Bench Trial: San Francisco Shock v Washington Justice, Stage 1 Week 3

Washington has its second match of the week with a full day’s rest on Friday, whereas San Francisco’s last played match was last night in a win against the Hangzhou Spark. Which team will come out on top of a revenge match from the preseason?

Starting Roster Predictions:

Washington Justice

  • Janus
  • Fahzix
  • Gido
  • Ado
  • Corey
  • Sansam

San Francisco Shock

  • Christ knows, they literally change every match and almost every damn map

Match Prediction:

You may remember in the preseason that the Shock delivered a bit of a hammerblow to the Justice, although it was, admittedly, a match that not really everyone was taking too seriously. While the primary goal of the Justice was to formulate a strategy that maximized the efficiency of team synergy, the Shock’s was… really, to experiment with who played best on what maps, and to get back into the rhythm of usual OWL play. The Shock did that, while DC continues to struggle with team synergy issues.

That being said, I think most people believed the Shock would be doing better than they are right now, only sitting at 8th place at 2-2 with a +3 map differential. It’s obviously a good performance, but a tight OT loss to the Los Angeles Gladiators followed by a pretty weak loss to the Vancouver Titans might have been a bit of a wake-up call for San Francisco. After that second loss, they blitzed Hangzhou thoroughly to get back to a .500 record. However, that was only yesterday- the team is operating on only a day’s rest. That might not quite mean the same as in a sport such a hockey, where teams need to move from one city to the next and sometimes don’t even come in until past 1am, but it’s an exhausting process nonetheless.

DC, on the other hand, continues to struggle with their team synergy, most notably with Gido popping multiple Transcendence ultimates in their last match that might have actually cost them at least one map, although the majority of the team seemed to be lagging behind Janus and Corey to various extents. Ado has been beaten to a first win by his former Shanghai teammates, who are currently on a two game winning streak. The Justice have a lot to make up for, and this revenge match offers an opportunity to turn the tables against the Shock. It’s not the same type of “must win” victory as it’s not against a divisional rival, but securing a win against the Shock would help to put DC in a better position for the playoffs as well as send a message that they’re not a cooked team. Their overall performances have been getting better, but it’s time to finally clinch these maps and secure wins consistently. While DC has come close, they haven’t quite done it yet. It’s time to make it happen.

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