Photo by Robert Paul / Blizzard Entertainment
There’s no denying the level of skill that the players on the San Francisco Shock have. With a tank line that consists of Super and Sinaatra, it’s no wonder they attained the first ‘Golden Stage’. Backed up by some excellent support with the likes of Moth, Viol2t and Rascal (depending on the comp), they were the first team to defeat the Titans out of regular season with a 4 – 2 match in the Stage 2 Finals. The San Francisco Shock were a perfect force of nature in the Overwatch League ecosystem.
It wasn’t always like this though. In the 2018 inaugural season, they finished out in 9th place out of 12 teams with a 17-28 record. Granted, they weren’t fielding the likes of Super and Sinaatra for most of that season due to the age restrictions on play. It was obvious they were playing a bit of a longer game by investing in the young talent, something that has easily paid off this season. But as quickly as they’ve risen to the top, could they slip and fall?
In Stage 1 of the current season, they did make it all the way to the finals against the Vancouver Titans where they took them all the way to a Game 5, but ultimately ending up running out of gas. In that stage, they were seeded nearly at the bottom, tied with the Seoul Dynasty 4-3 with a +5 map differential and only Boston was underneath them with a +3 map differential. That seems like a world away when we look at how they performed in Stage 2, suffering only 3 map losses across the entire regular stage and play-offs.
Now, we’re in Stage 3, and the San Francisco Shock are one match away from looking just like they did in Stage 1. They lost to the Houston Outlaws in map 5, something only the Outlaws ever seem to do. They allowed the same fate to befall them against the Chengdu Hunters and the Atlanta Reign took them to a Game 5 as well. The other three wins were the usual 4-0 sweeps that we’d come to expect after Stage 2, but the meta now in flux the question is can the Shock keep their grip or are they about to start sliding?
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