Are the San Francisco Shock a dream team unto themselves? (Robert Paul/For Blizzard Entertainment)

With the first two stages of the Overwatch League’s second season in the books, the esports league breaks for its All-Star Game Thursday night. That contest will feature some of the world’s best Overwatch players, but what about the best of the best?

Three Overwatch League analysts offered up their “dream team” rosters if they could pick any combination of players to compete for a title. Unsurprisingly the rosters featured plenty of talent from the Vancouver Titans and San Francisco Shock, the two most dominant teams in the early going and the playoff winners for Stages 1 and 2 respectively. The analysts also weighed in on which teams impressed and disappointed them the most during the season’s first half.

Editor’s note: Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson, Overwatch League desk analyst

Matthew “Super” DeLisi — Main Tank, San Francisco Shock

Jay “Sinatraa” Won — DPS (Damage Per Second), San Francisco Shock

Grant “Moth” Espe — Main Support, San Francisco Shock

Jun-Ho “Fury” Kim — Off-tank, London Spitfire

Hyojong “Haksal” Kim — DPS, Vancouver Titans

Juseok “Twilight” Lee — Flex Support, Vancouver Titans

If I was building a dream team, as in the six best performing individuals on each role, I would go with “Super” and “Sinatraa” from the San Francisco Shock as my main tank and DPS. They have an insane intelligence when they play and get the absolute maximum out of their heroes. I would also go for “Fury” from the London Spitfire as my off-tank, as the guy has fantastic mechanical ability on the main hero played in that role, D.Va. To close the team out, I’d pick up “Haksal” and “Twilight” from the Vancouver Titans as my DPS and flex support, along with “Moth” from the San Francisco Shock as my main support. This team is a superstar team for the current meta.

Erik “DoA” Lonnquist, Overwatch League Broadcaster

Matthew “Super” DeLisi — Main Tank, San Francisco Shock

Jay “Sinatraa” Won — DPS, San Francisco Shock

Grant “Moth” Espe — Main Support, San Francisco Shock

Minki “Viol2t” Park — Flex Support, San Francisco Shock

Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi — Off-tank, San Francisco Shock

Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim — DPS, San Francisco Shock

I think my dream team would probably be just the San Francisco Shock at the moment. The team has become such a total package in terms of team play and individual skill. I know it’s a cop-out answer, but I wouldn’t replace any of them if I was trying to build a mythical “best” team. The alternative is a team of all Jjonaks [main support for the New York Excelsior and the MVP of the OWL’s inaugural season].

Sascha “Yiska” Heinisch, Overwatch analyst

Matthew “Super” DeLisi — Main Tank, San Francisco Shock

Jay “Sinatraa” Won — DPS, San Francisco Shock

Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi — Off-tank, San Francisco Shock

Hyojong “Haksal” Kim — DPS, Vancouver Titans

Sung-Jun “SLIME” Kim — Main Support, Vancouver Titans

Juseok “Twilight” Lee — Flex Support, Vancouver Titans

Super’s career trajectory has surpassed his assumed potential and he still seems to be getting better. With his stage final performances, he has also proven that he can deliver under pressure, especially against the only other contender one should consider for the best midseason main tank, [Vancouver’s] Sang-beom “Bumper” Park.”

The off-tank position is the most contested in the league and arguments for a handful of players could reasonably be made. “Fury” from the London Spitfire hit a level of game sense and reading his opponent that at times seemed psychic. He’s made several Zarya players in the league despair with his clutch Graviton Surge negations. The same could be said about the Titans’ “JJANU,” who also largely perfected the ability to weave in and alleviate pressure without sacrificing himself. “ChoiHyoBin” does all that perhaps to a lesser degree, but his ability to occasionally outsmart opposing D.Va players through Self-Destruct interactions and clever use of his boosters to outright win fights has proven to be more valuable in matches against top tier teams.

Few Zaryas take angles as aggressive as “Sinatraa” did over the course of stage one and stage two and lived to tell the tale. “Sinatraa” has learned the limits of how far he can push better than anyone else at the position and you can tell that his opponents analyze him exactly for that. “Sinatraa” is not only the strongest Zarya, he was the best player in the Overwatch League.

”Slime” announced himself as an outstanding environmental kill threat in the Contenders Season 2 finals and delivered one of the few definitive Lucio carry performances back then. His movement is among the crispest on the hero and his Sound Barrier timing rarely misses the mark. “Twilight” has demonstrated excellent timing in regards to ultimate and ability usage. In terms of a complete package of a flex support, nobody was able to hold a candle to him in the first half of the season.

It’s rare in esports to have two teams have seemingly all the best players on their teams, but it’s also rare that two teams are so clearly head and shoulders above the rest. We have to point to players from both of those teams in “Haksal” and “Rascal.” Other contenders either didn’t reach their level or didn’t play enough to warrant consideration. While both of them put on a master class, “Haksal” shines brighter on DPS heroes.


The Vancouver Titans have appeared in the finals of the first two stages in 2019. (Robert Paul/For Blizzard Entertainment)

What has impressed you the most from the first two stages of the season?

Wilkinson: The San Francisco Shock have easily been the most impressive team to watch develop this season. In Stage 4 of 2018, the Shock were a mediocre team with good pieces, a new head coach, and a plan to improve. In early 2019, they were already a top-three team on an upward trajectory. Right now, they are currently the best team in the world after completing a golden stage (losing no maps over the course of seven matches, going 28-0) and taking down the previously undefeated Vancouver Titans. A lot of this success can be attributed to the intelligent players they have on the roster who are hungry to develop, and the excellent coaching staff they have on board led by Crusty, Junkbuck, and NineK.”

Lonnquist: Obviously, when it comes to teams that impressed, you need to put [San Francisco] Shock on the top of that list. We’ve got teams that can be more explosive at times, but no other team can match the Shock in pure consistency of results. I doubt we’ll ever see another golden stage.

Heinisch: I hypothesized that Overwatch League season 2 might be something we look back on fondly in the following years and that we might even be entering the golden age of Overwatch. Certain factors like a delayed meta change and a comparatively weak middle of the field (5-15th place) raised some doubts, but the arrival of this potentially great rivalry of the Shock against the Titans outweighs those factors. The set precedent of a mixed-nationality roster becoming the best team in the world bodes well for the future for those who are willing to invest in the infrastructure to allow for such a roster. “Sinatraa,” “Super” and “Moth” have blossomed into top-three players in their respective roles, and it suggests that great coaching is invaluable in Overwatch, more so than where the players are from.

Teams like the Chengdu Hunters and the Shanghai Dragons added further flavor to the league, bringing unorthodox compositions into the mix and finding decent success with them. The Hunters were especially surprising, as I had them in dead last coming into the league. They proved the concept that an arguably inferior strategic approach, when committed to and executed well, can overcome expectations. In the same vein, the [Boston] Uprising showed what team culture and solid scouting can do on a slim budget. Teams at the bottom of the table would be well-advised to learn from them.

What has disappointed you the most through the first few months of the season?

Wilkinson: There are four major disappointments in the league so far. The Florida Mayhem made poor moves in the offseason and were stuck with a subpar roster for 2019. Only now have they begun moves to transition to a full Korean roster for communication benefits and started trying to sign better players.

The Washington Justice were marred by terrible scouting and have been slowly adding better pieces to try to fix this inherent issue. Nikola “sleepy” Andrews and Yeonjoon “Ark” Hong were the two major additions this team made to turn their season around, but, at the halfway mark, they only have two wins to their name and look like they are grasping at straws.

The Houston Outlaws were on the edge of playoffs last year but slipped heavily in 2019, seemingly unable to make roster moves due to their parent company’s [OpTic Gaming] financial decisions and without the coaching to improve.

As a firm fan favorite, the Outlaws could be described as the most disappointing team of 2019 — however, the “biggest slip down the standings award” goes to the Los Angeles Valiant. They finished the 2018 regular season in 2nd place but started 2019 winless for the first eight games. Their team seems heavily dysfunctional. They released their Korean head coach and Korean-English translator after that winless streak and are starting to focus on an Anglophone roster. However, with half of the season already over, the Valiant have yet to make significant improvements.

Lonnquist: It’s hard not to point fingers at the Florida Mayhem. They seem to have a talent for underperforming and should definitely be better than they are in certain roles. Maybe this fabled “rebuilding” will help down the road.

Heinisch: Competitive integrity and potential excitement of marquee matchups took a hit from the asymmetrical season schedule. I realize that the Overwatch League had to introduce a system that acclimates viewership toward what will be doable next season when the league [begins playing home and away games], but I now wish we would’ve had one more season with a more even schedule.

The Los Angeles Valiant gave us an element of unexpected and violent decline from a former stage four winner and second place in the inaugural regular season to a team that was dead last for stage one. Further disappointment came from the [Seoul] Dynasty and the [London] Spitfire, who showed promising performances but managed to reliably betray their potential so far when it mattered. NYXL has also shown where their ceiling seems to be. The chances for the two top teams [San Francisco and Vancouver] getting an opponent on eye-level are slim.

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