(Photo credit: Nick Oza/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC)
The Hangzhou Spark, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel and Florida Mayhem opened the Overwatch League Season 6 playoffs with wins on Thursday in Toronto.
Hangzhou and Boston moved into a winners' match in Group A, and Dallas will meet Florida in the winners' match of Group B. Thursday's losing teams are still alive but must win elimination matches in their respective groups.
Eight teams reached the playoff stage via their performances in the regular season and play-ins. They were separated into two double-elimination groups of four that run through Saturday. The top two teams in each group will play in Sunday's single-elimination bracket with $1 million on the line for first place.
On Thursday, the Spark rallied past the Atlanta Reign 3-2. The Reign had finished first in the OWL West Region during the regular season.
Atlanta opened with 2-1 wins on both Ilios and Midtown. The Spark won 3-2 on Suravasa and 1-0 on Esperanca to level the match, then clinched it by prevailing 3-2 on Route 66.
Meanwhile, the London Spitfire beat Boston 2-1 on Lijiang Tower before the Uprising answered, taking King's Row 2-1, New Junk City 3-2 and New Queen Street 1-0.
The Fuel notched the only sweep of the day, 3-0 over Seoul Infernal. Dallas won 2-1 on Busan, 3-2 on Blizzard World and 3-0 on Suravasa.
The Mayhem defeated the Houston Outlaws 3-1. Houston struck first, 2-0 on Lijiang Tower, but Florida countered with a 2-1 result on Midtown, 3-2 on New Junk City and 1-0 on New Queen Street.
The playoffs continue Friday with four matches:
--Hangzhou Spark vs. Boston Uprising (Group A winners' match)
--Atlanta Reign vs. London Spitfire (Group A elimination match)
--Dallas Fuel vs. Florida Mayhem (Group B winners' match)
--Seoul Infernal vs. Houston Outlaws (Group B elimination match)
Overwatch League prize pool:
1. $1 million
7-8. no money
--Field Level Media