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Overwatch: What the Shock Need to do to Succeed in 2019

The Shock were one of the more active teams during the off-season, and for good reason. The Shock didn’t exactly light the world on fire during the first season of the Overwatch League. They may have been decent in the second half, but they were pretty bad in the first half and never really got to the next level. With a bolstered up roster the Shock are looking like a prime contender going into 2019.

However, other teams have beefed up their teams as well, and many teams that were powerhouses in Season One are looking even better for Season Two. The Shock will face stiff competition in their drive for the top. Fortunately, there are some strategies that the Shock can use to get a potential leg up on the competition.

Keep the Door Open for More Improvements

Photo Courtesy of the San Francisco Shock

The Shock may have made many notable improvements during the off-season, but they still aren’t perfect  A big question mark for the Shock is that of the main tank role. Matthew “Super” DeLisi was supposed to take the reigns after David “Nomy” Ramirez sputtered out of the gate in Season One. Super was decent when he was on point, but he was also inconsistent. Having a main tank with unreliable performance cause an entire team to struggle due to the sheer importance of the main tank role to any team.

The Shock’s front office noticed this and brought in Myeong-hwan “Smurf” Yoo to alleviate this problem.  Smurf cost the Shock Dante “Danteh” Cruz, one of their better players in Season One, but he looked like he could really solve the problem. Then the California Cup happened.

Suffice to say, Smurf did not look good in the California Cup. That can be chalked up to having to adjust to a brand new team. However, this poor performance posed a question: what will happen if neither Smurf nor Super turn out to be any good in Season Two? What if the off-tanks and supports struggle?

Fortunately, the Shock have some options in this department. Chief among them is that the Shock have five astounding DPS players. This means that, if needed, the Shock could have the flexibility to trade one of their DPS players to bolster another position. They should not be afraid to do this if it means improving the team.

Keep Calm if Things Don’t Immediately Go Well

It goes without saying that this team has had a lot of new players added to it. These new players will need some time to adjust and learn how to work together on the big stage. A few bad games at the beginning doesn’t mean that everything is going south. Let the players try to figure it out through coaching and working together more.

Obviously, that doesn’t mean sticking it out until Stage 4 if you have a losing record. However, if the first few games aren’t going too well then try and figure it out internally before really starting to explore the open market. This is a long season, and a bad start doesn’t necessarily mean that the team will struggle in the long run.

Embrace Flexibility

Photo Courtesy of the Evolve Talent Agency

As mentioned, the Shock have five DPS players. These five players combined can cover almost every possible situation in the game. Jay “Sinatraa” Won is good in both Dive and GOATS as he can play both Tracer and Zarya. In addition, he is talented with other Heroes such as Brigitte.

Andrej “Babybay” Francisty is known for his skill on both McCree and Widowmaker, and he has a serviceable Pharah. This potentially makes him especially useful on certain control maps. Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon is ridiculously good on Tracer, but his ability to flex onto heroes like Junkrat gives him utility on maps such as Anubis as well. Finally, Min-ho “Architect” Park and Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim are two of the most flexible DPS players in the Overwatch League. Between the two of them, almost every DPS Hero for every situation is covered, including some less common ones such as Mei.

This DPS lineup would be scary enough without the unpredictability that comes with it. The Shock can make sure that every situation is covered by mixing and matching. Running GOATS? Many DPS players on the Shock can play both Brigitte and Zarya, although Sinatraa’s ability to flex onto other tanks if needed makes him especially valuable in that situation. Maybe dive is in vogue. Striker and Architect cover just about every dive variation by themselves. Babybay’s Hero pool fits like a glove with most of the control maps, and Rascal can do essentially all of the above. It’s absolutely insane.

There are obviously two players here that could prove to be significantly better than the rest of the pack, but it would be foolish to not at least try to mix and match a bit. The unpredictability could end up being one of the Shock’s greatest strengths.

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

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Featured Image Courtesy of The Ovewatch League

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