San Francisco Shock became the winning team of the second season of Overwatch Grand Finals. The team’s Hyobin “Choihyobin” Choi won the MVP title.
Closer than Expected Match
San Francisco Shock won 23-5 against the Vancouver Titans, who scored 25-3, in an action-packed close call match. Titans played a hard game, but Shock managed to hold onto all their maps, aided by a final improvised move that helped them overcome their well-matched competitors.
The tight match is not surprising considering the two teams have been going head to head in the past. In the Grand Finals, the winners are determined by considering the best wins in seven games. It’s not a two-team elimination game common in esports. When Shock and Titans met before in the state finals, they were astoundingly matched at 11-11.
When the match began, the Titans had a strong defense and Shock seemed to fumble. However, Shock made a huge turnaround with their offense during the final segment of the event. The winners secured their victory with a final major push with only 2.1 seconds left to take the point.
In the Temple of Anubis map, the Titans seemed to have a strong start with Shock struggling to maintain their defense. However, the team showed a great, last-minute offense that allowed them to score 3-0 against the competition.
In Eichenwalde, Shock started the game with teammate Juseok “Twilight” Lee trading his life for DongJun “Rascal” Kim, which took over the offense with a steady stream of Rocket Barrages. The strategy resulted in the Titans failing to capture the first point and finishing their objective at a mere 55.4 percent.
In the Gibraltar map, Shock seemed to actually struggle at the start, with the Titans throwing in a strong initial offense and a defense. However, the Titans’ defense didn’t push through as intended. Shock returned the offense with a massive payload from Minho "Architect" Park’s Bastion equipped with an Ult boost that destroyed the opponents.
That was the ultimate move that helped tip the scales in favor of Shock. After an intense and memorable tournament, they emerged as the winners with an on-the-spot move.
Unbelievable Move that Won the Game
Fans were curious as to whether Shock always planned to have the Architect get that Bastion’s Ult boost. After the victory, the team said the idea had occurred to them, but the move was actually improvised last minute.
The team had originally planned for Rascal to get on the Chandelier using Mei’s Ice Wall. However, the player decided at the last moment to boost Bastion with the Ult, which eventually worked in the team’s favor, much to the surprise and awe of fans. The move has never been seen in Overwatch Grand Finals before. Shock managed to secure a full capture of the Gibraltar map with it.
Hyobin “Choihyobin” Choi stood out as the best individual player with his Sigma and won the MVP title.
E-Athletes Get Traditional Athlete Style Benefits
The incredible Grand Finals are not the only reason that Overwatch is in the news. The tournament highlighted the gravity of the professional esports scene, particularly because of the benefits its players receive.
Overwatch League now offers players highly lucrative benefits such as a salary of at least $50,000. This doesn’t include the prize money, which is $5 million this year. Players are guaranteed a contract of up to three years. During playoffs, each e-athlete is guaranteed housing, health insurance, and a retirement savings plan. Not to mention, the sponsorship contracts available to players.
Some pros prefer the league to a traditional job. CNBC recently interviewed Jake Lyon, who said the league helped him make more money than what he would have just out of college. Lyon was an economics major but was short of a handful of grades to graduate. He is not completely certain about the future of esports, but is planning to stay on for the long term.