The Surveillance League says goodbye to the pleasures of the sun with the third tournament of the season, the Summer Showdown. While Eastern Region teams are still stuck playing online, Western Region teams will head to the Far North for this year’s second LAN event, to be held in Toronto, Canada. With a few familiar faces missing from the draw, the tournament is wide open to any teams crossing the border.
Every tournament matters, but the Summer Showdown carries more weight given the looming reality of playoff math. This will be the last full tournament of the 2022 season. Although the next cycle will be the Countdown Cup, these qualifying matches will serve as playoff preparation rather than standalone support.
This means that teams must fight harder than they have ever done before to enter the top tier of each region. With league points and eventual playoff success, the Summer Showdown is sure to be as fierce as it is entertaining.
Like the Kickoff Clash tournament held in June, the Summer Showdown consists of two entirely separate double-elimination regional brackets. In a double-elimination bracket, teams are allowed one loss, which drops them to the bottom bracket, before being eliminated from the tournament entirely.
Matches will look a lot like the Summer Showdown playoffs, with the tournament taking place on the same Surveillance League Specific Patch Surveillance 2 and with the same card pool. The only difference is in map selection and, for some matches, the number of wins needed to claim the trophy.
For each series, the highest seed will select the top card. After that, the losing team selects the next card in the series, which gives them a slight advantage if they play their cards well. All matches will be as usual Surveillance First-to-third league setup, but the 9/11 Grand Finals in each region will be a first-to-four series.
The Summer Showdown champion in the West Region will take home $75,000 and, perhaps more importantly, three league points. With the playoffs fast approaching, these league points can affect qualification and standings before the playoffs. The East Region champion will earn $50,000 and three league points. The complete pot is available on tournament home page.
Despite having had a tougher season than they expected, the Shanghai Dragons are finally looking like their 2021 Championship-winning form. As the first seed in the Eastern Region with a A flawless 6-0 qualifying record, they are looking to recapture that glory. They opted to face the Guangzhou Charge, who head into the tournament with a 4-2 record, in the first round.
At the other end of the spectrum is Seoul Dynasty, who won the Kickoff Clash in June and will be looking to add another star to their wall of fame. They underperformed in the Midseason Madness tournament but rallied with a 5-1 record in Summer Showdown qualifying. They will face the Philadelphia Fusion, who barely reached the tournament with a 2-4 record thanks to map differential. It’s impossible to say which Fusion will appear on match day, however, so anything could happen.
For the West Region, the big story isn’t which teams made it to Toronto, it’s which team doesn’t. The Los Angeles Gladiators won the Kickoff Clash and the Global Midseason Madness Tournament Trophy, but they won’t show up at the Summer Showdown. The addition of Junker Queen and a rare adaptation failure led to a disappointing 2-4 qualifying record. For the other teams, however, it means the path to victory is wide open.
The top two teams in the Summer Showdown are the Dallas Fuel and the San Francisco Shock; the two battled for dominance throughout qualifying. Dallas recently snapped the Shock’s 21-game regular-season winning streak and clinched the No. 1 seed in the West Region. Reeling from a loss to the Gladiators in the Midseason Madness Grand Finals, San Francisco hopes to prove they can perform when the pressure is on, not just in low-stress qualifying games.
With even 4-2 records, the Houston Outlaws and hometown Toronto Defiant won the next two seeds. The Outlaws soared on clutch plays from the team’s DPS and Toronto, spurred on by the idea of a cheering home crowd at the Summer Showdown, surprised many by knocking out teams above their category of usual weight.
The other Summer Showdown teams all come in with dead qualifying records, even 3-3. Of these, the London Spitfires and Vancouver Titans are the biggest wildcards and biggest threats to their top-ranked opponents. With a head coach and a change in mindset, Vancouver went from a team of memes to a true competitor. London dominated the start of the season, but their results faltered thanks to a change in meta. Both teams could, however, reserve surprises at the last minute.
Florida Mayhem made waves in Summer Showdown Qualifiers thanks to the team’s wild hero picks forcing changes from the current “JOATS” meta, based on Junker Queen. In a similar and confusing way, Justice in Washington actually executed better after losing several players and handing over his sixth slot to a member of staff. It may take a miracle for these teams to upset the status quo, but they clearly have the talent to give it a shot.
Summer Event Schedule
The West Region kicks off the tournament when first-seeded Dallas Fuel takes on Washington Justice at 1:00 p.m. CT on September 8. It’s an hour earlier than the normal start of matches, so plan your day accordingly.
Eastern Region matches begin at 5:00 a.m. CT on September 9 with the Shanghai Dragons taking on the Guangzhou Charge. The Seoul Dynasty and the Philadelphia Fusion will face off immediately afterwards.
Eastern Region Schedule
- 5 a.m. CT: Shanghai Dragons vs. Guangzhou Charge
- 6:30 CT: Seoul Dynasty vs. Philadelphia Fusion
- 5 a.m. CT: TBD vs. TBD (lower bracket, elimination match)
- 6:30 CT: TBD vs. TBD (Top Group Semi-Finals)
- 5 a.m. CT: TBD vs. TBD (Lower Bracket Finals)
- 6:30 CT: Grand Final
Western Region Schedule
- 1 p.m. CT: Dallas Fuel vs. Washington Justice
- 2:30 p.m. CT: London Spitfire vs Toronto Defiant
- 4pm CT: San Francisco Shock vs. Vancouver Titans
- 5:30 p.m. CT: Houston Outlaws vs. Florida Mayhem
- 1 p.m. CT: to be determined against to be determined (higher bracket)
- 2:30 p.m. CT: to be determined against to be determined (higher bracket)
- 4pm CT: TBD vs TBD (Lower bracket, elimination match)
- 5:30 p.m. CT: TBD vs TBD (Lower bracket, elimination match)
- 1 p.m. CT: TBD vs TBD (Lower bracket, elimination match)
- 2:30 p.m. CT: TBD vs TBD (Lower bracket, elimination match)
- 4pm CT: TBD vs. TBD (Top Group Semi-Finals)
- 5:30 p.m. CT: TBD vs TBD (Lower bracket, elimination match)
- 1 p.m. CT: TBD vs. TBD (Lower Bracket Semi-Finals)
- 2:30 p.m. CT: Grand Final