Vancouver Fighting: The Heirs Apparent of the OWL
Titans after their Grand Finals berth / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
The Grand Finals of Season 2 are almost upon us. The match will feature the top two teams from the regular season the San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans. From day one of the season, fans of the Overwatch League looked at these two teams and said that this was a potential finals match up. The Titans finished as kings of the hill, having the best regular season record, a Stage 1 championship, and an air of class that far above everyone else in the the league.
The Road To Philly
Vancouver entered the OWL this season to much fanfare. The Titans were entirely made up of season 2 Korea Overwatch Contenders champions, Runaway. They created a massive fanbase through their play as well as through their founders Korean streamer couple, Dae-hoon “Runner” Yoon and his wife, Lee “Flowervin” Hyuna. The two became Runaway’s “mom and dad” and helped lead the team to a championship and a negotiated a deal that saw the entire team transition to the OWL as the Titans.
In the Overwatch League, the Titans quickly became a dominant force, supplanting the New York Excelsior as the top dogs during the season. But they made rivals of the ascendant San Francisco Shock, meeting them in Stage 1 and 2 finals splitting the series. They now face to the Shock once more to settle who is the undisputed best team in Overwatch.
Roster Breakdown: Tanks
Bumper, Tizi, Jjanu
The Titans tank line is one of the best that pro Overwatch has ever seen. Sangbeom “Bumper” Park, for all his aggression, is a highly effective main tank. But the real story here is Hyunwoo “Jjanu” Choi and Jang Hyun “Tizi” Hwang. Jjanu was one of this years MVP nominees. He ranks 1st “fewest deaths in teamfights” which is a telling stat for an off-tank. This means Jjanu is alive to peel opposing DPS and diving supports for longer than his tank line adversaries. Tizi, has been the only newcomer to the squad (which isn’t 100% accurate as he too was a member of Runaway before joining the London Spitfire in 2017.) and has taken to the main tank position in lieu of Bumper for the play-offs. Both San Fran and Vancouver have world beating tank lines. This is a push.
Roster Breakdown: DPS
Hooreg, Seominsoo, Haksal
If there was a such a thing as a weak point for the Titans it COULD be DPS. Even still Minsoo “Seominsoo” Seo was second to only San Fran’s Jay “Sinatraa” Won in damage dealt per 10 minutes and was first in eliminations per 10 minutes during the regular season. Its the supporting cast of Hyojong “Haksal” Kim and Dong-eun “Hooreg” Lee that are going to have to step up. They’ll be facing against the Shock’s Sinatraa, the regular season MVP and a trio of DongJun “Rascal” Kim, NamJu “Striker” Gwon and Minho “Architect” Park that can be swapped in and out at will. While Haksal has upped his contributions to the team in the playoffs. I’m not sure if its enough to go toe-to-toe with the versatility of the Shock’s DPS line up.
Advantage: San Fran
Roster Breakdown: Support
Twilight, Slime, Rapel
Juseok “Twilight” Lee is the best support player in the OWL. Hands down. While San Fran’s Minki “Viol2t” Park has taken advantage of a more Moira-centric meta, Twilight’s has the advantage in elims. The support counterparts of these two will come heavily into play. If Vancouver’s Seong jun “Slime” Kim can play to the level of San Fran’s Grant “Moth” Espe, then I think Twilight’s talent and aggressive play can shine through. In the Grand Finals, Vancouver will be made or broken by the quality of their support play.
See You In Philly!
As you can see this is one of the most even match-ups we could have asked for. But for what its worth, a team that has been through as much as the Titans/Runaway can make the Disney story complete by wining the OWL finals. As OWL fans we are lucky to have a Grand Finals that don’t really have an underdog. We are going to see the battle we all waited for and we can only hope that it doesn’t disappoint.
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