Blizzard’s Overwatch League will finish its 2019 season with a sold-out showdown between the Vancouver Titans and San Francisco Shock in Philadelphia on September 29.
Pro Overwatch fans have seen the Titans and the Shock face off before; they competed at the finals of both Stages 1 and 2. Titans took the first stage, the Shock claimed the second.
With each team claiming one stage, it seems that these two powerhouses are equally matched.
Chris Puckett, one of the most widely recognized faces in esports and a host for the Overwatch League, commented on the equal dominance of the two teams.
"I think it definitely plays a part,” he said. “These two teams have met up four times… the record is 2-2 and they are tied 11-11 in mapcount.”
In terms of the season, Puckett expected an impressive performance from the Titans, but not necessarily the Shock.
“I knew Vancouver was going to be good because I knew they were so consistent in Korea as Runaway. But I honestly never expected the Shock to perform as well as they did. I think their coaching staff deserves a lot of the credit as well as star performances from [players] Super and Sinatraa.”
Compared to its last season, the Shock is a prime example of a team that crafted itself from mediocre to dominant. In the league’s inaugural season, the Shock finished in ninth place out of 12 teams.
Like most teams, the Shock began their 2019 season with a significant change in line-up, and it seems to have paid off. During Stage 2 of this season, the Shock became the first and only team in league history to complete a stage without losing a single map-- that’s 28 map wins in a row.
Coming into the Grand Finals, the Shock has swept its past four matches, taking down powerhouse teams like NYXL in 4-0 matches.
They finished the regular season with a 23-5 record.
The Titans made an even bigger mark on the league this past year, earning the number one seat during the regular season over the Shock.
In their first competitive season, the Titans blasted their way onto the pro Overwatch scene, claiming Stage 1 with a perfect 7-0 match record.
The Shock isn’t the only record-holder either; the Titans currently hold the longest win streak in league history, blazing through 15 teams until they were defeated by the Los Angeles Valiant in one of the most memorable games of the season.
They finished the regular season with a record of 25-3.
Looking to next season, Puckett is excited to see what may come with new heroes.
“Personally, I love it. I think the metas will continue to change any time a new hero is introduced. This makes it incredibly exciting for the fans and for my team on the analyst desk,” he said.
Along with the expected meta changes that come with the arrival of new heroes, the Overwatch League is formally expanding into local markets and taking the games to the fans.
“I think the Dallas Homestead was the perfect proof of concept. The arena sold out and they brought more energy than we could ever imagine. I know everyone from production to the teams is excited to explore the world and share our passion with the local fan bases.”
For now, hardcore fans will be able to watch the Titans and the Shock meet head-to-head at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
The Grand Finals will begin at 3 p.m. EST with a preshow performance by DJ and music producer Zedd at 2:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Overwatch League Twitch channel, the ESPN app and ABC.