The San Francisco Shock are 1-1 for the stage after week 1 and are looking to keep the momentum going. The Los Angeles Valiant is doing even better going 2-0 in the first week including a 4-0 sweep of the Seoul Dynasty. Who will win this round of the Battle of California in Stage Three, Week Two.
Shock – Sinatraa, Super, Nevix, Architect, Moth, Sleepy
Valiant – Soon, Custa, Kariv, Space, Bunny, Fate
Map One – Volskaya Industries
San Francisco chose not to run an attacking Widowmaker, instead fielding Architect on Sombra. The first push for Point A saw both teams slam into each other and traded kills. But the Shock, with a key rez from Moth saw San Francisco outlasted the Valiant and ground out Point A. An attempt for the Shock to snowball Point B was shut down by Bunny on Tracer. San Francisco then found itself unable to roll over the Valiant defense. Push after push was stopped with the Shock finding themselves on the back foot with only two ticks earned for Point B as time ran out.The
Valiant fielded the traditional Volskaya Dive plus Widowmaker comp for their attack. San Francisco was able to make stall out the first push by catching Bunny and Space out of position. The second push for Point A had the killfeed light up green as Sinatraa’s Widowmaker and Bunny broke up the Shock’s defense. After taking Point A, the Valiant moved on to Point B and Bunny clutched a Pulse Bomb on San Francisco’s Zenyatta and signaled go time for Los Angeles. An aggressive 5 vs 6 fight quickly spiraled out of control for the Shock and the Valiant took the map.
Los Angeles Valiant Win 2-1
Map Two – Blizzard World
Shock swapped Architect for Danteh.
The Shock continued to run the Tracer Sombra duo for Blizzard World Point A. Danteh used Thermoptic Camouflage to flank to the right and pull the Valiant dive towards him. Los Angeles obliged and found themselves on the losing end of a counter dive and San Francisco took Point A with ease. The Valiant was able to answer back as the payload began it’s streets phase. The Shock was stymied until Nevix’s D.Va Self Destruct was launched over Pylon Terrace to delete to Valiant players and allow the Shock to push the payload to under a meter from Point B before Los Angeles was able to stop the offense. The Valiant looked to stop the push again, but a clutch EMP from Danteh and a second Self Destruct from Nevix allowed Shock to take Point B. The Valiant attempted to hold strong but the Shock were able to grind out Point C with under a minute on the clock and complete the map.
The Valiant again ran the Widowmaker Dive for their offense. A patient push for Point A spiraled into a rush with a Tracer kill from Soon on Widowmaker. The Shock quickly found themselves overwhelmed and Point A went to the Valiant. Los Angeles took control of the high ground for Point B and San Francisco found themselves without any good answer to the Valiant Widowmaker abusing the long sightlines. The Shock was finally able to dislodge Soon from his sniper perch but the payload was already near Point B. Another 6 vs 6 brawl with the payload less than a meter from Point B took place but the Valiant was able to grind it out and continue their offensive push. The Shock found themselves corralled near their spawn doors as the Valiant tanks deleted defenders and took Point C with over a minute in the time bank.
The Shock had only 1 minute in the time bank for their second attack. The Shock tried to slam straight onto Point A. Their aggression was answered in kind from the Valiant as both teams traded kills. But Soon on McCree was able to confirm the kills on weakened Shock targets to kill the players and the attack.
The Valiant had just under two minutes for their second attempt at the map. The Shock seemed to be out of sync Space found himself out of position and quickly deleted by the Valiant. From that point, the killfeed turned green as Los Angeles removed the defense and won Blizzard World.
Los Angeles Valiant Win 4-3
Map Three – Ilios
Valiant sub out Bunny for Agilities. Shock sub Danteh for Architect.
Both teams engaged around the death pit that is Ilios Well. The Shock brought Sombra to take the point but found themselves with no good answer to Valiant’s Pharmercy comp. The Shock struggled to find an answer to the death from above that Pharah delivered but found themselves rebuffed repeatedly. Finally, the Shock used every ult they had available to flip the point at 93 percent. Unfortunately, with no ultimates left to defend with the Valiant take back the point at 46 percent to take the submap.
The Shock continued to play the ground game against the Valiant’s air game. The Valiant was able to muscle control over the point first after deleting the San Francisco push. The Shock changed up their tactics and rushed to the point, denying the Valiant’s Pharah from being effective and flipped the point over at 21 percent. That moment signaled an aggressive hold by the Shock, with their percent climbing to 69 before the Valiant took it back. As the timer reached overtime and the Valiant looked to take the stage and the map, a Hail Mary hero swap by Sinatraa onto Doomfist saw San Francisco retake the point with Sinatraa landing combos and a Meteor Strike in 25 seconds. The Shock was able to hold the point into overtime themselves before finally losing control of the stage, map, and series to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Valiant Win 2-0
Map Four – Route 66
Valiant swap Agilities for Bunny. Shock swap Danteh for Architect.
The Shock started their offense with a classic dive comp on Route 66. Both teams poked at each other but the real fight started at the gas station. While Space’s D.Va was able to drop a few Shock players, Sinatraa’s Tracer ran riot thru the Valiant defense and allowed his team to take Point A. After moving the payload into the winding corridors of Point B, the Shock found themselves struggling to move under pressure from Soon’s Widowmaker. Going fully aggressive dive, the Shock were able to force the Valiant off the high ground and nearly reach Point B before Los Angeles was able to rally. Soon switched over to Reaper and invited San Francisco to brawl on the payload. The Shock attempted to answer that challenge but was unable to overcome the slugfest that was the Valiant’s Point B defense and ended their attack meters from the point.
The Shock brought back Sombra for their defense. But the Valiant stayed close together and let Soon’s McCree keep Sombra and Tracer from being able to cause trouble in the back line. Taking Point A easily, the Shock swapped Sombra for Genji in an attempt to shut down the Valiant push. The Valiant answered back by trading McCree for Reaper again and the Valiant fought toe to toe with San Francisco, deleting tanks, DPS, and supports with ease. With over 3 minutes left on the clock, Los Angeles rolled the payload onto Point B and swept their opponents for the Battle for California.
Los Angeles Valiant Wins 2-1
Match Score: Los Angeles Valiant Win 4-0
While the Valiant’s new DPS player Bunny was a force to be reckoned with, it was veteran Soon who brought the needed versatility and kills to ensure another 4-0 sweep. Whether playing McCree, Tracer, Reaper, or Widowmaker, Soon brought the pain to the enemy.
Match Score: 6/10
After the dominate 3-1 against the Gladiators, the Shock had potential to upset the Valiant. But while each map was a slugfest, San Francisco looked to be punching below their weight against to dominate and dominating Los Angeles squad. The series was worth watching if only to see the glorious performances from Soon, Bunny, and Sinatraa’s Doomfist on Ilios.