Steven R. May 6, 2019
The San Francisco Shock have pulled off something truly impressive.
After taking a 4-0 win over the Shanghai Dragons, the Shock notched a perfect 7-0 record in stage two of the Overwatch League regular season. Far more impressively, the victory capped an immaculate 28-0-0 run for the team in which they didn’t lose a single map. This is even more impressive given that stage two saw a major transition for San Francisco marked by the departures of longtime players Nikola "sleepy" Andrews and Andrej "babybay" Francisty.
The Shock’s stage began with a pair of wins over the Los Angeles Valiant and Guangzhou Charge. From there, San Francisco rematched the Charge in week two, which was followed up with more 4-0 wins in week three over Toronto Defiant and Hangzhou Spark. The discussion of a perfect stage began in week five with a win over the Philadelphia Fusion and was fully realized with the team’s win over the Dragons.
No team has ever made a flawless run through a stage in Overwatch League history. The Vancouver Titans came close this stage with an excellent run of their own, but their 7-0 series record came with three individual map losses. The Shock’s +28 round differential is also the best in Overwatch League history, even including Season 1 when each stage included 10 games instead of just seven.
Though no one could have predicted the Shock’s stage two run being flawless, most expected the team to be successful. San Francisco looked formidable in the stage one playoffs, coming just one map shy of besting the Titans in the grand finals.
The one knock on the Shock this stage is their flimsy strength of competition. The Shock only played two games against teams with winning records over the last five weeks, the Spark and Dragons. The schedule put them on parallel paths from fellow heavyweights like the London Spitfire and Titans, which takes a bit of the shine off of their perfect run to this point.
The stage two playoffs now offer the Shock an opportunity to silence any doubters. The Shock are set to face the top eight teams in the Overwatch League, and a win would firmly cement them as the best in the game today. And if they can do that without dropping a map? Well, that would be something special.