The San Francisco Shock Repeated As Overwatch League Champions

A number of narratives were at play entering Saturday morning’s Overwatch League Grand Finals. The San Francisco Shock, a team that is primed to be the league’s first dynasty, looked to repeat as champions despite major changes, like losing 2019 OWL MVP Jay “Sinatraa” Won to retirement midway through the year and a season that was suddenly shifted to being played exclusively online. The Shock entered the Grand Finals with a chance to be the first team to repeat in a league that feels exclusively designed to prevent that.

Across from them was the Seoul Dynasty, a franchise that, from the day it was created, was meant to live as their name suggests. Seoul was supposed to be the perennial favorite every year of Overwatch League. If South Korea is the epicenter of eSports, then the Dynasty sought out a position at the top of the sport. Despite these expectations, they had largely failed in the first two seasons of the league, missing the playoffs entirely in year one and coming in as the bottom seed in the second season. Making the Grand Final was what needed to happen for a franchise that expects greatness.

It’s safe to say that there was a lot on the line entering the contest, but only one team could come out on top. Unsurprisingly, it was the one that looked great almost all season long: the star-studded San Francisco Shock. They’re a team that took every single change and setback head-on and came out on the other side better for it. The Shock were deserving to win the championship, and here’s how they did it.


The Shock were arguably the best team on the control point during Grand Finals weekend and we saw some of that on display here. After going down early in round one, the Shock composed themselves and re-captured point on the way to a close 100 percent to 99 percent victory to take a 1-0 lead.

San Francisco showed its dominance in round two with an incredible display of overwhelming force. The Dynasty never took control of point, and the Shock rolled to a Game 1 victory.


Sometimes a game is won early. Other times, it’s won late. Game 2 was arguably decided entirely by Seoul’s first point performance in rounds one and two. In the first round, they almost immediately relented the point to San Francisco after the Shock steamrolled to point and immediately took a pick advantage with high ground. As is tradition on Kings Row, the Shock immediately rolled through point two on the way to the third and final point.

This is where we saw Seoul finally start to regain a little control and hold San Francisco for a few minutes, but the Shock rarely ever wasted time. Any pushes that ended were immediately restarted, and the overwhelming pressure by the Shock eventually led to a 3-0 lead entering round two. Seoul, on the other hand, did not get this same kind of luxury. They needed overtime to capture the first point and the Shock’s ability to never really stop pushing allowed for an incredible stall. All that time wasting left Seoul with little room for error.

The Dynasty did manage to get the payload within inches of capping third point and forcing a round three, but without the time bank on their side, the Shock managed to push them back and win Game 2.

Game 3

Thanks to having counter pick, the Dynasty chose to send Game 3 to Hanamura, a map where the Shock are 18-0 and haven’t lost since 2018. The gamble worked: The Seoul managed to sneak away with the first win against the Shock on Hanamura in two years. They played great, used much better positioning, and just simply out-played the Shock.

Game 4

Seoul was dominant in Game 4. They pushed all the way to third point with a double sniper comp that San Francisco just couldn’t match. That said, Seoul didn’t have much of a time bank to work with, so a quick push by the Shock could put a damper on their comeback efforts quickly.

Enter Genji. The Dynasty ran the surprise Genji on defense, and it was spectacular. Profit cleaned up, and thanks to the Ana pick, they had one of the best combos in the game, nano-blade, on their side. That, along with some sick hooks by Gesutre on Roadhog, led to a full hold on first point. Seoul tied it up at 2-2.

Game 5

Back to control point, and this is where the Shock are at their most dangerous. When you have the best Tracer in the world in Striker and an absolute head clicker in Ans, it makes sense they would be dominant on control point maps, but you can’t count out the Dynasty. Profit is not too shabby on the gun himself and he had a play that, at the time, felt like it could act as a momentum swing to take the game back in the Dynasty’s favor.

The Shock recovered, though, and when the game was on the line, Ans made sure to close it out to put the Shock within one win of the championship.

Game 6

This was the game that decided it all. The Shock smelled blood in the water and came out strong, but any early series jitters the Dynasty may have had were gone. They fought every step of the way, and when they managed to hold the Shock to only two capture points, it felt like we were on the way to a Game 7.

The Shock made sure to never let it be in doubt. They drained almost all of Seoul’s clock on the first point, just like they did on Kings Row, and then didn’t let them get anywhere close to capping the second point. The Dynasty got stuck at the choke and never made it farther than that. As Super blasted a whole hog to finish off the remaining Dynasty players, it became clear the Shock were going to repeat as champions.

It really came down to one thing at the end: execution on mistakes. The Dynasty too often didn’t take advantage of pushes where they had the advantage and wasted time. Game 6 alone saw a lack of urgency pushing through the first choke, despite Hollywood being an incredibly difficult map to push past the second point on, and poor mistakes. On the opening push of the very beginning of the game, the Dynasty let Tobi die almost immediately. They won the team fight that proceeded after that, but those are the kind of mistakes that ended up costing them at the end of the match. You can’t give the Shock opportunities like that, because if you do, they will burn you.

That said, this doesn’t feel like a one and done for the Dynasty. They’re in a position to take this and build off momentum. The Dynasty are finally starting to reach the expectations that were put upon them, and it will be exciting to see what they do with them. The Shock, on the other hand, have a moment to do something truly spectacular. This is a team full of stars. They’ve repeated as champions. There is no reason to think that if they enter next season with this same group they can’t three-peat.