The San Francisco Shock have done what many fans thought was impossible: they have defeated Vancouver Titans to become the stage two champions. The Shock beat their rivals 4-2 to take the series and atone for their stage one defeat.
The series kicked off on Lijiang Tower, on which the Titans failed to capture a single point, giving Shock the early advantage. The second map, King’s Row, started quickly, and both teams escorted the payload to the end of the map in just over three minutes each, leaving the fate of the game to overtime. However, Park “Bumper” Sang-beom played a key role in stalling San Francisco with an awesome counter-shatter that upset Shock just before the second point.
Vancouver managed to turn the tables in overtime and denied Shock from reaching the second checkpoint, tying up the series.
The two teams then took the fight to Paris, on which they both played mirror GOATS comps. This was another map that went in the Canadian team’s favour, as San Francisco failed to capture even the first point. Then Vancouver brought out a super aggressive four-DPS comp to cap the first point and take the map. With Kim “Haksal” Hyo-jongon on Pharah, the Titans tore up the point.
Seemingly unfazed by their defeat on the previous two maps, San Francisco dominated Watchpoint: Gibraltar, completing the map with over a minute left in the timebank. Although Vancouver also escorted the payload to the finish line, when the game went into overtime it was a different story. The Titans were beaten after the fall of Bumper, leaving the rest of the team ripe for the picking by their opponents. The series was tied 2-2 once again.
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San Francisco continued to dominate on map five, Oasis, where they managed to hold Vancouver back from securing a single point. Although they were in the lead, the Shock felt a familiar sense of anxiety, as closing out the series is where they choked in the stage one finals - the choke that led to their 4-3 defeat by the Titans.
The sixth map, Blizzard World, was intense. Matthew “super” DeLisi and Jay “sinatraa” Won combined their respective shatter and grav during the first half of the map to initiate a huge six-man clean-up. Things were looking good for Shock, and sure enough, the Californian team denied Vancouver the second point of the map to take series.
It was an emotional moment for all involved, and as the orange and yellow confetti fell, so did Vancouver - for the first time this season.