It’s all led up to this. With all four stages, three stage playoffs, and the season playoffs now behind us it’s time to look at the Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals held between the San Francisco Shock and the Vancouver Titans.
The Shock came back after a round one loss in the playoffs to sweep their remaining opponents to get to the big show. As for the Titans have been dominant all season long. They have only dropped three matches in the regular season. That said, with a loss to the Shock in the stage two playoffs they have to be careful not to underestimate San Francisco.
With the Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals following the first to four wins format there was every likelihood that this match could go the distance with seven map matches, and even an eight map match, having been seen this playoffs.
Map 1: Lijang Tower
Vancouver being the higher seed elected to open the match at Lijang Tower. Coming out sporting Bridgette instead of the usual Moira support pick it looked like Vancouver had a plan. Whatever that plan was, it never got a chance to come together. Lacking the better healing Moira provides the Titans were quickly forced to swap back to the standard Moira pick. However, it was too little too late. San Francisco took point a with little trouble.
While point a was a lopsided affair point b was much closer. Vancouver came giving all they had to catch up with the Shock’s early lead. With highlight’s like Vancouver’s Star DPS Haskel scoring a four kill Meteor Steike on Doomfist it looked like they might tie up the map. Alas, it was all for nought. San Francisco came back, winning some key team fights to eek out the first win of the match.
Score: San Francisco 1, Vancouver 0
Map 2: Eichenwalde
Having dropped map one Vancouver once again had the choice of map and this time elected Eichenwalde to be their map of choice. The Shock started on the attack and surprised everyone with a Mei/Bastion composition for their attack. Vancouver were caught flat footed and the Shock managed to complete their first attack with 2:49 left on the clock. Not only that, but Vancouver only managed three kills the entire attack. Things were looking bad.
Vancouver came out for their first attack with the standard Mei/Reaper comp that has been very popular this playoff season. With San Francisco opting to once again run the Bastion on defense. This coupled with a Pharah promised plenty of damage output for the Shock. Would Vancouver be able to better adapt this time? Yes. Yes they would.
Vancouver managed to not only adapt, but plow through San Francisco’s defense. Things started looking particularly bad from point b on for the Shock as they started swapping characters. Looking desperate they did manage to slow down Vancouver a little but when it wrapped up the Vancouver Titans finished their first attack with 2:47 on their clock. Almost an exact match with San Francisco. Their second attack was more of the same composition wise for both teams. But this time the map played out very differently. With time running out, and only 55% of the map taken by the Titans, Rascal scored a three kill Rocket Barrage with Pharah to crush any hopes the Titans had of capturing the 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 were able to overwhelm the point and grab their second map from the Titans.
Score: San Francisco 2, Vancouver 0
Map 3 Anubis
Vancouver elected to take map three to Anubis. Not wanting to fall to a three to zero deficit, the Titans desperately needed a win. They came out running a Reaper/Doomfist composition, which San Francisco was matching.
Point a was taken handedly by Vancouver with over five minutes remaining and plenty of momentum to spare. But San Francisco put on the brakes and showed some extremely solid defense. While the Titans did manage to take point b, they walked away with only 1:34 of their five minutes remaining. San Francisco’s first attack saw both teams holding to the same compositions they had played in the previous attack. Despite the familiarity with the composition San Francisco struggled initially. Running the clock all the way down to overtime before eventually capturing point a. But with this momentum the Shock came back and steamrolled over the Titans to not only capture the second point, they also ended with a better time bank than the Titans.
For Vancouver’s second attack the Shock planned a surprise for their defense, subbing out Doomfist for Mei. While this switch did catch the Titans flat footed at first Vancouver quickly recovered and managed to pick up point a. However they ran out of steam there and were full held on point b. With all the pressure on them San Francisco came out looking to end the map with a win. Vancouver didn’t plan on going down quietly however. But behind some key kills from DPS player Striker they manage to grab point a. And from there Vancouver was never able to get their feet under them as San Francisco ripped through them to get all the progress they need to claim the map.
Score: San Francisco 3, Vancouver 0
Map 4 Watchpoint Gibraltar
San Francisco opened map five on the attack. Going back to the Bastion/Mei/Baptiste composition they found lots of success with earlier the Shock were hoping to put this Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals away. With Vancouver struggling on defense it looked like the title was San Francisco’s to take. The Titans never managed to win a team fight till after Point b, and even then the respite was brief. When the Shock came back they finished their attack with 1:52 left. It’s was do or die time for the Titans.
San Francisco held to the same Bastion/Pharah/Baptiste composition they played on offense. This proved to be an excellent choice on point a with Vancouver struggling to make progress as the damage rained down on them from on high. But once Point a was taken the Titans picked up some momentum and managed to cruise through Point b. This new energy soon proved spent though as San Francisco’s defense stepped up again and brought the Vancouver offense to a screeching halt. With time running out Vancouver threw everything they had into one last push that came to naught. San Francisco held their ground securing their first Overwatch League championship.
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 seasons in Overwatch League history. From going an entire stage without losing a single map, becoming the first team to ever pull off such a feet to their Grand Finals sweep, it was a year of firsts for both the San Francisco Shock, and the Overwatch League in general.
I hope you all have enjoyed the Overwatch League 2019 season. I’ve enjoyed both the season, and getting to provide coverage for you all here at butwhythopodcast.com. I hope I will see you back here next season! That’s it for our Overwatch league 2019 Grand Finals coverage.