The second Overwatch League (OWL) Grand Finals took place on Sunday, September 29th in front of a sold out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
With the OWLs following the “first to four wins” format, there was every bit the likelihood that this match-up could go the distance in all eight map matches. So, did the San Francisco Shock or the Vancouver Titans take home the trophy and the $1.1 million prize money?
Let’s take a look:
Map 1: Lijiang Tower
Vancouver, being the higher seed in the league, was able to pick the first map. They elected to open the match at Lijiang Tower. At the start, they came out with Twilight sporting Bridgette instead of the usual Moira support that he would normally play. If Vancouver had a plan, it never got a chance to fly.
Lacking the healing that Moira normally provides, the Titans were quickly forced to swap back to the standard Moira pick. Unfortunately, it was too little too late. Sinatraa got a five elimination lead early on. Smurf and sinatraa had the first Ultimate combo, forcing Titans to retreat and rethink.
Titans came back strong with Moria back in the mix and contested and grabbed the point from Shock. However, that doesn’t seem to take hold very long. Even JJANU pulls in a Sigma Ultimate but is only able to rid Shock of moth. Then, Shock just over powers the rest of the Titans to retake the point for the first win of the match.
While point A was clearly a lopsided affair, point B was much closer. Vancouver came giving all they had with a more familiar setup to catch up with the Shock’s early lead. Vancouver’s Star DPS Haskel scored a four kill Meteor Strike on Doomfist. It looked like they might tie up the map by being the first to cap.
San Francisco came back all together, yet still had some trouble getting into the point. While Viol2t had to Ult heal with Moira, Haskal came in once again with a meteor Strike and eliminated four of Shock’s players.
With Titans at 65% on the point, Shock took out slime and creeped into the point. Then, taking out Twilight and tizi, they capped the point. There was a short back and forth for the point again, but after Shock took another key team fight, they were able to get their first win of the match. Titans still came close with 97% on the point.
Score: San Francisco 1, Vancouver 0
Map 2: Eichenwalde
Since the Titans lost the first map, they once again had the choice of map and elected Eichenwalde to be their map. Shock started on the attack and shocked everyone with a Mei/Bastion composition for their DPS. Vancouver was caught pretty off guard in that first take, and Shock managed to complete their first attack with 2:49 left on the clock. Which gave them a huge boost for the next part. Vancouver only ended up with three kills that entire attack.
Shock seemed to easily push the payload up to the bridge as the Mei/Bastion Ult combo payed off for them well. Titans had to reset since Shock got a full team kill. This enabled Shock to grab checkpoint B pretty easily.
This is where Vancouver managed to look a little desperate. However, they did manage to slow down Shock a little. Unfortunately for the Titans, though, as soon as Shock was able to round the corner, they had 3 Ults ready to pop. Rascal thres out Blizzard just as Twilight put Architect to sleep, holding off some damage coming their way. But just when they think they are safe, Architect popped his Ult and rocket jumped as Bastion to the chandlers and rained down hell fire with no one to stop him. Shock took the third point.
The Titans’ run for offense was next. While they came out with the same team comp, the Shock switched it up on them. The Shock switched Mei for Pharah, and they switched Ana and Baptiste for Baptiste and Mercy.
The Titans actually do a decent job on the first take without any real issue. They finished their first attack with 2:30 on their clock. Which was pretty close to Shock’s original time. This is where Titans had some issues. They got held up at the gate as Shock just railed them with attacks. Haskal tried to drop a Blizzard Ult from Mei, but ChoiHyoBin’s Sigma ate it up. SeoMinSoo came in from behind to grab a triple kill, with the rest of the team helping on two more kills to start pushing forward once again.
The Titans made their way past the bridge, and with another near team wipe, Titans grab point B making their way into the castle. SeoMinSoo usd teleport to get behind a very stable Shock setup and took out moth and Raskal before getting eliminated. This is where they seem to end up in trouble. Shock, like Obi-wan, has the high ground and is just raining damage down on the Titans. With time running out, and only 65% of the map taken, the Titans need to find an opening. As rascal pops up an ice wall, JJANU continues a distracting barrage of attacks, while SeoMinSoo sneaks in for a kill and then an Ult, which takes out two more. This gave the Titans a chance to take that third point.
When San Francisco took their second attack, they opened with the Bastion comp that had provided such success their first attack. However, they failed to get any progress on the point for the first two and a half minutes of their 2:47 overtime clock. With a last second switch into a Pharah/Doomfist composition, the Shock overwhelmed the point and grabbed their second map from the Titans.
This brought the map into overtime. Titans tried some sneaky menuvors with SeoMinSoo and Haksal coming into the house where Shock is set up, but that Mercy and her rez keeps whatever player dies back in the game.
With 54 seconds left on in the map, SeoMinSoo tried once again to take out the Shock from their perch and got a Nano-boost Ult from Twilight. He then fired away and got his Ult only to take Architect. Then, the Shock’s Haskal Rain’s down some justice with Pharah’s Rocket Barrage and scored a three kill to crush any hopes the Titans had of capturing the point.
The Shock’s turn literally goes down to the last few seconds. With a last-second switch into a Pharah/Doomfist composition, the Shock finally overwhelmed the point and grabbed their second map from the Titans.
Score: San Francisco 2, Vancouver 0
Map 3: Anubis
Once again with a round loss, the Titans decided to take map three to Anubis. They came out running a Reaper/Doomfist composition on DPS and Moira/Lucio on Healing, which San Francisco was matching.
The Titans took Point A handily. It was like they just waltzed right in, with over five minutes remaining and plenty of momentum to spare. SeoMinSoo’s Reaper did an amazing clean up job. But Shock wasn’t done. They needed to run down the clock and put the Titans’ breaks on. Smurf and ChoiHyoBin showed some extremely solid defense. While the Titans eventually took point B, they walked away with 1:34 seconds left on the clock.
San Francisco’s first offensive round had both teams holding to the same compositions they had played during the Titans’ attack. Unfortunately for San Francisco, they seemed to initially struggle. SeoMinSoo, with multiple kills, didn’t give them an inch to stand on. The Shock ran the clock all the way down to overtime before finally capturing point A.
The Shock had three minutes to get into and capture point B, which isn’t a lot of time. However, the Shock came back and steamrolled over the Titans. Sinatraa’s Doomfist all over the map racked up damage. Smurf and ChoiHyoBin held down the fort, and they captured point B with 2:12 left on the clock.
For Vancouver’s second attack, the Shock planned a surprise for their defense, subbing out Doomfist for Mei. While this switch caught the Titans off guard and took a huge chunk of their time away, the Titans quickly recovered and pickep up point A after SeoMinSoo’s Ult goes off for a five kill. However, they ran out of steam there and were completely stopped on point B.
Now, the Shock came out looking to end the map with a win. But Vancouver didn’t plan on going down quietly. After some key kills from Striker’s Reaper, they grabbed point A. The Titans were unable to get back on their feet as San Francisco ripped through them once again to get all the progress they needed to claim the map.
Score: San Francisco 3, Vancouver 0
Map 4: Watchpoint Gibraltar
San Francisco opened map four on the attack. They went back to the Bastion/Mei/Baptiste composition that they found lots of success with earlier. The Titans went with the Reaper/Doomfist/Lucio mix that got them some leverage in the first few matches. It was clear that the Shock was willing and fighting to put this Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals away after this.
The Titans nearly team killed right out of the gate. SeoMinSoo ripped through the Shock like they were made of paper. However, once the Shock finally got their positioning right, they were back in the game. The Titans didn’t win another team fight until after Point B. The moth/Architect Ult combo destroyed the Titans early on, and the double shields from Sigma and Orisa provided amazing protection.
Rascal threw out an ice wall and a blizzard, enabling the Shock to cinche the third point. The Shock grabbed all three points with 1:52 left on their clock.
San Francisco held to the same Bastion/Pharah/Baptiste composition they played on offense on the last map. This proved to be an excellent choice on point A. The Titans struggled to make progress as the damage rained down on them from above. But once Point A was taken, the Titans picked up some momentum and cruised through Point B. This new momentum also made the Shock change up their Pharah to bring back Mei. This is where that energy seemed to slow, and San Francisco’s defense stepped up again and brought the Titans’ offense to a screaming halt.
With time running out, Vancouver threw everything they had into one last push that just didn’t seem to work out for them.
San Francisco held their ground, securing their first Overwatch League championship.
Final Score: San Francisco 4, Vancouver 0
The San Francisco Shock brought this season to a close that will likely stand out as one of the greatest in Overwatch League history. From going an entire stage without losing a single map, to becoming the first team to pull off such a feet, to their Grand Finals sweep, the Shock’s streak through the Semifinals and the Grand Finals was unbeatable. Although we don’t know what the future will bring for the OWLs, we do know this one will always stand out. Congratulations San Francisco Shock!
Who were you rooting for? And what was your favorite moment of this year’s Overwatch League Grand Finals?
Tell us in the comments section below!
Top image via PowerUp! Gaming
This article was written by John D. AKA SomeBeardy2Love. John has been gaming for 30 years, has a bow tie tattoo, and watches nothing but anime and Bob’s Burgers. He co-hosts a mostly weekly podcast and has a sponsored beard.