In one week, San Francisco Shock faces off against Vancouver Titans 2019 Overwatch League Grand Finals in Philadelphia. However, Shock may have to prepare for its showdown in the Wells Fargo Center without one of its star DPS players.
Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo posted photos to his twitter account Saturday night after an apparent accident. In the photos, Striker has severe scrape-like wounds on his left hand and leg. With the OWL Grand Finals taking place on Sunday, September 29, concern for Striker's ability to perform in the upcoming match is understandable. No details have been provided regarding the cause or details of Striker's accident, and no statement has been made from SF Shock regarding potential injuries.
While no official details of Striker's accident have been released, twitter user @hannahhycho screenshotted the photos from the SF Shock Discord with social copy implying that Striker had injured himself on a skateboard. However, a response from twitter user @leelowl confirmed that it was actually a rental scooter that Striker was riding when the accident occured.
Due to the rise of rideshare tech companies like Bird and Lime, rental scooters have risen as a primary method of public transportation in the densely populated, gridlock-stricken areas of greater Los Angeles. In addition to Striker's teammates wishing him well on twitter, Cleo, who is the current girlfriend of SF Shock DPS Jay "sinatraa" Won, confirmed in a following exchange between the two users that she was with both teammates when the incident happened.
Since its surprising 4-3 loss against Atlantla Reign in week 2 of the Playoffs, San Francisco Shock has gone on a tear through the losers side of the Playoff bracket. After shaking off the rough start to the post-season against Reign, Shock defeated London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Hangzhou Spark, and New York Excelsior. Not only that, but Shock has not dropped a map since its loss to Reign, earning all four of its playoff wins in cleean sweeps on its way to the Grand Finals.
Throughout the entirety of Playoffs, Striker has been on Reaper duty as the Double Barrier Meta has defined the post-season, freeing up Sinatraa to make game-changing plays on the likes of Doomfist. Fortunately, none of Striker's wounds are on his mouse hand, and even if he is unable to play, Shock has two above average DPS options off the bench in Park "Architect" Min-ho and Kim "Rascal" Dong-jun, both of whom are more than capable of piloting Reaper at the professional level.
Striker's absence would be a disservice to the potential of the epic Grand Finals matchup, especially given current Shock's 16-0 map streak. However, Striker's health must be top priority for his well-being as a person and career longevity as a professional Overwatch League player. Hopefully, he has no severe or deblitiating injuries, heals well over the next week, and is ready to play at 100% come next Sunday.
San Francisco Shock face off against Vancouver Titans at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 29th. The Overwatch League Grand Finals will feature a best-of-7 series between the two teams in which the winner will be crowned the 2019 Overwatch League Champion.