The opening weekend of the Overwatch League began with homestands in both New York and Dallas. The final matchup of the weekend in Dallas saw the reigning champions of the San Francisco Shock square up against the hosting Fuel. With Dallas coming off a stinging loss at the hands of the LA Valiant the night before, they were looking for blood. But the champs proved too tough and gave the Fuel an 0-2 record to start off the season. Here are some key takeaways from the match.
Architect has a Mean Ana
The surprise of the day was the choice from the Shock to start Min-ho “Architect” Park in the flex support role. Usually carried out by Min-ki “Viol2t” Park, the coaches decided that Architect had been just a bit more effective on Ana in scrimmages, thus giving him the starting spot for the day. And he certainly did not disappoint.
Having historically been good on the hero, Architect picked up where he left off. He seemed to sleep everyone on the Dallas roster at some point in the match, averaging 9.52 players slept per 10 minutes, and had a 36% accuracy on them despite playing into double-shield. Look to see more of this as the Shock continue to run compositions with Ana.
Decay is the Carry Dallas has Needed
One of the biggest moves of the offseason was the transfer of Gui-un “Decay” Jang from the LA Gladiators to the Fuel. After a lackluster 2019 season, Decay should get the chance to show what he’s truly worth in a more skilled DPS environment. Over the course of the weekend he proceeded to hit headshot after headshot, decimating members of both the Shock and the LA Valiant. He showcased mostly his McCree and Tracer, both extremely capable of tearing through a team that is not careful. If Dallas can work around him and figure out their tank situation, there is potential to rise through the ranks later in the season.
Striker is Cracked
One big question going into this season is how coach Dae-hee “Crusty” Park would handle the DPS rotations. With four star players returning and the offseason signing of Seon-Chang “ANS” Lee, utilizing substitutions is crucial to the Shock’s success this season. Through the playoffs, Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon had not been in the forefront as the meta did not suit his best heroes as well as other players.
But on Sunday he came back with a fury. With McCree seeing a lot of playtime throughout the weekend, Striker had his moment to shine. Demonstrating his mechanics, Striker led the rallies in the clutch moments. Even as the Shock lost the map of Horizon, Striker as the lone defender left took three members of the Fuel down along with him and almost stabilized. As long as McCree and Tracer remain playable, look out for Striker to punish opponents in his sightlines.
Super is a Reinhardt God
Throughout this series, Super exhibited why he has the starting role and was selected to play in the World Cup. His Reinhardt play was superb, with a glimpse of showboating and ‘tactical crouching’. His post-game interview speaks for itself:
“I’m kind of a Rein god, if you’ve seen. I dominated the opposition with relative ease. It feels good to be playing my hero and doing what I do.”
Giants Can Bleed
The Shock have been the consensus top tier of power rankings and tier lists. After a historic 2019 season and an incredible map win streak through the playoffs, a stable offseason to focus on chemistry and teamwork, and a presumed strong understanding of the meta, the Shock seemed nigh-unbeatable.
Yet in their first game the Fuel almost proved them wrong. The control map of Oasis was neck-and-neck for all three stages, ending in a 2-1 Shock victory. Stunningly, the Fuel held the Shock on Point A of Horizon Lunar Colony, allowing just over one tick and followed up with a successful attack to take the map. Yes, the Shock are still an incredible team. But there are more chinks in their armor than were visible last season, and other teams will be out to claim the title of giant-slayers.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
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