Los Angeles Valiant vs San Francisco Shock
For our second match of the day we have a very exciting clash between the Los Angeles Valiant and the San Francisco Shock.
Now for the Valiant this match carries absolutely zero significance. Win or lose it doesn't matter as they did all the hard work prior and they're set to reach the season playoffs as the Pacific Devision number one seed. (playoffs bye included)
They don't have any reason to tryhard really but they will still probably continue doing so. Their teamwork isn't perfect and there is always room for improvement if you're not New York Excelsior, so any chance that they can get to test out their strength is going to be highly valuable, especially if it's before the playoffs.
They were demolished last time in the Stage 3 playoffs so they surely want to put up a bigger fight this time around. They have the tools to do so, however how high they can go remains to be seen. They're improving at quite a serious pace but only time will tell if they'll be able to contest with New York or not. (however the chances aren't in their favor)
The Valiant survived yet another fairly complex series of challenges last week as they were able to best not only the London Spitfire (a close 2-1 affair) but the very aggressive Houston Outlaws as well. (4-0)
They weren't perfect, but they didn't have to be. While they did show some kinks in the armor they're still far above any other team not named NYXL so there's no cause for alarm.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was just how well Soon performed, along with Agilities who was already clutch on more than one occasion throughout Stage 4. The Valiant have one of the best tank duos in the entire League in Space and Fate and arguably one of the best support duos as well. (more potent than expected in some cases)
Their only problem lies in the DPS department. However with Agilities stepping up immensely overall and Soon starting to be a very potent hit-scan player in his own right the Valiant actually have the firepower to fight against the very best.
Soon was always a clutch player when the Valiant needed him to be and he's winning fights for his team in Widow battles. The fact that he took down LiNkzr with relative ease was an incredible display of his improvement. He is an incredibly valuable resource for the Valiant and when he plays up to his level it's marvelous to watch.
He was always a solid Widowmaker but in the last couple of weeks of play he's been more than above average - he's been clutch and consistent which in this meta matters the most. When you pair that with Agilities' play as well you get a very capable DPS duo and all of a sudden can tango with the very best in the League.
Shock on the other hand also had quite a big test last week however they did a lot worse than expected. They failed to beat a resurging Philadelphia Fusion and then proceeded to get outclassed by a "sandbagging" New York Excelsior also in 2-1 fashion.
They didn't play badly - far from it in fact. They just weren't good enough and that was a problem. Their strengths didn't work and weren't potent enough to fight against these two top tier teams and it seems like the Shock still need some time before contesting against the very best teams in the Overwatch League.
With their two losses last week the Shock essentially lost every chance of contesting for the Stage 4 playoffs as they're currently sitting at seventh place with 4 wins and 4 losses. While they have the Shanghai Dragons this week which is a sure win their clash against the Valiant is not - far from it.
They have the tools to make this a very complicated clash and perhaps even take the series to map five but they shouldn't be able to win. Even though the Valiant don't have anything to lose they're still taking every single series very seriously and with good reason - they can use the practice. Plus the ever elusive 10-0 stage score is within spitting distance and they would become the second team to ever do it which isn't a small feat. (interestingly enough New York never had a 10-0 stage even though they always played out of their minds)
|Los Angeles Valiant||1.26||7||Win|