As the Overwatch League season returns, the Shock start out 2020 at the Dallas homestand. While the reigning champions get Saturday off, they perform in the final match of the weekend against the Fuel on Sunday.
Coming off a fairly inactive off-season, San Francisco is poised to pick up where they left off in 2020. With their entire starting squad returning, the only addition has been Seon-chang “ANS” Lee as sniper specialist. Their tank line is held up by Finals MVP Hyo-bin “Choihyobin” Choi and a rotation between Matthew “Super” DeLisi and Myeong-hwan “smurf” Yoo. This provides a challenge for any team to deal with, especially when considering the supports. Grant “Moth” Espe is not only one of the best main support players in the league, but also has the endurance to pop off every map. And Min-Ki “Viol2t” Park has made a name for himself as one of the top flex support players as well.
Sunday will provide a first look at the complexity of the Shock’s damage lineup. With five players in this role, expect to see Head Coach Dae-hee “Crusty” Park use rotations to throw off opponents. Between reigning League MVP Jay “Sinatraa” Won, Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim, Min-ho “Architect” Park and Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon, the team has all bases covered. Plus now with ANS in the mix, their substitutions may dictate a composition or conversely bring something unexpected to the table. With such skill throughout the lineup and in the coaching staff, the Shock are poised for another dominant season.
Week 1 Preview
Dallas Fuel (0-0), Sunday, February 9 at 6:00 p.m. CST
With the season opener in Dallas, the Fuel have the advantage of a home crowd. With their off-season additions of Gui-un “Decay” Jang, Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh and Dong-ha “Doha” Kim, crowds will be anxious to see if the team can return to form. Doha is a rookie fresh from Element Mystic, so he comes in with high expectations but reservations as to what role he will fill in their lineup. Likewise, Decay did not live up to expectations in the 2019 season, so he will be playing with something to prove. The arrival of Gamsu should assuage fears as he is teamed back up with Lucas “NotE” Meissner, his tank partner on the Boston Uprising.
Fuel fans are hoping these changes can provide the spark to ignite the Fuel into top form. The team has a first match on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Valiant. This should prove an easier starting ground, but they get thrown into the lion’s den the next day. The Shock are the top-ranked team in the league and look to continue their supremacy through 2020.
Looking back at the two times these teams met in 2019, the Shock won both as 4-0 sweeps. This includes the very first match the Shock had that season. They will be aiming to sweep Dallas once more and take the all-time map differential in this matchup to 18-4. All signs point to a San Francisco Shock week one victory.
Prediction: Shock win 3-0
Player to Watch: Super
As the team’s Reinhardt player, Super had his fill of fun through the 3-3 GOATS meta. But in Stage 4 and the season playoffs, he took a backseat as smurf was performing better on Orisa. In an Orisa meta, it seems that smurf would still hold the starting spot, yet Super was selected to start as main tank for the USA’s World Cup team. They dominated the tournament, hardly losing a map to any team. Super played Orisa through most of the tournament excepting map-specific picks, and showed a marked improvement. If chosen to start, he adds a lot more flexibility on the tank role and will be well worth a watch.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
You can also follow Matthew @setanta_ow or message him on Discord (setanta#2155).