By Blizzard Entertainment
San Francisco Shock
Joined Overwatch League: July 2017
The Shock fielded one the youngest rosters in the Overwatch League in 2018, with several of their best players only becoming age-eligible in the middle of the season. As a result, the Shock finished the first half of the season with identical 3-7 records in Stages 1 and 2, putting them near the bottom of the standings. During Stage 3, the Shock got an infusion of new blood as Min-Ho “Architect” Park, Grant “Moth” Espe, Matthew “Super” DeLisi, and Jay “Sinatraa” Won joined the team. The impact was immediate as the Shock jumped up to a 6-4 record, just missing out on the Stage Playoffs on the basis of map differential. San Francisco slipped a little in Stage 4, going 5-5, but the team was clearly headed in the right direction as the season concluded.
2018 TEAM STATS AND LEAGUE RANKINGS
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Find out what the casting team thinks about the Shock’s lineup.
Keys to Success
Overwatch League analyst Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson offers his thoughts on what San Francisco needs to focus on this season:
- The San Francisco Shock are expected to be the most improved team this season. Management has not been averse to splashing the cash, snagging some of the hottest players on the market, such as former Boston DPS Nam-Ju “Striker” Gwon and Zenyatta prodigy Min-Ki “Viol2t” Park. Now that the Shock have all the pieces to match the best in the league, they must develop a system that makes the most of their players and forges a winning team.
- This embarrassment of riches can have its downsides, however. With a maxed-out roster of 12 players, the Shock will have to carefully manage player mentalities to avoid discord on the bench. We have already seen from teams in 2018 that giving weaker players game time is not always a valid way to mitigate this issue; San Francisco’s coaches must be brutal with who they choose to field. Choose a core. Stick to it. Get the wins this roster deserves.
- Despite all the rightful optimism around the Shock’s signings, there is one position that looks weaker than the others. Super and Myeong-Hwan “Smurf” Yoo need work before they can be considered some of the best main tanks in the league, and as it is arguably the most important role on any team, this should be a priority. Thankfully, with the great talent around them, whoever is starting should have room to perform and improve as the season progresses.
- To navigate all these challenges and implement the best system for San Francisco, the team will rely on head coach Da-Hee “Crusty” Park. The players all sang his praises when he first moved from Boston to San Francisco, but despite a clear improvement in their play over the last half of the 2018 season, they still were unable to break through to the Stage Playoffs. Now is the time for Crusty to cement his place as one of the most respected coaches in Overwatch.
Catch the San Francisco Shock in action in their season opener against the Dallas Fuel on Friday, February 15, at 7 p.m. PST. All 2019 season matches will be available live and on demand on overwatchleague.com, the Overwatch League app, our Twitch channel, MLG.com, and the MLG app.