San Francisco Shock defeat NYXL, advance to Overwatch League grand finals

The Shock will face the Vancouver Titans in the biggest game of the year.

Photo by Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment

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The San Francisco Shock have booked their tickets to Philadelphia. After a monumental run through the loser’s bracket of the Overwatch League playoffs, they’ve moved on to face the Vancouver Titans in the Overwatch League grand finals.

The Shock won a 4-0 series against the New York Excelsior in the loser’s bracket finals. The Excelsior now end their season in third place after a hard-fought series.

The first map Lijiang Tower demonstrated both the Shock’s coordination and the Excelsior’s penchant for clutch plays. Last year’s Overwatch MVP Bang “JJoNak” Sung-hyeon used his skills as Moira to get key kills for New York, keeping them in the game. San Francisco’s DPS duo, Jay “Sinatraa” Won and Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo, combined their abilities as Doomfist and Reaper to stop the Excelsior’s pushes. Shock took the first map after many scrappy fights.

New York team captain Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong Ryeol played Bastion on King’s Row to stand up to the Shock. His team denied the Shock a full completion of the map. While the Excelsior made incredible strides on the Escort map, the coordination between San Francisco’s DPS and support lines were too much. NYXL was held just after point B and Shock went up 2-0 at halftime.

Throughout the playoffs, Assault maps tended to be the closest, and this series was no exception. Both teams took both points of Temple of Anubis with ample time, thanks to continual fights between DPS players. Saebyeolbe and Striker even had a Reaper ultimate face-off to decide the fate of a single point.

In the end, Shock were able to complete six entire points on Anubis. Tank Choi “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-Bin showed his mastery on Sigma with a few clutch Gravitic Fluxes. NYXL were able to take five points on the map but couldn’t quite match up to the Shock’s plays.

The New York Excelsior brought in alternate DPS Hwang “Fl0w3R” Yeon-oh to play Pharah on final map Rialto. He and Saebyeolbe, who was back on the Bastion, did their best on both defense and attack to slow the Shock’s push. San Francisco relied upon their ability to stay calm during high-pressure matches and held the NYXL before they could complete the map.

With their fourth 4-0 series of the loser’s bracket, the San Francisco Shock seem renewed and ready to face the Vancouver Titans. The Shock and Titans have faced off in two stage finals; Vancouver took the first stage and San Francisco took the second.

When asked if he had a message for the Vancouver Titans, 2019 league MVP Sinatraa didn’t hold back: “Easy 4-0, just like every other team.”

The Overwatch League grand finals will take place in Philadelphia on Sept. 29. The Titans and Shock will face off at 2pm CT.