Quarterfinals: #6 Shock vs #4 Defiant
Thankfully, the San Francisco Shock were able to outlast the plethora of 4-3 teams to qualify for the Stage 1 playoffs. The Shock met the Defiant in the first round, and San Francisco proved that a record doesn’t truly show a team’s strength.
San Francisco Shock 3 – 0 Toronto Defiant
Busan: San Francisco 2 – 1 Toronto
In an overall lopsided match, Busan was the closest of the three maps (and hardly close at all). The Shock dominated in a terrific 100% – 44% fashion, as Min-ki “Viol2t” Park created two consecutive first-picks in team fights. An underrated move on the first map was simple: the Shock giving up the point. Having several ultimates in the bank, the Shock let Kang-jae “envy” Lee EMP in order for the next fight to be San Francisco’s finishing blow.
Toronto would strike back though, as Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo would take three quick eliminations in the first two team fights to claim the first 38% for Toronto. Jay “sinatraa” Won had his first of many beautiful graviton surges, flipping the point after losing Viol2t early. Toronto gained the point back to tie Busan 1-1.
Another absolutely dominating performance gave San Francisco the map win. Sinatraa had excellent tracking downtown, taking out three Defiant players. Sinatraa also dominated Toronto by somewhat passive play after that, utilizing his right-clicks to pick the Defiant off one-by-one.
— San Francisco Shock⚡ (@SFShock) March 23, 2019
King’s Row: San Francisco 3 – 0 Toronto
The Shock probably could have done King’s Row with their eyes closed, largely in part to Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi’s deafening play. Although not super flashy, ChoiHyoBin was able to completely deny envy from gaining any sort of momentum on Sombra. The Shock’s D.Va terrorized envy so much, that later in the first round he would swap to D.Va for the Defiant. This was certainly ChoiHyoBin’s map to remember, as the off tank also grabbed a flashy double elimination off of a self destruct to help the Shock complete a full hold.
Horizon: San Francisco 3 – 2 Toronto
Horizon seemed to be close as it was pushed to overtime, but for 99% of the map, it was owned by the Shock. The Defiant struggled out of the gates on the attack, as they looked completely passive. After hesitating when denying ChoiHyoBin on a remech the first time, it was a do or die situation to cap point A with 15 seconds left. Toronto denied the D.Va another remech, and was able to snowball through point B to cap with three minutes remaining.
The Shock’s first attack can easily be summarized as “EZ clap.” With 5:55 left in the time bank, the team played almost perfectly. This included sinatraa taking part in five eliminations in the Shock’s push to cap point A.
The Defiant were kept to a full hold on their overtime attack, as Matthew “super” DeLisi started to gain momentum. Giving the Defiant a big slam in the staircase, it would turn the tide in the team fight. Although it took three fights for the Shock to gain their one tick, super popped off. The main tank threw his team from the left side, targeting Yakpung right away, and had a quad kill on an earthshatter to lead his team to the semifinals.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) March 23, 2019
After a tough Stage 1 schedule, the Shock looked about as good as they ever have with a GOATs composition. The team prepared well, being able to shut down the one hero to counter the 3-3: Sombra. Although Toronto doesn’t have the strongest GOATs composition in this playoff, the Fusion better not look down upon this win. The Fusion had their own struggles at the beginning of Stage 1, and the Shock will look to magnify those weaknesses on Saturday.
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