The Vancouver Titans and San Francisco Shock are set to face off in the Overwatch League Grand Finals.
This likely comes as little surprise to fans of the game. The two teams have placed top four in the playoffs for each stage of season two, with Vancouver coming out on top of Stage 1 and San Francisco winning Stage 2. Not only that, but they also rank as the two best teams in the regular season standings.
As fans await the pair meeting up once again in Philadelphia to settle their rivalry, it’s worth taking a look at how they performed during the season and how everyone else stacked up by comparison.
With a 25-3 record in the regular season, the Titans quite easily secured their spot as the number one team in Season 2. The expansion team won the Stage 1 Playoffs, and their momentum only continued from there. The Titans currently have the longest regular season winning streak in OWL history, winning 19 matches in a row thanks to their mastery of the GOATS meta and quick adaption to the 2-2-2 role lock in Stage 4. The Titans are not completely unstoppable though, as proven by their loss to the Los Angeles Valiant.
The Shock are the Titan’s biggest rivals. After coming in second to Vancouver in the Stage 1 Playoffs, the team got revenge by beating them in the Stage 2 finals. The Shock faced the Shanghai Dragons in Stage 3, ultimately coming in second. San Francisco is the first and only team in OWL history to complete a golden stage, amassing a flawless record without dropping a single map. Their star DPS player, Jay “sinatraa” Won, was also named the 2019 MVP.
NYXL’s 22-6 record earned them the third-place spot, despite the team’s ups and downs. The team was highly successful in Season 1, but have been inconsistent ever since. While the DPS-heavy all-Korean roster continuously makes it into the Playoffs, they never managed to secure a spot in the Finals. In the Season 2 Playoffs, they managed to bring the Titans to seven games in their upper bracket showdown but fell 4-3. From there, they were eliminated in the lower bracket finals by the San Francisco Shock.
The new Chinese team has proven itself a worthy opponent throughout Season 2. The Spark finished with an 18-10 record, and then worked their way through the Play-Ins and Playoffs. They may have even made it to the Grand Finals if it weren’t for the Shock. This is thanks in large part to the Spark’s innovation and ability to adapt with DPS stars like Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim, who looked unstoppable Bastion and Reaper.
In Season 1, the Gladiators seemed stuck in a 3rd-4th-place rut. Season 2 saw them sink down to 5-8th place, as evidenced here with their 17-11 record. They still gained fans throughout each stage though, with Lane “Surefour” Roberts popping up in every highlight reel with impressive Reaper, Pharah, McCree, and Zarya plays.
Despite an underwhelming 16-12 record by the end of the regular season, the Reign still maintained a loyal following thanks to their 2-2-2 meta mastery and their roster’s big personality. In a WIN.gg interview, Andrej “babybay” Francisty called himself the “Anubis god” after the team wiped the Paris Eternal on their long road to the Playoffs. The team also briefly enjoyed the services of Daniel “dafran” Francesca, who suddenly retired after the Stage 1 playoffs.
The Season 1 champions didn’t live up to expectations this time around. The team couldn’t seem to break out of 5-8th place, ending the season with a 16-12 record. Fans speculate that their disappointing second season was due to their lack of a main coach during a time when the meta was constantly changing.
For the second season in a row, the Dynasty didn’t live up to expectations. The South Korean roster peaked at 3rd-4th in the Stage 1 Playoffs, where they lost to the Vancouver Titans. The team’s loyal fans recently rallied together to cheer up Ryu “Ryujehong” Je-Hong after he blamed himself for the team’s performance on Twitter.
The Charge just barely managed to score a winning record, going 15-13 during the regular season. Skilled DPS players Jungwoo “Happy” Lee and Yiliang “Eileen” Ou, and powerhouse tank players Hongjun “HOTBA” Choi and Hyungseok “Bischu” Kim, weren’t enough to get the Charge higher up in the standings.
The Fusion had a lot of major announcements this season, including the opening of an arena in 2021, and the Grand Finals being held on their home turf. This probably made their 15-13 record and flop in the Play-In more painful for them.
Every Overwatch League fan knows the Dragons’ story by now. They came into Season 2 on a 0-42 losing streak but a new roster and new attitude saw the Dragons slowly improve under Youngjin “Gamsu” Noh’s leadership. The Dragons were a powerful force in GOATS meta, even beating the Shock in the Stage 3 Playoff Finals, but the 2-2-2 role lock wasn’t kind to them. They finished the season at 13-15 and were unable to secure a spot in the Playoffs.
Known for Menghan “Ameng” Ding’s 200 IQ Wrecking Ball plays, the Chinese team constantly entertained the crowd with off-meta compositions and flashy plays. That came at a cost, though. While many feel that the team had the tools to rank among OWL’s best, the Hunters ended up with a 13-15 record. Their fans still proudly sport their panda hats, though.
Multiple roster changes and an unstable staff throughout the season saw the Valiant finish with a 12-16 record. The lowlight for the team came when they lost to crosstown rivals Los Angeles Gladiators at their very own Homestand Weekend. Still, the Valiant showed tremendous promise, even beating the Vancouver Titans in Stage 3. “We didn’t have a contingency plan for this, but the beast has been slain,” the team tweeted at the time.
An 11-17 finish put the Paris Eternal in 14th place, something even fan favorite Terence “SoOn” Tarlier couldn’t improve. Dallas Fuel’s loyal fans stuck by them, even when they had a disappointing 10-18, 15th-place finish. Fellow Texans Houston Outlaws came in 16th at 9-19, another blow for the state’s growing esports scene and fan base.
The Toronto Defiant had a disappointing season, coming in 17th place at 8-20, as did the Washington Justice, who shared the same placement. While Canadian native Liam “Mangachu” Campbell gained the Defiant more fans with expert Torbjorn plays, he wasn’t enough to change their downward spiral.
The Boston Uprising took 19th place, something that didn’t surprise Jeffrey “Blase” Tsang in the slightest. In a WIN.gg interview, the DPS specialist said the team had a communication issue that “couldn’t be fixed.”
Florida Mayhem, the last place team, decided to avoid possible communication issues by dropping their roster for an all-Korean team. This wasn’t a popular decision, but they did show some potential in Stage 4.