It was supposed to be a sure thing. Maybe even a 4-0 sweep.
The San Francisco Shock defeated the Atlanta Reign in the first match of Overwatch League Season 2’s third stage. But it was a painfully close match for the Stage 2 champions. In fact, the Shock lost their first map of the regular season since Stage 1 when Atlanta Reign took the third Ilios round after the Shock had fought for overtime.
“It was good that we won,” Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim told WIN.gg after the victory. “But it felt different. We knew we had a good chance of winning, but we didn’t win the way we wanted to.”
It wasn’t how they wanted it to go at all.
Rascal blamed himself for dying too much. He blamed the break between stages for giving other teams the opportunity to catch up. He blamed the Atlanta Reign.
“They came out a very different team today than we expected. They threw a couple curveballs at us. It was very difficult,” Rascal admitted.
Usually, the expansion team plays a very aggressive GOATS, feverishly pressuring the other team. But this match, Rascal noticed that the opposing team had dialed back on their aggression. Instead, they made a lot of mid-game adjustments that took the Shock by surprise. On the third map, Hollywood, Shock had over 50 kills while the Atlanta Reign had under 30. But the Atlanta Reign had taken that map 2-1.
The match had actually gone into Round 5. And it went into OT on that final map, Oasis, with Shock just barely taking the map and the match.
Throughout, the two teams stuck to the GOATS meta, taking turns slowly pushing the opposing team with three thanks and two supports.
“I think, our team, I can confidently say we like GOATS. We won the Stage 2 finals with GOATS. We’ve shown a lot of success,” Rascal said.
But that didn’t stop them from getting a little creative. One of the stand-out moments of the match came from Rascal, when he left spawn as Baptiste in the second map, Paris. A map they easily took, thanks to his pin-point accuracy and heal-heavy kit.
For Rascal, it was an easy pick.
“When it comes to the regular season,” he told us, “we have the opportunity to be kind of unpredictable. In the playoffs, we play safer. But Paris is a map where you can bring out versatility in team comp. And many teams don’t know how to deal with Baptiste yet.”
Being a DPS main, Baptiste was Rascal’s perfect opportunity to get some chip damage on the opponents. And some headshots on their Zenyatta.
Rascal started playing Baptiste when he first came out, based on a suggestion from head coach Daehee “Crusty” Park. Crusty always inspires the Shock roster to be versatile, said Rascal. In fact, Rascal is one of the most versatile players in the game. A DPS master, he is often seen playing Brigitte for the sake of GOATS.
And that’s been working in the team’s favor. The Shock are currently fourth in the Stage 3 standings with a 3-2 map record.
“Right now, we’re still on a win streak from last stage. We want to keep that going and also win the Stage 3 finals,” Rascal said.