The inevitable has happened: A pro OWL team has fallen to its Contenders little brother. How did Trick Room shock the world? Let’s look.
The first Overwatch League pro team versus Contenders up-and-comer match was always going to be rife with potential disaster. If the OWL team won it's academic. But if that OWL team lost it could call into question the pro squad's validity and the entire system. Well, that upset happened in spectacular fashion. The NA Contenders team Trick Room outplayed the former OWL Champion San Francisco Shock to win 2-1 and send the Shock to an 0-2 opening day in the Pro-Am West event.
Trick Room: Shock the world
Already reeling from a 2-1 loss earlier in the day against the Florida Mayhem, the Shock were set up to fail. A new, unproven team knocked back on its heels up against a Contenders team with nothing to lose? That's upset stew, baby. However, it would be discounting the skill of Trick Room to say that cosmic forces were against San Francisco.
The former NA Academy team played out of their minds on the back of tactical line-up changes, on-point coordination, and a willingness to play outside of the
room box. This came on the backs of Trick Room's two standout players, Mason "Boat" Earle's Tracer and Boston "Infekted" Fine on Wrecking Ball.
The diving duo demolished the Shock backline while also keeping OWL 2022 MVP Kim "Proper" Dong-hyun in check and as a non-factor.
Double your C9s, double your fun
The true turning point in the encounter came during Map Two on Hollywood. Each team's attack went down to the wire, but key shifts in Hero selection gave Trick Room the advantage. Both times out the Contenders team was able to force the Shock into a C9 situation, unable to stay on the payload with mere meters to go. The true momentum shift came when, looking down the barrel of a Shock Dva Bomb and lacking a shield that Trick Room tank Infekted swapped to Reinhardt.
Trick Room was able to counteract the Dva Ultimate, allowing Infekted to swap back to Wrecking Ball and enact a classic "spin-to-win," forcing the Shock off the point. The reverse sweep was in play and Trick Room came out aggressive in a Map Three at Colosseo. On-point dives between Boat and Infekted, along with perfect hitscan angles from India's Anupam "Pummy" Terkonda sealed the Shock's fate.
The Shock now continue through pool play at an 0-2 record. The team put up a middling performance against what everyone saw as a sure thing. San Francisco will next play the Contenders team Timeless on Saturday. Meanwhile, Trick Room will take this momentum into another very winnable match against the Vancouver Titans on Friday.
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