Esports Overwatch

Overwatch League Season 2 Preview: The San Francisco Shock

The Shock made some big changes going into Season 2, as they had been average at best in the league’s inaugural season. This is a team that looks like it could be primed to compete if the cards fall the right way. Many new teams have appeared, and a new meta is in town, but the Shock look to be flexible enough to shrug off these uncertainties. Here is some info about the team, and what one can expect to see from the Boys from the Bay.

Returning Players/Staff

Photo Courtesy of the Overwatch League
Andrej “Babybay” Francisty (DPS)
Jay “Sinatraa” Won (DPS/Flex)
Min-ho “Architect” Park (DPS)
Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson (Tank)
Hyo-Bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi (Tank)
Matthew “Super” DeLisi (Tank)
Grant “Moth” Espe (Support)
Nikola “Sleepy” Andrews (Support)
Dae-hee “Crusty” Park (Head Coach)
Jae “Junkbuck” Choi (Assistant Coach)
Bum-hoon “NiNek” Kim (Assistant Coach)
Derrick “Derrick” Truong (General Manager)
Jaime “Bikeage” Cohenca (Assistant General Manager)

The Shock had some issues with consistency last season, but even then most of their players were individually pretty skilled. The fact that the Shock kept around 8 players while many of the original 12 were going into full yard sale mode should be a testament to that. The front office has also remained relatively intact, with coach Crusty, the man who led the initially dismissed Boston Uprising on their climb to the top, is still at the helm, with Junkbuck and NiNek there to help him out.

That said, the Shock did go through a bit of restructuring, and, as a result, some players and coaches have moved on. Dante “Danteh” Cruz, one of the standout players for the Shock in season one, was dealt to the Outlaws during the offseason. David “Nomy” Ramirez, André “iddqd” Dahlström and Daniel “dhaK” Martínez were all released by the team as well. Nomy currently plays for First Generation while iddqd and dhaK do not currently play for a team. On the coach side of things, Harsha “Harsha” Bandi is now a coach for the Vancouver Titans.

New Players/Staff

Photo Courtesy of the San Francisco Shock
Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon (DPS)
Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim (DPS)
Myeong-hwan “Smurf” Yoo (Tank)
Min-ki “Viol2t” Park (Support)
Daniel “Alined” Lee (Analyst)
“Merci” (Analyst)
Shaurav “Shu” Ghosh (Analyst)

The new players, along with the three new analysts, are hoping to help give the Shock an edge over the competition. These new players give the Shock some proven players to work with, as well as an insane amount of flexibility. There are some questions concerning how the new players will mesh with the returners, but this team has a potential to be scary if they work together properly.

Schedule

Photo Courtesy of the San Francisco Shock

The Shock have an intriguing schedule in stage 1. Kicking things off against a revamped Dallas and an incredibly threatening Gladiators squad is exciting enough, but the Shock then proceed to play the highly anticipated Vancouver Titans in the Week Two finale. The Spark, Justice, NYXL, and Eternal round out stage 1.

This is one of the more intriguing schedules for stage 1. The Titans and the Spark are two of the more hyped up expansion teams, so the Shock will have an opportunity to really see what these teams are made of. Dallas has the potential to be very good, the NYXL need no introduction, and the Gladiators have received quite the tune up. The Justice and the Eternal haven’t received quite the hype that the aforementioned teams have, but they could both turn out to be the “Uprising of Season Two” and give the Shock a run for their money.

Players to Watch

Architect

Photo Courtesy of the Overwatch League

Architect proved himself to be an incredible asset to a Shock team that had previously struggled with flexibility. The Shock had struggled to play full dive effectively before Architect was brought on due to the lack of a top tier Genji player. Architect filled the Genji role well, but he also established himself as a major threat on almost every other DPS hero as well. He is an incredibly solid player that can fit onto any composition that the Shock try to run. The Shock have the insurance just in case he doesn’t quite pan out the way he did in season one, but he will be incredibly scary if he keeps up the good work.

Moth

Moth is the only main support player on the roster, so he is logically going to get a ton of playing time. He was another mid-season addition in Season 1, and he immediately proved himself on both Mercy and Lucio. He is also known to be an excellent shot caller. If Moth keeps this up he will give the Shock a much better chance of doing well, and knowing his history he should be just fine going into Season 2.

Viol2t

Viol2t is a newcomer to the Overwatch League, and he has a lot riding on his shoulders. Some have even gone as far as to compare him to Sung-hyeon “Jjonak” Bang. Comparisons to the mighty Jjonak aside, Viol2t has the mechanical skill to succeed in OWL. It is all a question of whether he can work with his team properly at the highest level? A shaky start would not be out of the ordinary, but once Viol2t gets going he could be an absolute terror.

Overall Predictions

There are some misgivings about the Shock. Their main tank is a bit of a question mark, and the team will need to adjust to the influx of new talent. However, no one can deny that this team has some serious potential if everything clicks. The Shock could very well get off to a rocky start, especially considering the fact that their first few games are reasonably tough. However, this team could definitely be a force to be reckoned with once everything falls into place. Expect the Shock to make a run for the playoffs this season, and potentially go very deep into the postseason if they do.

 

You can follow me on Twitter @GtSputnik or ping me on Discord (SputnikGT#2845) if you would like to talk Overwatch!

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Featured Image Courtesy of The Overwatch League

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