Matthew “Super” DeLisi has become one of the most prominent faces of the Overwatch League. Appearing alongside Jay “Sinatraa” Won on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” after winning the Grand Finals, the duo got the chance to explain the game and league to mainstream America. But just how did this 19-year-old kid from Philly reach such distinction?
Name: Matthew “Super” DeLisi
Birthday: March 28, 2000 (19 years old)
Country: United States
Jersey Number: 1
An Early Start
While his first memory of video games was Crash Bandicoot on the original PlayStation, Super began his foray into competitive gaming with Team Fortress 2. His team, Bird Noises, began in this game, but they migrated to Overwatch as they picked up Super. The team subsequently joined the Hammer Esports roster as a whole. Super’s notable teammates on this team included Jake “Jake” Lyon and Connor “Avast” Prince. But after only two months, the entire roster moved once again as they all were signed by Luminosity Gaming to become the team LG Evil.
Each of these teams had solid showings. Bird Noises reached a 14-game winning streak and saw three straight victories in weekly tournaments in January 2017. With Hammer Esports, they won the January Alienware Monthly Melee and were 4-0 in the Overwatch Carbon Series when they became LG Evil. The team finished in second place behind Immortals and went on to qualify second in NA Contenders Season Zero. But after going undefeated in the group stage, they were eliminated by FaZe Clan.
Though LG Evil wanted the team to be promoted to the Overwatch League as a unit, this was increasingly hard to realize. Thus the players headed separate ways, with Avast joining the Boston Uprising, Jake signing with the Houston Outlaws and Super finding his way onto the roster of the San Francisco Shock.
As Super did not turn 18 until March of 2018, he was unable to play on-stage for the team until then. Though this ruled out the first half of the season, he and Sinatraa both took it upon themselves to help the rest of the team review tape and assist in any way they could. This not only improved their game-knowledge but their leadership and team chemistry. Super has always been a vocal player and in-game leader, and so took to this role well until his turn to shine.
After two sub-.500 stages to start the inaugural season, the final two stages had 60 and 50 percent win-rates, respectively. Yet, the team still did not reach a stage playoff and likewise did not qualify for the season playoffs. With a final record of 17-23, the Shock finished lower than they would have liked, but with a promising future.
A Year to Remember
With the meta for the 2019 season shifting to GOATs, Super finally got his chance to truly shine. As the main tank specialist and specifically Reinhardt main, the second season was the perfect moment for him as the 3-3 composition was built around supporting the Reinhardt and keeping him alive as long as possible. And in this environment, Super thrived.
At the helm of the team for this season, Super led the Shock to a 16-5 record through the first three stages. This included a ‘golden stage’ in Stage 2, where they did not drop a single map. So they took a 7-0 stage with a 28-0 map differential, which has never been done before in the league. His leadership through GOATS proved that he is “the best in the business,” and could dominate any Reinhardt matchup.
But with role-lock coming in Stage 4, Myeong-hwan “Smurf” Yoo took center stage as the team’s Orisa specialist. The team demonstrated a brilliant understanding of the new meta, going 7-0 in Stage 4. They then lost the first match in the playoffs but rallied back to dominate the losers bracket and beat Vancouver 4-0 in the Grand Finals.
Being the main tank and leader through most of their success in the season, it was rough having to sit on the bench and not play onstage for the victory. But Super proved his ability on Orisa in the Overwatch World Cup. The United States stomped their way to the gold, making short work of every other team.
Looking ahead to the 2020 season, the Shock are poised as a force to be reckoned with. Behind Super’s incredible ability as an in-game leader, the team looks adaptable to any meta the game shifts to. And whether he is starting over Smurf or not, he will be doing everything he can to help out and lead from the sidelines as necessary. Just as he has been since the days of Bird Noises.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
You can also follow Matthew @setanta_ow or message him on Discord (setanta#2155).