7 December 2017 - 02:02

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

The Overwatch League preseason has begun.
Overwatch Staff Reporter
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Photo via Blizzard Entertainment

Ah, the Overwatch League is underway after brewing for over a year. Blizzard's inaugural league kicked off with a match between the Florida Mayhem and San Francisco Shock, which isn't exactly what the schedule had planned for. The Philadelphia Fusion were initially set to take on the Mayhem, but the Comcast Spectacor–owned Overwatch team pulled out of the matches just days before they were scheduled to begin, citing "player logistics issues," whatever that means. (It likely means visa problems.)

And so, the Shock took the Fusion's spot, upping their day one debut to two different games. (They'll face the Los Angeles Valiant immediately following their match against the Shock.) But the boys in orange certainly don't seem to mind: Donning their shiny new jerseys, the Shock strutted into the newly-renovated Blizzard Arena to a California hometown crowd.

Related: The Overwatch League preseason won't stream on Twitch

Shock took the first two maps of the Overwatch League's first game in quick succession—first on Dorado, then on Temple of Anubis. The Shock's Andrej "babybay" Francisty stood out on both maps, using Widowmaker with surgical precision to get crucial picks on Mayhem. Babybay hung back, and Mayhem just didn't have an answer for him. With both teams scoring both points, a tiebreaker called the map, and Shock took the win.

Mayhem proved to be a tougher opponent on the third map, Oasis—the team is clearly more practiced on the capture point maps. But it was Shock that ultimately won the map after a one-to-one tie on Oasis. With the win, Shock won the series, but the teams continued onto a fourth match regardless.

The teams moved to Eichenwalde, where Mayhem started on attack, pushing back against Shock with an aggressive point A capture. Using Roadhog, Orisa, McCree, Junkrat, Zenyatta, and Mercy, Mayhem barreled through the capture point and quickly pushed the payload toward the castle. Mayhem reached the end of the map with nearly two minutes left on the clock.

Shock struck back with a sneaky flank that had babybay flying high on Pharah. Teamwork between the Shock players was perfectly executed—the team knew what their opponent was doing and collapsed in on Mayhem for a quick capture. Shock's subsequent push through the streets stalled a bit—a fierce push by babybay's Widowmaker and Andreas "Nevix" Karlsson's clutch D.Va play.

Ultimately, it wasn't enough to reach the final point, and Mayhem ended the series with one point on the board.

The Shock will take a tiny break before taking on the Valiant in the next match of day one. And according to the casters, this was a burden that the Shock stepped up to: When Fusion couldn't make it, Shock wanted to prove themselves. The team is hungry, and it shows.

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