Week One of the Overwatch League is here, and with it comes two games for the San Francisco Shock. The Shock come into Season 2 brandishing a completely revamped roster and a beefed up coaching staff. This team looks ready to rock the world…on paper. In practice their are questions about the rosters synergy, and no one is quite sure if the main tank position is up to par. We may not know all of the answers after the first week, but things could become much clearer. Here are the Shock’s opponents in Week 1, and what both the team and the viewers should look out for.
Dallas Fuel (0-0)
Friday, February 15th. 10:00 PM EST/7:00 PM PST
Dallas was arguably the most disappointing team in Season 1, but they look like they have the potential to bounce back this season. The Fuel have several things going for them this season. New additions Won-sik “Closer” Jung, Richard “rCk” Kanerva and Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo were brought on over the offseason. Furthermore, the Fuel had a good stage four, and with the same coach they could continue that success. It’s hard to predict what the meta in OWL will be, but Dallas will be in good shape if GOATs sticks around. Dallas and their predecessor Team EnvyUs have historically been extremely good in tank heavy metas, so the triple tank/triple support super team would be a major help to the Fuel.
Dallas may looked primed to step their game up this season, but the Shock are in just as good of a position, if not better. A favorable meta can only take a team so far, and there is no guarantee that the meta will even be GOATs. If GOATs is still prevalent then this is likely to be a very close game, but the Shock should be good to go if a more traditional composition turns out to be the strategy of choice.
Prediction: Shock win 3-1
Player to Watch: Architect
Min-ho “Architect” Park is known for being able to potentially play a lot of different things, which will be invaluable in the early part of the Overwatch League. The Shock could potentially just plug Architect in to almost any composition and have him run wild. The meta is still unknown at this early stage, so that kind of flexibility will be a huge advantage for the Shock. In addition, Architect knows how the team operates, so the uncertainty factor that comes with bringing new players to the table isn’t really an issue with him. Watching Architect in Season 2 is likely to be a joy to behold, and this will be the first taste of what is to come.
Los Angeles Gladiators (0-0)
Sunday, February 17th. 6:00 PM EST/3:00 PM PST
Dallas may be a potentially tough opponent, but the Gladiators are on another level. Bringing in Gui-un “Decay” Jang, Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye, Riku “Ripa” Toivanen and Byung-ho “Panker” Lee have taken an already good roster to new heights. Combine that with team veterans such as Lane “Surefour” Roberts and the entire league is looking at a terrifyingly flexible purple demon of death. The Shock will have to attempt to bring down the Gladiators, but it is going to be a tall order.
This match will likely come down to the match up at the main tank position. The Shock will almost certainly be fielding either Matthew “Super” DeLisi or Myeong-hwan “Smurf” Yoo as their main tank. The Gladiators will have rOar on main tank dutie. The other main tank on the roster, Panker, is a two-way player. The Shock and the Gladiators are fairly evenly matched when it comes to every other position, so the game could easily be won or lost here. Both Smurf and Super are question marks. Meanwhile rOar is well known as one of the better main tank players that didn’t make Season 1. This is going to be extremely tough for the Shock if rOar continues to perform.
Prediction: Gladiators win 3-2
Player to Watch: rOar
rOar is going to be hugely important in this game for the Gladiators. As previously mentioned, rOar performing well could potentially be an automatic win condition for the Gladiators. This is a tall task for a player that is new to the league, but rOar has big time potential. Outperforming the Shock’s main tanks could really prove that rOar has what it takes to perform at the highest level.
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