It was pitched as the two most elite teams in Overwatch with the most talent, most preparation and the most form coming into the finals. But the Overwatch grand finals ended up being a brutal slaughter, with the San Francisco Shock capping off one of the best runs in Overwatch's short competitive history with a 4-0 flogging of the Vancouver Titans.
Both teams had imposing records entering the grand finals, losing only 8 maps between them. But even though the Titans were the reigning champions of the regular season, Shock had entered the grand finals after beating every team 4-0 in the lower bracket of the playoffs. Having racked up 28 straight wins to complete a perfect stage earlier in the year, the Shock were arguably the scarier of the two teams — and that carried out on Lijang Tower, the first map of the finals.
The Shock quickly built up a lead with a nice combination through Orisa's orb and some Sinatraa's well-timed Doomfist interventions. Vancouver's 18-year-old DPS player Hyojong "Haksal" Kim had some highlight moments of his own, including this brutal penta-kill:
Both teams ran an identical composition at the end — Reaper/Doomfist/Orisa/Sigma/Moira/Lucio, a situation that will undoubtedly change up post-playoffs as the Sigma/Doomfist nerfs come into effect. Eichenwald allowed for a little more variety, with the Shock rolling out a Mei, Bastion and Baptiste on attack while the Titans initially rolled with the same lineup. Minho "Architect" Park's Bastion continued to whittle away at the Titans' defences, however, which included a crowd-pleasing rocket-like jump onto the chandelier on the final point of Eichenwald.
The Titans swapped out the Moira for an Ana and, with Haksal swapping over to a Mei already, began to plow through the Shock's defences on their own. They eventually capped all three points in almost exactly the same amount of time — Shock had two seconds to spare over the Titans. The Titans weren't able to break through on overtime, however, and it wasn't until the very last fight with no time left on the clock that the Shock were able to split enough of the Titans off to win the second map.
The third map moved to Temple of Anubis, and the compositions returned to the Sigma/Doomfist/Reaper core. The Titans started on attack and capped both points, although it took a few minutes of grinding thanks to some solid aggressive defending (and a nice EMP) from the Shock. The Titans continued to pick good battles, and Min-soo "SeoMinSoo" Seo's Reaper helped hold the line. The Shock eventually broke through with less than 30 seconds to go, however, but after some crucial picks the Shock captured the second point with an extra 45 seconds.
Overtime panned out much the same way, although a misclick from Titans' Haksal resulted in him not having Doomfist's punch when the first major teamfight began. Nam-joo "Striker" Kwon got two picks for the Shock almost straight away, and some excellent Doomfist combinations from Jay "sinatraa" Won ground out a third map for the Shock.
Watchpoint: Gibraltar was the fourth map of the series, and a return to form for Bastion mains everywhere. The Shock rolled out with a double shield combo and a Mei to protect Architect's Bastion, who happily mowed down the Titans' through the first couple of points. Some excellent conservation of their ultimates allowed the Shock to continue rolling forward without having to burn more than they needed, and eventually capped all three points with just under two minutes remaining.
When the sides flipped, a combination of Baptiste and Pharah helped the Titans push through the first point. Some aggressive play from there allowed them to kept staggering the Shock's defence, and a nice duo between Mei and Ana allowed for a cheeky triple kill as the Shock tried to leave spawn.
But the Titans were always up against it with the amount of time they had left. By the time the cart rolled around the corner, a combination of a Baptiste ultimate and Architect perched high above the point proved far, far too much damage for the Titans to absorb, giving the Shock a 4-0 win and $US1.1 million in winnings.
The Shock's capacity for neutralising the Titans' strengths, particularly their ability in preventing Titans' Haksal from running rampant on their supports, proved a key factor in the win. Seominsoo and Haksal would try various flanks to disrupt the Shock from setting up and moving forward, but excellent awareness from the Shock's tanks, and the Titans' ongoing inability to adjust to Bastion compositions, meant the Shock always had extra time up their sleeve.
A full highlights of the four maps can be viewed below, as well as the matches in full. While the upcoming "remaster" patch should mean the popularity of Doomfist/Sigma lessens on Overwatch's public servers over the next few weeks, the amount of players trying to use Bastion's ultimate to jump up to creative positions probably won't.