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San Francisco Shock continue to impress in Overwatch League

San Francisco Shock continue to impress in Overwatch League
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Stage four of Overwatch League keeps on giving us surprising results. This time around, the Los Angeles Valiant (6-0) managed to stay perfect by defeating the New York Excelsior (5-1) in five maps, advancing to first place for the stage. The Dallas Fuel (4-2) also pulled off a huge upset against the London Spitfire (3-3) in a four map set, putting both Texas teams within striking distance for a spot in the stage finals. At the bottom of the stage standings, the Florida Mayhem (0-6), Shanghai Dragons (0-6), and, much to everyone's surprise, the Boston Uprising (0-6) are all winless thus far. Shanghai will play both Florida and Boston next week, and if they can't convert one of those matches to a win, they will likely finish the season at 0-40. Last week, it was the San Francisco Shock (4-2) who turned a lot of heads. They have emerged as one of the best teams in this meta, winning games against teams they would have surely lost to in previous stages.

The $150 thousand dollar man

Jay "Sinatraa" Won is finally getting a proper chance to prove why he's worthy of his enormous salary. This meta has been very kind to tanks, but not so helpful for Tracer - Sinatraa's claim to fame. That's actually part of what makes him so impressive right now. Even though Brigitte has been stuffing flankers left and right, Sinatraa has still been giving teams something to think about. He's been unstoppable in stage four, and it doesn't stop with Tracer. [caption id="attachment_104229" align="alignnone" width="600"]Jay "sinatraa" Won Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment[/caption] As has been the case with most teams enjoying success right now, the Shock shine in situations where they need to stay flexible. Against Boston, Sinatraa brought out Zarya, Brigitte, and Junkrat when Tracer didn't quite fit on a particular map or point. Being proficient on so many heroes allowed both Minho "Architect" Park and Andrej "Babybay" Francisty to stay on roles they were comfortable with. If San Francisco hopes to keep this pace up, Sinatraa will have to shoulder a lot of the burden when he's in the game. The Philadelphia Fusion (3-3) and New York Excelsior are up next for the Shock, and both of those teams can put an end to their recent dominance.

Coaching has likely helped

In one of the most mind-boggling decisions of the entire season, Boston coach Park "Crusty" Da-Hee parted ways with the organization for an opportunity with the Shock. Under Crusty, Boston became the most feared mixed roster in the league. They had a 14 game winning streak at one point which was even more impressive considering they had to do it with second-string DPS player Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov. What exactly happened might not ever come to light, but Crusty's magic has certainly been welcome in San Francisco's dugout. [caption id="attachment_104228" align="alignnone" width="600"]Hyo-bin "ChoiHyoBin" Choi Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment[/caption] The style of play we've seen out of the Shock has been much more confident in stage four. Babybay has been playing some of his best Overwatch of the season, Architect is one of the most effective Widowmakers in the league, and their frontline has improved dramatically now that Matthew "Super" DeLisi and Hyo-Bin "Choihyobin" Choi have had some playtime together. Crusty has unlocked something in this team that they've been lacking all season long. If the Shock can secure a spot in the stage four finals, they will have redeemed themselves in the eyes of their fans - and there are a lot of them who have been loyally standing by. There are some other factors that may help them get there. Both the Los Angeles teams are also in the top four right now, and they both have tricky schedules coming up. The Houston Outlaws are knocking on the door, but they have to face teams that they've historically struggled against. As long as the Shock hold up their end of the deal, they have a great shot of making that long-awaited playoff appearance.


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