After yet another thrilling season, the Grand Finals of the Overwatch League are once again fast approaching. The 29th September will see the Vancouver Titans take on the league’s surprise package team San Francisco Shock at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, in what promises to be an absorbing final. Despite their 4-0 clean sweep victory of New York Excelsior, Shock will understandably head into the finals as the underdogs. However, after their performance vs NYXL, it would be remiss of anyone to rule them out. With all of this in mind, what can we expect from the final? And realistically, who looks set to come out on top of Season 2?
No shock here… we are in the @overwatchleague Grand Finals!
— San Francisco Shock⚡ (@SFShock) 16 September 2019
The story so far
San Francisco Shock will be rightly full of confidence after coming into the finals of a dominant run in the bottom side of the bracket. Although they were upset by Atlanta Reign 4-3 earlier on in the playoffs, they have proved to be unstoppable since; the team are 16-0 in their last four series against high-quality opposition, which consisted of London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Hangzhou Spark and New York Excelsior.
The Vancouver Titans ran away with the Overwatch league, posting an impressive record of 25-3, securing the first seed in the process. With both teams on top form, this is shaping up to perhaps the most eagerly anticipated Grand Final since the ever popular launch of the OWL back in 2017.
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Head to head and roster changes
The Grand Finals will mark the third and definitive chapter in one of the best budding rivalries in the world of eSports entertainment. The Titans beat The Shock in an epic 4-3 showdown in the Stage 1 Finals, while Shock won the rematch in the Stage 2 finals 4-2. In the sport of boxing, it’s often said that styles make fights and the same could also be said of competitive Overwatch match-ups. The sheer number of differences between the two teams meant that we should have an absolute classic on our hands.
The Titans have adjusted to the OWL flawlessly from the South Korean circuit and save the addition of Lee “Hooreg” Dong-eun, have done it with largely the same tactics and players. The Shock on the other hand have built their franchise from the ground up, recruiting prominent North American players Matthew “Super” DeLisi and Grant “Moth” Espe, in addition to South Koreans Park “Architect” Min-ho and Kim “Rascal” Dong-jun.
What we expect to happen
Those who are thinking of betting on Overwatch League will already be aware that most bookmakers make the Vancouver Titans favorites going into the final clash. And on paper, you have to say that this is justified. Their mechanical skills are a step above pretty much any other team in the league, their plays are original and the coaching has been flawless post-season. However, to write off San Francisco Shock would be doing them a disservice, especially given how close the two previous encounters between the teams have been. Given that it’s The Shock’s first real reason in the OWL, you can’t help but feel that they may just fall short when coming up against the consistent excellence of The Titans. For that reason, we expect the Canadian team to just shade the match-up by a scoreline of 4 maps to 3.
An event to look forward to
With ZEDD already booked in to perform at the Grand Finals, the event promises to be an all-round entertaining affair. The Russian-German music producer is reportedly a huge fan of Overwatch and plays it along with other popular titles such as APEX Legends when he can find time in his busy schedule. All in all, the Vancouver Titans are deservedly favorites for the match-up and will look to get out of the blocks quickly as has been their strategy all season. Under the guidance of former Boston Rising Head Coach Park “Crusty” Dae-hee however, Shock have successfully formed a genuine hybrid roster and much will depend on their players’ co-operation and team bonding. One thing is for sure, when the event takes place on the 29th September, all eyes will be on the Fargo Center.