The San Francisco Shock claimed first place at the American Region May Melee on Sunday, taking out the upstart Florida Mayhem 4-2 and securing $40,000 in prize money alongside three wins for their overall record.
San Francisco (11-2), the No. 1 seed in the American bracket, showed why they were the favorite by dismantling their semifinal opponent, the Los Angeles Valiant, 3-0.
But in the finals, the Mayhem and Shock did not disappoint, putting on a masterclass of high-level playstyle adjustments and counter-compositions.
The teams were evenly matched nearly everywhere, but the Shock's stacked roster proved to be too much for the Mayhem as it took the series. In particular, support Min-ki "Viol2t" Park, who earned Player of the Match honors, and rookie DPS sensation Seon-chang "ANS" Lee carried San Francisco to the win.
Early on, it was clear that the Shock had done its homework to prepare for this matchup, running Torbjorn to counter Jun-ki "Yaki" Kim's Tracer. San Francisco took Nepal 2-0, but then Florida came roaring back with a 1-0 full-hold on Blizzard World, powered by Yaki constantly harassing and assassinating ANS' Ashe.
After the first break, ANS swapped over to Widowmaker, and that is where the tide turned in San Francisco's favor. The Shock rookie dazzled on the sniper, leading the Shock to a perfect 2-0 win on Volskaya Industries.
The Mayhem would respond with some composition changes and a 5-4 win on Junkertown to tie the series at 2-2, but the Shock were a step ahead from that point on. San Francisco took Lijiang Tower 2-1 and Hollywood 3-1 thanks to Viol2t's consistent dominance over Florida support Nam-jin "Gangnamjin" Kang, winning the series 4-2 and proving it remains the team to beat in the American Region.
There was no such drama in the semifinals as the Shock dismantled the Valiant.
The Shock were dominant across the board in every individual matchup, dominating Nepal 2-0, King's Row 3-1 and Hanamura 2-1. While the Valiant (6-6) weren't idle in their destruction, keeping the tempo up to pressure the Shock throughout the series, Los Angeles simply couldn't keep up with San Francisco's firepower.
On the other side of the semifinal bracket, the Florida Mayhem (9-4), the No. 2 seed, faced a tough opponent in the league-leading Philadelphia Fusion (13-1) as the 3 seed. While many might have expected the Fusion to roll through the Mayhem on their way to a clash with the Shock, the Mayhem commanded this series, 3-1.
Starting with the Mayhem's 2-1 win on Busan, it was clear that the Mayhem were more than capable of beating the Fusion. Key to Florida's success was its DPS duo of Yaki and Sang-bum "BQB" Lee, who were both fearless in taking heads-up fights with Philadelphia's DPS star Jae-Hyeok "Carpe" Lee. Running a Soldier: 76 and Tracer DPS lineup, the Mayhem put immense pressure on the Fusion's DPS, preventing Philadelphia from controlling the game and putting them on its backfoot constantly.
The Fusion fought back with a 3-2 win on Blizzard World, but Florida would not be denied its first ever tournament finals appearance in franchise history. Florida full-held Hanamura 1-0 and closed out the series with a 3-2 win on Watchpoint: Gibraltar.
Overwatch League Season 3 standings, with match record (W-L), map record (W-L-T) and map differential:
1. (Atlantic South) Philadelphia Fusion, 13-1, 38-14-0, 24
2. (Pacific East) Shanghai Dragons, 14-2, 35-9-1, 26
3. (Pacific West) San Francisco Shock, 11-2, 26-11-2, 15
4. (Atlantic North) New York Excelsior, 10-3, 31-13-0, 18
5. (Atlantic South) Florida Mayhem, 9-4, 23-14-0, 9
6. (Atlantic North) Paris Eternal, 7-5, 26-21-0, 5
7. (Pacific East) Guangzhou Charge, 9-6, 26-27-0, -1
8. (Atlantic South) Atlanta Reign, 5-5, 20-15-0, 5
9. (Pacific East) Seoul Dynasty, 6-4, 12-14-1, -2
10. (Pacific East) Hangzhou Spark, 6-7, 22-26-1, -4
11. (Pacific West) Los Angeles Valiant, 6-6, 20-24-0, -4
12. (Pacific West) Los Angeles Gladiators, 4-5, 17-19-3, -2
13. (Atlantic North) London Spitfire, 4-5, 14-21-0, -7
14. (Pacific West) Dallas Fuel, 4-6, 17-22-0, -5
15. (Atlantic South) Houston Outlaws, 5-9, 22-31-3, -9
16. (Atlantic North) Toronto Defiant, 4-8, 22-28-0, -6
17. (Pacific East) Chengdu Hunters, 4-10, 21-31-1, -10
18. (Pacific West) Vancouver Titans, 2-6, 8-20-0, -12
19. (Atlantic South) Washington Justice, 3-10, 16-32-0, -16
20. (Atlantic North) Boston Uprising, 2-10, 10-34-3, -24
--Field Level Media