Built on the existing NRG roster and filled with star power, the San Francisco Shock had dreams of dominating OWL’s first season. With a 7th place finish, it wasn’t the outcome they expected. Beyond that number, however, they showed promise with DPS stars sinatraa, Babybay, and mid-season pickups Architect and off-tank ChoiHyoBin. Going into the second season, the Shock have made some impressive roster improvements. They’ve upgraded former Spitfire DPS Rascal to their full roster and gained GGEA tank smurf.
|Yoo “smurf” Myeong-Hwan||San Francisco Shock||Tank|
|Park “Viol2t” Min-ki||San Francisco Shock||Support/Flex|
|Park “Architect” Min-ho||San Francisco Shock||DPS|
|Nikola “sleepy” Andrews||San Francisco Shock||Support|
|Matthew “super” DeLisi||San Francisco Shock||Tank/Flex|
|Jay “sinatraa” Won||San Francisco Shock||DPS|
|Grant “Moth” Espe||San Francisco Shock||Support|
|Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim||San Francisco Shock||DPS|
|Choi “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-Bin||San Francisco Shock||Tank/Flex|
|Andrej “babybay” Francisty||San Francisco Shock||DPS|
|Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson||San Francisco Shock||DPS/Flex|
The next team to join the league is San Francisco which brings in some heavyweight sports backing. The team is being run by NRG Founder Andy Miller. Who just happens to be the co-owner of the Sacramento Kings. Not only that, you have investors like Shaq and A-Rod on the board who are sports icons in this era. Round out the idea that San Fran is the tech hub in the U.S. and you will have a very powerful team coming to the league.
Their Overwatch team does okay and has multiple players. They currently compete in the Overwatch Contenders League. Their roster ranks with: Anthony “Harbleu” Ballo, Seb “Numlocked” Barton, Tim “Dummy” Olson, and André “IDDQD” Dahlström. The team is a mix of international players from Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S. with trial players coming from Brazil.
You would think this team has the firepower to make a real punch in the league. Well we think they will. Looking at the scope of how the cities are shaping up, San Fran has the best chance to give Seoul a run for its money. Perhaps next to Shanghai, the San Fran team will be in the top placements.
Home grown talent will not be an issue for this team as San Fran has an active esports community. The mix of talent will create a solid hot spot for the city. Expect fans to rally behind this team much more quickly than say New York or Boston. The tech culture love their trends and this is definitely one of them. Derrick Troung is the current GM of the team. Surely his role in structuring the Overwatch league main team will come into play over the next few season.
Right now San Fran remains an interesting market to watch. It can best be describe as the gage of the North American audience as no one can predict the success of huge markets like Boston and New York. As the League grows quickly, NRG will come into its own and likely be the premiere North American team. It all depends on how many players make the leap across the continental U.S. to play for other cities. You have 3 on the East Coast and only 2 on the West. We have yet to see popular West Coast markets like Seattle field a team, though this is likely.
For now, NRG has a history with Esports and a strong backing of top athletes’ money behind it. They have solid venues to host events and the community for support. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess, but you can bet they will be ready. As the West Coast shapes up, their only rival for talent in Los Angeles which will have the pull of Blizzard close by to bring in players and fans. These two teams will become rivals for sure even as early as season one. Just the same as Boston and New York will quickly draw the battle lines.