The second season of the Overwatch League is in the bag and San Francisco Shock have followed the London Spitfires into the record books as they claimed the title of the Champions of Overwatch League Season 2 this past weekend in Philadelphia.
Bouncing Back from Shock Defeat
Having surprisingly lost in the Playoff quarterfinals to the Atlanta Reign in a 4-3 defeat, San Francisco Shock then proved they were the undeniable class acts of the season as they ran through the Losers Round without dropping a single game.
They defeated last year’s Champions, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Hangzhou Spark and New York Excelsior 4-0 before moving on to take on the second seed Vancouver Titans in the final which was played this Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Although games in the league stage of the season had been evenly contested between the two teams, it was the Shock that emerged as 4-0 winners, although the scoreline does an injustice to the Titans who pushed the Shock close in all four games, losing three of them by just a single game; (2-0, 4-3, 4-3, 3-2).
For the win the Shock claimed the top prize of $1,100,000 from the playoffs alone, while the Titans pocketed $600,000 for their runner up finish all in front of a sold-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
Following the victory, fans of the Shock tweeted their approval stating “The best team in the world without a doubt, and it’s not even close.”
Shock’s Tank player, Hyo-Bin “Choihyobin” Choi, was named the 2019 Grand Finals MVP.
Crucial Period Ahead for OWL Season 3
Following on from the second season, the third season of the Overwatch League promises to be arguably the most important of any of the two prior seasons previously held. The reason for this being that this will be the first season that the teams competing will play their matches at ‘home’ and ‘away’ venues.
In previous seasons, the main focus of all the Overwatch World League action has been in Los Angeles, with just a few weeks held at different cities over the course of the season. However, it has long been a goal of organisers for teams to be resident in their host city and play their home games there, travelling to face opponents in other cities around the world.
The plan is that from season 3, this will be the reality.
Logistically, this creates many different issues compared to playing the vast majority of games at one venue and it is crucial for teams to generate support and interest in their host cities, to ensure that their residency is a popular and profitable one.
So while San Francisco Shock may be the winners of Season 2, they may well have to defend that title next season and establish a large fan base in the San Francisco area and the key to the long term viability of the OWL depends on all teams, not just the champions, achieving this.
Images courtesy of © San Francisco Shock