After an exciting weekend of Stage 1 playoffs, a victor was finally crowned for the first Stage of the Overwatch League’s second season. The newcomers, the Vancouver Titans, took on the San Fransisco Shock in the title match and the green and blue emerged from the dust victorious. In what turned out to be a surprisingly even series, it is now apparent that the Vancouver Titans have solidified themselves as a powerhouse in the league.
The matchups started on Thursday, with the Titans blanking the Uprising 3-0 only to be followed by the Shock also shutting out their opponent, another new team in the Toronto Defiant, 3-0 on Friday. The Inaugural Season favorites, the New York Excelsior, fell to the Seoul Dynasty while the Philadelphia Fusion blew past the Atlanta Reign on Thursday and Friday respectively. Saturday set the stage for the final match. Both the Titans and the Shock shut out their opponents in the Dynasty and the Fusion 4-0. Each finalist perfectly mirrored the scores of their soon-to-be opponents throughout the playoffs, creating the buzz of an exciting matchup, and one that did not disappoint.
As the Titans and the Shock took the stage, Vancouver was the heavy favorite, going undefeated throughout Stage 1 and losing only six maps total. The Shock had a rougher road behind them, finishing the Stage with a record of 4-3. The Shock started strong, taking Nepal 2-1, but were answered in Numbani, falling 1-0 to the Titans. Wins were exchanged for the next four maps; the Shock taking Temple of Anubis and Ilios, while the Titans secured Dorado and King’s Row, forcing OT. A hard-fought battle was eventually won by the Titans in Rialto, but not without a fight from the Shock, losing by a close 3-4. You can check out the highlights below.
The Season 2 Stage 1 playoffs, while obviously the first playoff series for the Vancouver Titans, was also the first for the San Fransisco Shock as well. Based on the fight put up by the Shock against the monstrous Titans, it’s almost certain that we’ll see both of these teams in a playoff bracket once again sometime this season. Don’t forget, there’s only a week off for a breather; Stage 2 begins on Thursday, April 4.