On Sunday, the Wells Fargo Center, usually home to the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers and Soul, found itself home to another competition: The Grand Finals of the Overwatch League. The San Fransisco Shock and the Vancouver Titans, who’d been on top all season, found themselves locked in a battle for the trophy and the grand prize of $1.1 million.
The Titans came bearing an impressive playoff history. This is their first season in the league, and the majority of their roster were purchased from a Contenders team in Korea named Runaway. They finished with a league-best 25-3 record in the regular season, along with a first, second and third/fourth in the stage playoffs (how can they have an impressive playoff history if this is their first first in the league?).
On the other side were the Shock. They finished with a 23-5 record, as well as a first and two seconds in the stage playoffs. With a mixed Korean and American roster, the Shock hoped to have the first western players to cross the final hurdle.
The best-of-seven series started off intensely. The first map, Lijiang Towers, showed the strength of the Shock’s lineup as they pulled out a dominant 2-0 over the Titans lineup. Jay “Sinatraa” Wong, a damage-per-second or DPS player for the Shock, pulled out an incredible 22 eliminations on his Doomfist, shutting down Min-Soo “SeoMinSoo” Seo’s incredible efforts on Reaper.
In map two, Eichenwalde, the Shock brought out their now-signature pick, Bastion. Minho "Architect" Park’s damage, protected by an impressive effort from tank player Hyo-Bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi destroyed any effort from the Titans to hold. A carry performance from SeoMinSoo again brought the Titans close, but in Overtime, Dong-jun "Rascal" Kim brought out an amazing Pharah performance that allowed his team to claim the point and the map.
The Titans were desperate by map three and it showed. For the third map in a row, SeoMinsoo was the shining light for the Titans on Reaper but for the third map in a row, it didn’t matter. Sinatraa carried once more, this time on Mei and Nam-joo "Striker" Kwon went toe-to-toe with SeoMinSoo’s Reaper. However, even with the incredible efforts by these players, it was support player Minki "Viol2t" Park who would carry the Shock through to a victory.
Map four, and Map Point for the Shock, was the most decisive. Architect once again brought out his Bastion and combined with Rascal’s Mei, Viol2t’s Moira and a fourth incredible Sigma map in a row from ChoiHyoBin, there was absolutely nothing the Titans could do. Despite a pentakill from SeoMinSoo, who played an incredible Reaper all series, there was nothing the Titans could do as the Shock surged over the finish line.
That victory isn’t just a culmination of one of the most impressive seasons in the history of the Overwatch League. It means so much more than that. It’s vindication for a lineup that saw itself knocked into the lower brackets of playoffs and then beat all five teams they faced with a 4-0 scoreline. It’s an MVP for ChoiHyoBin, who played the single-best tank performance of the postseason to claim victory.
The Shock stand above all others as the second winner of the Overwatch League. They fought to show that they are the best Overwatch team in the world. And they did. And they are.
Ashton Stansel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.