With so many roster changes this offseason, some fans may take the opportunity to feel around for new allegiances or see what other teams have to offer. While the San Francisco Shock may be a popular destination, some may be hesitant to hop on the bandwagon. So here’s a few reasons why the Shock should be the team to root for in the 2020 Overwatch League Season.
The team knows how to win and are damn good at it. Dropping just five matches over the course of the 2019 season, completing the golden Stage 2, and winning the Season Playoffs in a commanding fashion, the only word to describe the Shock’s season would be ‘dominant’. Of course, there wouldn’t be a bandwagon if the team was not winning so much, so perhaps this goes without saying. But if when looking for a team that will win the Shock seem like an obvious choice.
Their skill has been recognized not only through their dominant performances and Overwatch League Title, but they were nominated for Best Esports Team at The Game Awards, Jay “Sinatraa” Won was nominated for Best Esports Player, and they won the ESPN Esports Team of the Year. 2019 was an absolutely insane year for this team, and they are looking to push the 2020 season to new heights.
The Same Versatile Roster
While many teams saw massive changes to their rosters, the Shock have kept their core intact. Their only off-season move so far has been the decision not to re-sign Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson, who went on to sign with the Toronto Defiant. The other nine players have stayed, furthering the team chemistry and continuing to work well together. It is hard not to expect good results from this team in the 2020 season when they have the same squad that dominated 2019.
Additionally, the team fully utilizes every member of the roster. Other teams may have beloved bench-riders or play the same six players every map, the Shock are liable to rearrange their whole lineup at the drop of a hat. The opposition never knows what DPS lineup they will be facing off against, as all four of the Shock’s damage dealers have a versatile hero pool. Then throw in the occasional Baptiste pick by Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim and there is a thrilling cast that provides a different playstyle and viewing experience every game.
Let’s face it, the team has charisma. And none more than Matthew “Super” DeLisi. Now the posterboy for the team alongside Sinatraa, the two are likeable and funny in addition to being incredible leaders. They have been on the team the longest, both being signed when they were under 18 prior to the 2018 season. The team has been built around these two, and to magnificent results. With their young yet veteran leadership, the players have meshed well to become one of the scariest opponents in the whole league.
The team has personality, which is something often missed out on in this league. While other teams try to stay mild-mannered, Sinatraa has no qualms saying they would 4-0 the Vancouver Titans in the Finals. Super walked out with a ‘Router Rumble’ belt in the style of WWE wrestlers in one match and was able to joke around with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. The org also showed their personality when they put out an announcement thanking Super for his time with the team, which baited some people into thinking they were releasing him.
They also roll this humor into good causes and events, recently putting on a 24-hour livestream for charity. With set rewards for each donation tier, they made Smurf sing and Architect play a horror game in VR goggles. The unreached goals included Super cosplaying D.va, Striker waxing his legs, Super and Sinatraa eating spicy food, Choihyobin bungee jumping, and Super shaving his head.
San Francisco Is A Winning City
Professional sports and now esports are on a hot streak in the Bay Area. Between their two football teams, two baseball teams, basketball team, hockey team, and now Overwatch League team, there have been a lot of championships over the last decade. The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. The Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals in 2015, 2017, and 2018. The Shock won the championship in 2019, and the San Francisco 49ers are one of the top teams in the NFL this season. So if one is interested in branching out into other parts of the sports world, San Fran seems like a straightforward choice.
Plus the city has the infrastructure to support esports endeavors and stadiums in which to showcase them. Beyond the stadiums for the teams listed above, the Shock will be hosting their homestands at the San Jose Civic Center (which can fit near 3,000) viewers, and the historic Cow Palace (which can fit 16,500 people). Expect these to be full as Shock fans love their team, and get in on the fun by cheering for them alongside thousands others. It’s an incredible atmosphere and can convince just about anyone that the Shock are the team to support in 2020.
Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
You can also follow Matthew @setanta_ow or message him on Discord (setanta#2155).