair of 4-3 decisions on Hanamura and Rialto.
Paris dumped the 11th-seeded Boston Uprising 2-1 on Lijiang Tower and 3-2 on King's Row to build a seemingly safe lead. However, Boston rallied to claim Hanamura 2-1 and Watchpoint: Gibraltar 2-1. Paris finally clinched the series with a 2-0 win on Oasis.
The quarterfinals will be held Saturday, and the semifinals and final are scheduled for Sunday.
The champions will receive $40,000. The runners-up will get $20,000, and the third- and fourth-place teams will earn $5,000 apiece. All teams will also get $5,000 per tournament win.
While individual tournament matches do not count toward the Overwatch League regular-season standings, the top teams will be credited with standings bonuses. The first-place finisher will receive three extra wins in the standings. The second-place club will get two wins, and the third- and fourth-place sides will get one win each.
--Field Level Media