Olivia R. May 12, 2019
The San Francisco Shock are the Stage 2 champions.
The Bay Area team defeated the Vancouver Titans in an intense Stage 2 finals that resulted in the Titan's first ever loss in the Overwatch League to date. As the Shock jumped around on stage, hugging behind a stream of orange and white confetti, Titan's star player Sang-beom "Bumper" Park could be seen holding his head in his hands.
The two teams faced off in the Stage 1 playoffs as well, with the Shock coming as a major surprise to the OWL community and analysts. While the underdogs made for a riveting seven-game final, the favored Titans took the championship title at the time. Now, the Shock redeemed themselves in an equally exciting performance.
When asked how they felt about winning, Matthew "super" DeLisi was at a loss for words.
"I don't know! I have no idea!" he laughed.
The Shock have come a long way since the inagural season of the Overwatch League. And it seems that the team has kept its promise of signing young competitors and training them until they had the potential to win.
Another back and forth frenzy
The first map, Lijang Tower, was just a taste of the flip-flopping that was yet to come. In the first round, the Vancouver Titans looked like they had the game. But after taking out Bumber, the Shock were able to secure the first point with ease. With Grant "moth" Espe on Lucio, the Shock were first to the second point, which they also took for a 2-0 score on Lijang Tower.
In the race to win four maps, the Titans picked King's Row, which is their best map. It was the right pick, with Bumper aggressively pushing his team forward. Even though the map was an easy win for the Titans, the analysts couldn't help but notice moth's skilled gameplay throughout. The Shock's support main had booped Hyeonwoo "JJANU" Choi's ulting D.Va away from the rest of his team, rendering her Self Destruct ineffective.
The San Francisco Shock stunned the analysts with their map pick of Paris. The Shock's strongest assault map is Temple of Anubis. As expected, the Titans easily took the third game in one-sided fashion.
After that quick defeat, the Shock seemed more motivated than ever. On Watchpoint: Gibraltar, the Shock steamed through the Titan's defense, scoring an easy 3 points. The Titans were able to do the same, but with more than one minute less than the Shock for the final overtime push. That made for an easy comeback, and the score was tied once again.
The Shock carried that momentum into the next map, giving them a 3-2 record over the Titans. Despite this turn of events, the analysts who initially picked the Titans still felt confident the undefeated Canadian crew would make a comeback and take the title once again.
Onto Oasis, the Titan's pick. The Shock aggressively rushed Point A, and then captured it thanks to a perfectly timed ultimate combo. Jay "sinatraa" Won's Gravitational Surge blended with super's Earthshatter to wipe out the Titans. When it was the Titan's time to attack, it seemed like they were going to score the same amount of points as the Shock. The payload was cruising and they were ahead in the ultimate economies, with almost every player saving their ult.
That wasn't enough to stop the Shock from shoving them off of the payload halfway through the map. And as the overtime bar started to fade, the Titans couldn't get back on the payload in time.
An unexpected victory
The Shock had gone in to the finals as the underdogs once again. But this time they seemed more prepared to deal with the Titans' aggression and meta strategies. It may be the first loss for the Titans, but it's definitely not the last time these two teams will face off. As the best two teams in the Overwatch League, this is a rivalry that will prove even more exciting going into Stage 3 in June.