Overwatch League group loses match in embarrassingly hilarious approach

The San Francisco Shock are maybe the winningest group within the Overwatch League’s quick five-year historical past. They are the one group who can boast back-to-back grand finals victories. And throughout Stage 2 in 2019, the League needed to invent a brand new classification of excellence when the Shock not solely by no means misplaced a sport, however they by no means dropped a single map, sweeping all their opponents in what was dubbed the “golden stage.” And although, final yr, they by no means got here near the sort of dominance they loved in 2019 and 2020, they’re nonetheless a pressure to be reckoned with and a perpetual ache in my facet the best way the Yankees are to common baseball followers.

Which makes the Shock’s embarrassing loss to the Los Angeles Gladiators over the weekend one of many sweetest issues I’ve watched shortly — and undoubtedly my favourite second of OWL Season 5 thus far.

All final week, the League ran its first cross-regional match of the yr — the Midseason Madness. It was a protracted week of matches, that includes a few of the scrappiest Overwatch I’ve seen this season. Up till this level, Season 5 had been kinda uninteresting with matches that have been typically whole blowouts. But for the Midseason Madness, rattling close to each match was a detailed 3-2. Broadcasts that usually clocked in round 4 to 5 hours have been working eight to 9 hours lengthy, lengthened with an extra fourth sport over the same old three and the truth that lots of video games went right down to the wire. It was a tricky slog to observe, particularly as a result of my Shanghai Dragons typically performed the later matches within the day.

The last match on this lengthy week of a match was between the Shock and the Gladiators, groups that have been the primary and two groups, respectively, within the Western area. For the season thus far, the Shock have been trying like they have been again to their previous selves as they’re at the moment undefeated within the common season. But that good file didn’t translate to a win through the first match of the yr… nor on this one.

In truth, from the beginning of the ultimate match, it appeared just like the Glads had them chilly. The Gladiators rapidly put down the Shock 3-0, with the primary one to 4 maps the winner. It appeared just like the match could be a decisive 4-0 victory for the Gladiators — a uncommon sweep in a match that’s been nothing however hotly and carefully contested matches. But veteran Overwatch League followers know to by no means declare a 4-0 prematurely, particularly in opposition to the Shock.

This tongue-in-cheek tweet from the London Spitfire (a group that’s having its greatest season ever and was cruelly and unfairly knocked out of the match by the weaker Florida Mayhem) is each a curse and a warning. The Shock are the masters of the reverse sweep, and, true to kind, shortly after this tweet, the Shock clawed out of their 0-3 gap, profitable the subsequent two maps in a row.

By that time, I used to be apoplectic. It was already late Saturday night time. I used to be drained and wholly unenthused in regards to the prospect of watching a greatest of 4 go to map seven. I like good, aggressive Overwatch, however generally a bitch simply be drained.

The sixth map of the match was an escort map through which groups compete to push a payload the furthest. Both groups accomplished the primary spherical of pushing, with the Gladiators ending with an extended time financial institution. The Shock made good use of their inferior time allotment and did a superb job on protection, consuming up the Gladiators’ time benefit. But then the wheels got here off the payload.

The map was in time beyond regulation, and for payload maps, that’s a important time. If you’re an attacking group and also you step away from the payload, it is going to keep put, time will run out, and you’ll lose. If a defending group steps away from the payload, the attacking group will be capable of push it to wherever the payload stopped the earlier spherical, and the defenders will lose.

For the ultimate spherical of this last map, the Shock have been the defending group. All the Shock needed to do to probably win the map and take it to a last map seven was to remain on the payload and win the combat. Here’s how that performed out.

If you’ve watched Overwatch League for any size of time, you already know what that is. That is a C9 — a colloquial time period which means a group misplaced a map as a result of they weren’t taking part in the target. It’s so named after the esports group Cloud9, which dedicated the unique sin approach again within the sorely missed days of the Overwatch Apex match.

It is essentially the most ignominious approach a group can lose. It’s like tripping on the end line of a race since you, in your hubris, didn’t assume you wanted to tie your shoelaces or standing inventory nonetheless as a tennis ball whips by you when your opponent has the benefit. And it’s the funniest rattling factor I’ve seen in an Overwatch League match ever. Imagine preventing so exhausting to return again from an 0-3 deficit, solely to lose, not due to the energy of your opponent however due to your individual unlucky and simply preventable actions. I couldn’t imagine it. Nor may Overwatch League Twitter.

Of course, there’s no method to know if the Shock would have gained in the event that they hadn’t dedicated the best sin in aggressive Overwatch, and I’ve nothing however sympathy for the Shock’s followers as a result of, whew, it’s by no means enjoyable to see gamers unhappy like that.

But that’s Overwatch League, child. There’s a working joke that the League is scripted with writers planning how groups win or lose. The incontrovertible fact that the San Francisco Shock, the gods’ most favored Overwatch group, misplaced through C9 after they have been mere moments away from essentially the most spectacular comeback in League historical past undoubtedly takes it from joke to conspiracy concept ranges. It’s moments like this that remind me why I like this League — the tales write themselves.

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