San Francisco Shock vs Shanghai Dragons
For our first Stage 2 playoff match, we have a clash between the San Francisco Shock and the Shanghai Dragons. What an exciting match-up; one that will surely bring a lot of fireworks.
In fact, this is one of the easiest Stage 2 playoff matches to predict, and it's not just because everyone's expecting the Shock to steamroll through all opposition. No, it's because this is a clash that already happened just a week ago. Both these teams went to war on May 5th, and the Shock got the better end with a clean 4-0 win.
The Dragons made things competitive. Perhaps even really competitive, but the fact that they weren't able to get even a single map win tells you more than you need to know. They lost 1-2 on Oasis, and then proceeded to lose by the skin of their teeth (in 4-5 fashion) on Paris, King's Row, and Rialto. It was a spectacular fight across all four maps, but whenever the Shock needed to step up and get the job done, they've managed to do so. This fight should be no different.
What can one even say about the San Francisco Shock that hasn't already been said? Is there anything left, any superlative or adjective that was left unused? They are so good, and yet no one's getting bored. We're still not satisfied and burned out on their domination, because, in a way, it feels like they're just starting out. This is but a beginning of their incredible dominance, and yet we still know there is a titan or two (no pun intended) waiting on the other side of the bracket, ready to tango in yet another Best of 7 finals.
Watching competitive Overwatch was never this exciting and exhilarating. The Overwatch League never had so many stellar line-ups that were so adept at the meta and mentally resilient. The Shock are, perhaps, the best team in the League right now, and we cannot wait for them to prove it.
They're entering the playoffs on a seven game win streak. That's a metric ton of momentum. They went undefeated throughout the entirety of stage two. But like that wasn't enough -- and make no mistake, it is -- they took things up a notch. They didn't lose a map. Not even one. That's a seismic accomplishment. Twenty-eight map wins, zero losses, zero ties. A perfect twenty-eight map differential. They even lead over the Vancouver Titans who sit at a measly "plus twenty-two". Like that's a pedestrian achievement.
The sights of them going blow-for-blow with the Titans in the stage one finals are still fresh in everyone's mind, and we all want more of that. We all want to see such high octane, top-tier competitive Overwatch, and we know for certain that it's coming our way sooner rather than later.
The Dragons are a fantastic team, make no mistake about it. They're capable, deceptively strong and adept at the current meta; they have a couple of exceptional players and have proven their worth on more than one occasion -- but they're no San Francisco Shock. Not even close.
In the end, we simply have to side with the San Francisco Shock on this one. They've been so incredibly dominant and spectacular in their play that it's impossible not to give them full benefit of the doubt. They're poised to make yet another incredible run towards the finals, and the Dragons are just a negligible block in the road. That said, judging by the last time these two teams met, this should, by all means, be an absolute barnburner that will be decided by the slimmest of margins.
|San Francisco Shock||1.05||8||Win|