Fusion

Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals in Philadelphia end with a shocking San Francisco victory

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Robert Paul/Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals in Philadelphia end with a shocking San Francisco victory

In a hyped-up Grand Finals, the two best teams throughout all of Season 2 faced off in the Vancouver Titans and the San Francisco Shock. With the team's previous matchups split evenly, this match would decide the victor once and for all. Despite all the hype that went into the match, the victor was decided fairly quickly as the Shock dominated the Titans on their way to a 4-0 victory and the title. What does this victory mean for the two teams heading into the next season? Let’s take a look and start off with the champions themselves. 


The San Francisco Shock: Golden run completed


(Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment)

The Shock entered the Grand Finals after an amazing run through the loser’s bracket, going undefeated against the likes of the Hangzhou Spark and the New York Excelsior. With all the momentum in the world, the Shock completed their run with their 4-0 victory over the Titans, cementing their spot as the best team in the Overwatch League. 

Through the entire match, the shock showed a lot of versatility as they were able to continuously adapt to whatever the situation needed. A great example of the Shock’s ability to adjust and adapt on the fly was when DPS player Dong-jun "Rascal" Kim’s switched to Pharah on Eichenwalde, which turned around the map for the Shock, leading to their win. Considering the importance of that map in terms of momentum, this could have been one of the key moments that decided the series as had the Shock not won Eichenwalde, the Grand Finals could’ve gone another way with momentum shifting back to the Titans.

Overall, the Grand Finals showed the world how strong of a team the Shock truly are, but one aspect of the team that hasn’t received enough praise for their dominant run is their coaching staff. Head coach Dae-hee "Crusty" Park through the entire season was able to help the Shock remain one of the best teams in the league with two different starting rosters depending on the meta. It’s hard to imagine any other coach being able to do the same thing and as such, Crusty deserves a huge payday for his next contract.

The Vancouver Titans: Forever the underdogs and forever runner-ups

Apex Season 2, Apex Season 4, and now The Season 2 Grand Finals of the Overwatch League. While the Runaway core that forms the Vancouver Titans is used to being the underdogs in big matches, they’re unfortunately also used to being the runner-ups. 

Despite a strong run into the Grand Finals through the Winner Finals, the Titans were simply outmatched by a stronger team in the Shock. Key players that needed to have great performances simply couldn’t keep up as tank player Hyeon-Woo "JJANU" Choi was outclassed on Sigma, and DPS player Min-soo "SeoMinSoo" Seo was simply unable to make a big enough impact to affect the team’s chances to win. Overall, the Titans struggled against the Shock and were unable to show the same level of versatility. This was most evident as the team was mowed down by the Shock’s Bastion composition on multiple occasions without an answer. 

Despite all the negatives, the Titans will still head into the next season as one of the best teams in the Overwatch League. Along with that, if history has shown fans of the Runaway core anything, it’s that after a heartbreak, victory will follow. 

Watch 'For The Win Philly', a new program focusing on gaming in the Philadelphia region

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NBCSP

Watch 'For The Win Philly', a new program focusing on gaming in the Philadelphia region

NBC Sports Philadelphia is teaming up with Nerd Street Gamers to produce “For The Win Philly,” a program focusing on the world of highly competitive gamers in the Philadelphia region. The show will debut on NBC Sports Philadelphia+ on Friday, September 27 at 9 p.m.

The premier of “For the Win Philly” is launching alongside a weekend of events and festivities that lead up to the Overwatch League Grand Finals on Sunday, September 29th at Wells Fargo Center. Audiences tuning in to NBC Sports Philadelphia+ will get an inside look at the world of esports, its presence in Philadelphia, and how this massive industry is continuing to rise.

Clips from the program will be distributed on NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com, as well.

Here are the dates and times you can watch “For The Win Philly”:

  • Friday, September 27, 9pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia+
  • Friday, September 27, 11pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Saturday, September 28, 11pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Sunday, September 29, 6:30pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia+

NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBC Sports Philadelphia is available in three million homes throughout the Philadelphia area. To find these channels in your area, check out our channel finder.

The road to Philly: Overwatch League Grand Finals preview

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Image courtesy of the Overwatch League

The road to Philly: Overwatch League Grand Finals preview

After a month of intense action, two teams remain in the fight to claim the throne. On one end, there is the Vancouver Titans, a roster built out of the core of underdogs turned juggernauts in Runaway. Facing off against them after an insane run through the loser bracket is their long-time rival, the San Francisco Shock,  a team that developed slowly, allowing their young players to thrive and have become one of the best teams in the league. 

Despite how unpredictable the playoffs have been, this grand finals matchup felt inevitable. Both teams have met each other at every step of the way, trading blows and victories. Now they’re set to face off once again. However, both teams took very different paths than what fans expected to get here. So, how did these teams reach the finals in Philadelphia? And what will this next chapter in their rivalry look like?

The Overwatch League Finals will take place on Sunday, September 29th. 

Image courtesy of the Overwatch League

Vancouver Titans: The Team To Beat

Coming into the playoffs, different expectations were placed on both teams. For the Titans, after struggling at times in Stage 4, many expected the team to drop out before the finals and even fall into the loser’s bracket in the first round. However with tank player Jang-hyeon "TiZi" Hwang in the lineup, the Titans showed that it’s going to take more than a meta shift to take them down. With the best record in Season 2 along with a great run through the winner’s bracket, the Titans will still come into the Finals as the underdogs, a position that they’re not only familiar with, but probably the most comfortable in as well. Will the Titans be able to prove the world wrong once again? Or will their run truly end with a second-place finish once again?

San Francisco Shock: Youthful Dominance

Trying to stop the Titans from the loser’s bracket is their Overwatch League rival in the Shock. After an upset loss at the hands of the Atlanta Reigns in quarterfinals, the Shock dominated the loser’s bracket, never dropping a single map. Despite entering as the third seed, the expectations are high for the Shock as they were expected to win it all convincingly. With four players that were named Role stars and the only perfect stage in Overwatch League history, the Shock have continued to meet and exceed all expectations for the team this season. Once again they face off against the Titans in the finals. Will the Shock beat their rivals once again and ascend to the throne? Or will their amazing run through the loser’s bracket fall short?

MVP versus Rookie of the Season: A battle of fists.

One of the most exciting individual matchups to keep an eye on will be in the DPS role. This matchup will feature the rookie of the season in the Titan’s Hyojong "Haksal" Kim going up against the MVP in the Shock’s Jay "sinatraa" Won. With the current meta, this matchup will likely be a battle of the Doomfists. While Haksal has shown that he is one of, if not the best Doomfist players in the league at the moment, sinatraa has shown that he’s no pushover either. While both teams are filled to the brim with talent, this matchup could decide which team will have the edge to win it all.