Philadelphia Fusion vs San Francisco Shock
For our second match of the day, we have an absolutely insane clash between the stage one finalists -- San Francisco Shock, and the season one finalists -- Philadelphia Fusion. This is, by all means, one of the best matches of the week, and if it's even half as good as we think it's going to be, then we're in for quite an entertaining scrap. A fight for the ages.
But even though these two teams are well-known for their immense strength and talent, they're playing from completely different positions right now. On one hand, we have the Shock who are currently riding high with six wins in stage two, zero losses, and a spectacular, almost mind-boggling plus twenty map differential. Whenever this team stepped foot on the Overwatch League stage, they completely obliterated their opposition.
In short, they're absolutely spectacular, regardless of the way you analyze their play. They have some of the best players in the League, they're all young talents with immense mechanical prowess, and they're still looking for affirmation. They've been fantastic for quite a long while now, but an actual trophy or first-place finish has always eluded them. Always so close, and yet so far away. Their Best of 7 finals against the Vancouver Titans is perhaps the best example.
They have two matches lined up for the last week of stage two (excluding the playoffs), and that's against the Philadelphia Fusion, and the Shanghai Dragons. Both teams are tough to crack, but you can bet that the Shock is investing more time and effort in building a solid game plan for the Fusion, mainly because the Philly boys always manage to play up to the level of their opponents.
If they win both of these two matches, and, by all accounts, they should be able to do so, they're going to lock down a first-place finish and have the best possible seeding next week once the playoffs begin. Their incredible map differential should give them a solid boost, and if they continue dominating they could attain an insurmountable map lead -- a lead that even the current champions (Vancouver Titans) couldn't overcome.
Make no mistake -- the San Francisco Shock have all the right tools at their disposal in order to win the upcoming playoffs. They're highly motivated, incredibly adept at the current meta, and they're one of the most synergetic and capable teams in competitive Overwatch.
The Philadelphia Fusion, on the other hand, aren't doing so hot. Perhaps that's even an understatement. Their last two matches were back in week three when they lost to the New York Excelsior in 1-3 fashion, and outclassed the Houston Outlaws just a day later in a clean 4-0 sweep. They're currently ranked eleventh, which is somewhat respectable, albeit pretty underwhelming considering they're still an incredibly talented team filled with some fantastic players -- players that have already proven their worth, time and time again.
With three wins and three losses, and just a single match left to be played, they're out of the playoffs entirely, and are basically fighting for scraps right now. Their second stage was pretty underwhelming, and even though the meta slightly shifted in their favor, they were unable to capitalize and clutch things out when it mattered the most. A somewhat tough strenght of schedule also made things complicated, so they didn't have luck in that regard either. That said, they're still a solid mid-tier team; a team that's capable of transcending their level of play and going blow-for-blow with the best the Overwatch League has to offer.
That's why you can never really count them out. They often make huge improvements with each passing week, and it's only a matter of time before this team reaches their former glory once again. It might not come soon, but they should be able to challenge or the season playoffs once the dust settles.
Right now, it's simply impossible not to side with San Francisco. They're, without a doubt, one of the best and most capable teams in the history of the Overwatch League. Losing in the stage one finals lit a fire beneath them, and they're playing for both redemption as well as revenge. While it might not be as one-sided as most people expect, the San Francisco Shock should be more than able to get the win.
|San Francisco Shock||1.08||4||Win|