The San Francisco Shock achieved one thing that neither the New York Excelsior or Vancouver Titans did not in their franchise history, it is going undefeated in one stage without dropping a map. This was termed by the fans as the “Golden Stage”. The Shock’s game against the Shanghai Dragons in Week 5 took the Shock to their limit. However, the Shock clutched it out with another 4-0 and making history in the Overwatch League.
After a historic win against the Dragons, Matthew "super" DeLisi spoke with Inven Global about the perfect stage, changes needed going into the rematch against the Dragons, and his thoughts about a possible rematch against the Vancouver Titans.
You and the Shock just achieved the league's first perfect stage, or "golden stage", as the casters branded it. NYXL did not achieve this goal during their dominant season last year, neither did Vancouver in Stage 1. What is the first thing that crossed your mind hearing that?
I mean, we honestly didn't really think about it too much. I think, honestly, our coaches and management were more concerned about it than we were. They kept saying to not worry about it, but they kept talking about it. Obviously, they want it. We just wanted to win our matches. At the end of the day, as long as we got the win, we're happy.
When did it occur to you all that you had the chance to end this stage with an undefeated map record?
I actually think before this stage started, sinatraa looked at our schedule and thought we can 4-0 every single team. I swear to God - that's what he said. I was like alright Jay, but here we are right now.
What was the toughest part during your win streak in Stage 2?
I think it had to be this match with the Dragons on our King's Row overtime offense. We knew that they were going to play Sombra and she can guarantee you a win in team fights. But, you can just rush and run them over if you have Moira. So, they had Sombra and we knew they had EMP when we capped the first point.
Then, DDing blew his EMP. All of us didn't know what happened. I was worried we couldn't counter both the EMP and Grav, but they blew their EMP. That's when I knew that now we can win. Those two extra rounds on King's Row with their offense and ours were the hardest for sure.
I also noticed on King's Row that Diem was popping off on you guys. Why was he such a problem?
I think a big part of DPS on King's Row is that it's such a big snowball because it's really easy to get staggers. You basically have to regroup back at your spawn at last point if you're on defense. If you're not disciplined, then it's easy, especially if they have Widow, Doomfist, and Pharah where you can get one-shot almost. You have to be able to regroup.
We did that on our first defense where we killed the Widow then Pharah, and rushed to clean them up. On the second defense, we messed up a bit. That's why they were able to get up further than they were the first time.
The Shock has played so well this season, especially yourself. Can you describe your confidence level from the start of this season to now?
We always thought we were going to do a lot better this season than we did last. Obviously, that's everyone's thoughts here. But, we didn't expect to do as well as we're doing honestly. We knew we would be good, but not this good. Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going.
Who do you think is the biggest contributor to the team's success?
Our coaches and management. They have the biggest impact. A lot changed with the team's philosophy, it was a complete overhaul of our managerial staff and different structural changes. It was a combination of a lot of things. Everything's going a lot smoother this season and winning helps too.
Heading into the playoffs next week, you will have a rematch against the Dragons. What changes are needed going into the rematch?
We didn't play as well as we have previously. I think we know what our mistakes were. They probably got too much value out of Sombra, more than they should have. Now, we're aware of that and we should clean that up next week.
We talked about Diem being a problem for you guys. Who else do you think is another problem for the team?
I think DDing is another issue. He's just a really flexible, strong DPS. I mean, other than blowing his EMP, he had some good and bad moments. He's just a consistent player overall.
If you guys beat Shanghai, the Titans are basically going to wait for you as well. Have you thought about them throughout Stage 2?
Maybe we're taking it match by match, but we kind of figured that if it goes down to it, we'll probably face them. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
You're not thinking about it right now?
Ehhh maybe a little, but you know.
If both teams crossed paths again in the Stage 2 finals, what needs to change?
We'll have more experience this time because all the Titans players are former Runaway. They've been in best-of-seven finals multiple times. That was any of our first time being in a game like that. I think that's the biggest factor for sure.
Which player from the Titans do you think you need to stop?
It's hard to say because they all have a big impact in the game. I think Twilight is really good, Slime's boops are just unreal, they're all so good that it's hard to say one player.
Lastly, good luck heading into the playoffs! Do you have anything else to say to the fans or other playoff teams?
Obviously, it was a rough Season 1 and disappointing finish to Stage 1, but the fans are a big part of everything. It's kind of corny and cheesy, but it's the truth when I say that the fans are the best. Thanks!
A huge shoutout to all the fans who showed up to the watch party in SF. Thanks for coming out. You're extra special for doing that, especially this one since it was a big deal. Thank you guys!