Never did the league think they'd see the biggest team in Overwatch this low again.
Led by San Francisco veteran Minki “Viol2t” Park, a brand new Shock will attempt to fill the biggest shoes there are. If by some amazing turn of events this rookie roster ends up near the top, they will retain a huge amount of team popularity. Something to note about this team, and this season, is a factor we've almost never seen in the league. Starting with the LA Valiant last season, we've seen what is known as “rebuilding seasons”. A season where a team or organization reserves their resources. The Shock may not have planned for their season to be mapped out like this, but that's where they stand. A team of players drafted up from Contenders, with one veteran to get them accustomed to the league.
San Francisco Shock 2022 Roster
- Colin “Coluge” Arai
As the sole Tank player, being picked up only two weeks ago, Coluge has a tough task in his first season. His flexibility to new metas is going to be key for his role. Coming off a Collegiate Championship win from last weekend, Coluge continues a long streak of high placements. The Shock's new tank hasn't placed lower than top 3 in any event since 2019. He comes to the league with 3 Contenders Championships, now followed by a Collegiate Championship as well. Picking him to lead the Shock as the sole Tank is certainly backed by merit. There is just one question that nobody can answer quite yet. How will the successful Contenders player stack up to league veteran Tank players like Indy “SPACE” Halpern, Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi, and Jun-ho “Fury” Kim.
- Minki “Viol2t” Park
- Se-jin “FiNN” Oh
Within the backline lies San Francisco's only veteran. A three time Stage Champion. A two time Overwatch League Champion. Viol2t is well accustomed to success in the league, and after last season, he's bound to be hungry for more. Its likely that the leadership of the team will fall on him for this season as the team's most experienced player. His leadership won't be the only required asset though. Another requirement for him is to also be in the top state of performance he's ever been in. While his teammates adjust to the level of play in the Overwatch League, he, as a support, will need to have their back in and out of game for them to grow as players. Much of the Shock's season will fall on Viol2t behind the scenes.
FiNN was an exceptional playing during his time in Contenders. So why does he not fill a hole for the 2022 San Francisco Shock? Because he, just like Viol2t, plays the Flex Support role. The Shock, as they stand, have no Main Support player unless the team decides to convert one of their two Flex Supports. The major question at the moment is what the Shock sees in FiNN that Viol2t can't provide. Of course, Viol2t has been used as a Main Support player for the occasional map, so he may just be making a complete role swap.
- Jin-woo “Kilo” Jung
- Dong-hyun “Proper” Kim
- Samuel “s9mm” Santos
This is a lineup that would have any Contenders team quaking. In the league though, being a top Contenders player is practically a requirement just to play in the league.
Kilo will hold strong as the only real Hitscan DPS on the team. He specializes is pure Hitscan and sniper characters, making him close to a specialist. Because of his other two teammates being more well known for their Flex DPS characters, we can assume Kilo to be a starter on the roster all year if things go well enough.
The only American DPS on the team, s9mm (pronounced Sam), fits the Flex DPS role a bit cleaner than Proper, meaning s9mm will fill the more typical roles of Genji, Mei, and Echo in a regular game. It's not often that a Flex DPS player's name is as well known as s9mm straight out of Contenders. Flex DPS don't get as many opportunities to make flashy plays after all. In the last year, s9mm has really made a name for himself as a standout Flex DPS. He doesn't play as reserved as other Flex DPS, so expect to hear his name in plenty of highlight reels.
Proper is a Flex player, not in the sense that he plays what used to be known as “Projectile DPS” characters, but in the sense that he can truly flex all over the DPS role. Tracer is known to be the DPS that Hitscan and Flex DPS can learn. For the Shock, Proper is the only one who's well known for that all important damage hero. With his ability to play both Hitscan and Flex DPS characters, expect to see him often, even if he is the backup DPS.
- Daehee “Crusty” Park
- Bumhoon “NineK” Kim
- Cas “Casores” van Andel
Let's call it how it is. One of the two most legendary coaches in the Overwatch League, Crusty, is reunited with NineK. The two of them brought the Shock to their first league Championship back in 2019. Now, with NineK back, the two can employ exact coaching strategies from 2019 that have brought them major success in the past. As an experienced player and coach, former Atlanta Reign Coach Casores will do as he did last season for the Shock and hopefully emulate the same Assistant Coaching tendencies that have worked so well for NineK under Crusty.
San Francisco Shock 2022 Power Rankings
So maybe calling this a rebuild season is harsh. This San Francisco Shock team really has potential. The question is whether or not that potential is unlockable early enough to make a huge impact on their results. This Shock roster doesn't want to live in the shadow of the formerly peak Overwatch team. They want to be the next era of the Overwatch League, and looking at the resources the organization has poured into the team, they want it too. They are one of the furthest teams from certain success, yet somehow one of the most expectant break out teams to be built for 2022. With everything to lose, this rookie roster led by a legend will have to scrap just as they did in the team's 2019 youth.