Olivia R. March 24, 2019
The Overwatch League semifinals have come to a close, with the Vancouver Titans and San Francisco Shock scheduled to face each other in the Stage 1 finals tomorrow.
Both teams played near flawlessly in the playoffs, not allowing their opponents a single map in either match. Vancouver dominated Boston Uprising 3-0, then ran through Seoul Dynasty 4-0, despite the aforementioned team’s epic victory against analyst favorite New York Excelsior the night before.
San Francisco Shock bodied both expansion team Toronto Defiant 3-0 and Philadelphia Fusion 4-0.
This came after the San Francisco Shock went 3-0 against Seoul Dynasty in a non-broadcast match to determine the sixth and seventh seeds going into the Stage 1 playoffs.
While the Overwatch League analysts made it abundantly clear that they believed NYXL was the only likely winner of Stage 1, one of their predictions still remains correct: The Vancouver Titans making it to the finals. Brennon “Bren” Hook said that the Titans have the best understanding of the game’s current meta, while Wolf “Wolf” Schroder called their style wild and aggressive.
The San Francisco Shock come as more of a surprise to analysts and fans alike. Even so, the Shock were still on the analysts’ radar. Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles called the team a “dark horse” and Matt “Mr. X” Morello said there was a chance San Francisco could find themselves in the Finals.
Going into the finals on Sunday, Vancouver Titans are the clear favorites, having never lost a match throughout the entirety of Stage 1. The team's aggressive plays surrounding star tank main Sangbeom “Bumper” Park have continuously excited crowds and impressed analysts. Still, the San Francisco Shock finished Stage 1 with a 4-3 record and then rampaged through the playoffs, proving that the team's new roster is not to be underestimated.
This is the first time expansion team Vancouver Titans and veteran team San Francisco Shock have competed in an OWL playoff match. In the finals, both teams will be playing for $200,000 and the chance to be the Season 2 Stage 1 champions.