7 December 2017 - 04:31

San Francisco Shock bring a Junkertown pirate ship and Moira to the Overwatch League, but ultimately fall to LA Valiant

The Shock went 1-1 on Wednesday.
Overwatch Staff Reporter
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Photo via Blizzard Entertainment

Junkertown is a land without rules, a bad guy's paradise. A shell of what the Australian outback once was, Junkertown is now known for its pirate ships. (Stay with me. This isn't in-game lore, but a very effective strategy for Junkertown.) Los Angeles Valiant and San Francisco Shock went head-to-head on Junkertown during their preseason exhibition match for the inaugural Overwatch League—and as expected, the match started with a pirate ship.

Atop Junkrat's pile-o'-loot, the Valiant used an Orisa and Bastion setup to push the payload past the first Junkertown point and into the city's streets. With a quick swap off the Bastion, the payload continued to cruise.

Shock had their own answer, though: They mirrored the Valiant's composition—Junkrat, Orisa, Roadhog, Widowmaker, Mercy, and Zenyatta. With their own Orisa shield a la David "nomy" Ramirez, Shock's André "iddqd" Dahlström lobbed grenades from afar. But alas, the pirate ship kept on sailing, just mere meters away from the end before Shock stabilized and sunk Valiant's ship.

And when the roles swapped—when Shock started on attack—the Bastion and Orisa pirate ship rode again. Valiant took a more aggressive defense against the Shock, but it simply didn't work: The Shock's ship of gold was unstoppable with iddqd on Bastion and Nomy on Orisa. Likewise, the Shock's two supports, Daniel "dhaK" Martínez Paz on Mercy and Nikola "sleepy" Andrews on Zenyatta, kept precise positioning that allowed the main damage dealers to stay alive. When the ship finally stalled before the last point, they switched up their composition, with iddqd on Tracer and Nomy on Winston.

Related: San Francisco Shock win the first match of the Overwatch League preseason

The Shock's payload started to stall out, too, but in the battle for California, the Valiant ended with a win on Junkertown.

The next map moved to Horizon Lunar Colony, with the Valiant on attack and the Shock on defense. Set up in the corner with babybay on his deadly Widowmaker, the Shock secured the high ground in the map's top corner. Valiant threw a few different compositions at the Shock, but it was their pseudo-dive that stuck, allowing the team to capture point A. Using that scrappy playstyle, the Valiant captured the second point for a full two points, but it wasn't pretty.

The Shock made quick work of the Valiant's defense when the roles swapped, and tied up the map with two points for each team. After a quick tiebreaker round, the Shock took the map win.

With the series tied, game three headed to Illios, where rounds went back-and-forth between the Shock and Valiant until the Shock took the map in a 2-1 match-up. Numbani turned up next, where either Shock would win their second series, or Valiant would tie things up.

After both teams scored three points on Numbani, a tiebreaker determined the winner of the map—the Valiant. With a 2-2 series, the Shock and Valiant moved into a scrappy tiebreaker match on Lijiang Tower.

For the first time in the Overwatch League—and one of the very few times in professional Overwatch—we saw Moira come into play. Shock's sleepy pulled out a cheeky Moira during the first round, using her evil Talon healing powers to support his team. He only played the hero for a few minutes before switching to Zenyatta, but it was a treat to see the new hero make her way into professional Overwatch.

But Moira wasn't enough to hold off the Valiant. The tiebreaker ended as quickly as it began, with the Valiant taking Lijiang Tower 2-0, finishing off the 3-2 series.

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