The San Francisco Shock had a relatively disappointing first season. In response to this less-than-stellar debut, the Shock’s front office worked some magic and beefed up the roster during the offseason. Dong-Jun “Rascal” Kim, Nam-Ju “Striker” Gwon, Min-Ki “Viol2t” Park and Myeong-Hwan “Smurf” Yoo were all added in order to shore up a roster that was already improving over the course of the season. The Shock are rolling into Season 2 brandishing one of the best DPS lineups in the league. The rest of the team isn’t anything to scoff at either.
At least…that’s what the stats say. No one quite knows how well this new roster will do on the big stage. The best way to find out is definitely to watch how the Shock do in Stage One. These are some of the marquis matchups that will show if the Shock are finally ready to take their game to the next level.
Los Angeles Gladiators: Week One
The Gladiators are another team that has added to their roster going into Season 2. The difference between the Gladiators and the Shock is that the Gladiators were actually quite good in Season One.
This will be an interesting test for the Shock. The Gladiators were by all accounts a good team in Season One, and they have improved their roster even more by adding Gui-un “Decay” Jang, Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye, Byung-ho “Panker” Lee and Riku “Ripa” Toivanen. Ripa was hit with a suspension and will be unable to play, but Viol2t is in the same boat. This game will show how the Shock stack up against a proven team, and will give both viewers and the team a good benchmark as to where they stand with the rest of the league.
Vancouver Titans: Week Two
This is actually an interesting game for both teams. The Titans are one of the most hyped up teams coming into Season 2.
Vancouver is arguably the best expansion team going into the new season, but they still have a lot to prove. KR Contenders can be brutal, but it’s nothing compared to OWL. The Titans are a pretty well-rounded roster in theory, but it’s still a mystery how well they will truly stack up. The Shock could definitely act as a good test for them, and vice versa.
Hangzhou Spark: Week Three
This one is most interesting because of one position: Main Tank. The Shock have a couple of question marks at the main tank position going into the season. Matthew “super” DeLisi was the main tank of choice for the Boys from the Bay last season, but he was somewhat inconsistent and wasn’t quite up to scratch when compared to the other main tanks in the league. Smurf was brought in to alleviate this issue but he didn’t look good at all in the California Cup.
Hangzhou is almost the complete opposite, with a star newcomer in Xu “guxue“ Qiulin. Guxue has shown himself to be extremely good at the main tank role, and the rest of Hangzhou is looking pretty good as well. Guxue could potentially act as an interesting comparison to the Shock main tanks. Main tank is an extremely important position in Overwatch, so this experience could be very valuable for the Shock.
New York Excelsior: Week Four
This one is honestly a bit of an obvious choice. The Excelsior were the best regular season team in 2018. The Excelsior didn’t do much this offseason, only promoting Yeon-oh “Fl0w3R” Hwang and Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong from the XL2 academy team. Not that they needed to do a whole lot anyway. This team was already looking great, and these changes only improve what was already a formidable squad.
This is potentially the ultimate test for the Shock. The Shock will want to show that they can truly compete this season, and this will be a great place to start. Knocking the fearsome XL down a peg or two would really help cement the Shock as a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season.
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