Hosted by Chris (@lyteforce), he is joined by co-host Omni (and Sam a little bit later) to talk about the Vancouver Titans. They discuss the Titans two 3-1 wins over the Atlanta Reign & LA Gladiators, the possibility of a 2/2/2 lock and are also joined by special guests SLIME & SeoMinSoo of the Vancouver Titans.
Hot on the heels of a near-victory over the San Francisco Shock, the Atlanta Reign had a second chance at taking down one of the league’s top teams. The Titans, though, proved too strong, winning 3-1 in fairly convincing fashion. The Reign can hold their heads high after this performance, but the gap between them and the top teams is still evidently present.
Map 1: Nepal
The match started out on Shrine, where Seominsoo immediately made his presence felt. He killed Erster and Masaa in quick succession, earning the Titans a first cap, and things somehow only got more aggressive from there. Despite allegedly being on the defense, it was the Titans who continually engaged onto the Reign and sent them back to spawn. Atlanta got the upper hand in one fight, but had to use all of their ultimates to do it, which set the Titans up for an easy return Q-fest that earned the victory.
Village was a continuation of the same. Vancouver’s aggressivity earned them quicker ult charge and repeatedly brought members of the Reign low. Even when that didn’t result in kills, it forced disengages from the Atlanta team, dragging out the time between fights. Finally, the Reign flipped, but the Titans returned and caught everyone off the point with a grav, taking control back. Nearly the whole of Atlanta were on fractions of their total health pools when Dogman came up with a hero trans to turn the fight and re-establish control. But that used up Atlanta’s stockpile of miracles, and the Titans easily won the final two fights to take the round without much fanfare.
Titans 1 : Reign 0
Map 2: Paris
Atlanta’s defense put Erster on the Baptiste instead of Brigitte, to which the Titans reacted by running their quad DPS composition. This time, Haksal wasn’t able to find free environmental kills, and Seominsoo’s EMP was countered perfectly by Atlanta’s intelligent rotation plus Dogman’s trans. As has seemed to be the case more consistently, the multi-DPS suffered from being easy to eliminate but still lacking in killing power. Vancouver did break through eventually, but it was on a knife’s edge, and probably wouldn’t have happened if Jjanu hadn’t used his Hammond to boop Pokpo off the map.
That forced a low-time reset onto 3/3 for Vancouver, which necessitated multiple econ pushes to build the necessary ults. Up against an Atlanta squad that had used very little on the first point, they were wiped quickly in push after push. Only in the final overtime fight did Vancouver finally have enough resources to win the fight, but a completion with no timebank was not encouraging.
The only path to victory for Vancouver was a strong defensive hold. In preparation for a multi-DPS comp, the Titans put Bumper on Winston, which did get Atlanta to make the desired switch, but didn’t work out in terms of actual play. Bumper’s primal rage built too slowly, and then he was killed by a self-destruct dropping directly onto his head, putting the Titans in a deep, deep hole. Another death, once again before he could use primal, nearly spelled disaster on Point B, but Jjanu’s grav eat and 3k self-destruct saved the Titans for the moment. When Seominsoo was taken out in the subsequent fight, it made winning nearly impossible, and Atlanta finished with more than 3 minutes remaining.
Because the Titans had finished in overtime, their best possible result was now a draw. But once more, Bumper’s Winston was stunned and killed for the first pick, and there was no way back into the fight for Vancouver, who quickly gave up the first tick and lost the map.
Titans 1 : Reign 1
Map 3: Hollywood
It’s been a while since we saw Hollywood North, which the Titans clearly missed. On defense first, they put up a dominant performance. They won the first fight so convincingly that Bumper had already built a shatter, which gave him a chance to pull his famous “sneaky shatter” play. Haksal then dropped from the sky with a rally as the Titans engaged for another wipe. Atlanta’s only good look in the round came when Daco ate Seominsoo’s grav, which led into a hugely protracted fight. The Reign managed two ticks, but the Titans thrive in chaos. They found the necessary kills, stabilized into a ball, and dealt with the staggered Atlanta players as they came in one by one to close out the full-hold defense.
Vancouver went for a rotation into café, but got into trouble when Haksal died first. They struggled with getting picked first throughout the attack round, as both Bumper and Slime also fell victim to it, but the pressure of being perfect was too much for Atlanta to bear. Despite taking out Bumper, the rest of the team was so low on health that Seominsoo was able to beam them all to death, the Titans got both ticks, and Canadian dominance over Hollywood was reestablished.
Titans 2 : Reign 1
Map 4: Gibraltar
Vancouver got to attack first this time, and put up a less-than-stirring performance. It was only a mistake sound barrier from Masaa that that gave them an opportunity to take A–he used it to counter a self-destruct even though his team was able to hide, and its absence was sorely felt when Atlanta were forced back due to their low health bars. Point B was another struggle, which was won in more solid fashion, but not before a lot of time had been burned. Finally on C the Titans made the necessary plays: Haksal pounced on Babybay, who dropped a grav as he died, and Bumper charged Dogman out of the fight, opening a chance for the Titans to remove Pokpo. Atlanta tried for a desperation reset, but couldn’t fight as 6, and a series of Vancouver ultimates cut them down, securing the cap just before overtime.
Atlanta solidly won the first three fights of the map, securing A and getting nearly to B before a last-ditch contest by the Titans stabilized, in a way only they can. Jjanu came out first to contest with his mech health and a self-destruct. As soon as it was used, the rest of the team jumped around the corner, with Slime’s sound barrier covering their approach and Jjanu’s remech. Haksal rallied, Twilight used trans, and Seominsoo locked up the Reign in a grav that they never saw coming, securing an easy kill onto Erster. Bumper’s shatter closed it out, and Vancouver had stabilized.
The Titans did a good job building ults for the next fight, but Atlanta had enough to counter, which meant the Reign took Point B with about 3 minutes remaining. A won fight for the Titans cut that in half, a won fight for Atlanta brought them over the finish line with about 1:30 remaining, and we went to another timebank round.
This time around, the Titans attack was nothing short of stirring. After trading supports 2 for 2, Bumper charged Daco into the remnants of his squad, the Titans got the kill, and Atlanta’s defense was scrambled. Their contest at the end of A suffered heavily from the poor positioning brought on by that late kill. Bumper was taken out in the next fight, but Twilight wasn’t done, using a trans to save his team before scoring a quad kill onto the Reign. The absolute last fight of the round finally went Atlanta’s way, but the Titans had parlayed a minimum timebank into nearly a full completion of the map.
The Reign had a heavy task ahead of them, and the Titans knew it. Armed with a brilliant push, they put Seominsoo onto Sombra with a very simple gameplan: build EMP, use it to win a fight on point, win the round. In essence, the Titans were changing the name of the game. Winning fights didn’t matter, so much as delaying them did. Of course, a fight win was still worthwhile–the Titans won the first two, bringing Atlanta into overtime before they had even managed A, but Babybay’s grav went down before Seominsoo could counter it with an EMP and suddenly things looked less rosy. The Titans had used nearly all their ults without winning, and now Seominsoo had to get another EMP. By the time he had it on third point, Dogman had his trans ready, which nearly countered the game plan. But Pokpo was taken down anyway, Jjanu (on Zarya) burned Daco out of mech to hit a free grav, and Atlanta’s push was ended along with their hopes of winning the round.
Titans 3 : Reign 1
Player of the Match
This was an odd match to select a specific player from. The Titans won mostly convincingly, but struggled enough that it seemed no one had an exemplary game. I feel like every player had precisely one highlight moment and otherwise was good-not-great. But since I do have to choose, there was one player who was a little above the curve.
Seominsoo’s Zarya has somehow gotten even better than it was previously, and his Sombra flex worked out just fine.
The Titans are very, very good at winning shield battles. In fight after fight, they were able to take superior positioning from the Reign as a result of stronger pressure, and a lot of that comes down to Seominsoo’s Zarya. It’s hard to say without statistics, but my feeling today was that he was holding energy and doing damage at even a higher clip than before, which put the Titans in advantageous positions every time there was a neutral fight.
His flexibility was also a big plus. On the last map, Vancouver knew they only needed to win a single fight, so it made all the sense in the world to put him on Sombra. All three times, he hit big EMPs onto nearly the whole of the Reign, which twice gave his team the win.
In the end, just like we all knew it would, it came down to a rematch. The Vancouver Titans, winners of the Stage 1 Finals, had dominated the league, going 7-0. But their dominance was outshone by the even better performance of the San Francisco Shock, who went not only an undefeated 7-0: they became the first team ever to win every single map during the stage.
And in the Stage Finals, that tiny superiority shone through. The San Francisco Shock gave the Vancouver Titans their first-ever loss, a 4-2 defeat at the hands of an opponent who fully deserved it. This had to happen eventually, and while I wish things had gone differently, I’m happy that this first loss was an unimpeachable defeat. The Titans didn’t throw the game away or get surprised by something weird and cheesy–the Shock just plain played better. In beating the Titans, San Francisco have done more than make Vancouver bleed: they’ve incarnated what is sure to be a tremendous rivalry between these two teams, who are a class above the rest of the league.
Map 1: Lijiang
In the last Stage Finals, San Francisco had pulled out a close 2-1 victory, and with most observers thinking they had found another gear during this stage, that meant stealing a control map would be a huge win for the Titans. Starting out on Control Center, it was the Titans who took the first cap on the strength of Seominsoo’s Zarya. Kills flew fast and furious for both teams as they jockeyed to displace the opposing main tanks. Seominsoo seemingly built grav much faster than Sinatraa, but the Titans struggled to capitalize because of San Francisco’s support ultimates. Finishing kills on the slippery Choihyobin in particular seemed difficult, which meant Slime, Rascal, and Viol2t could rack up ult charge by healing their dva for 600+ hp. Viol2t also had no difficulty in finishing his own kills, as he found some pickoffs at key moments that blunted Vancouver’s attack, delivering the first round to his team.
On Night Market, both teams pulled off highlight plays before the point was even capped, with the Titans coming out on top. But in the very next fight, Bumper went too deep right after Seominsoo’s bubble was down, leading to his death and a point flip. Throughout the map (and in fact the match), San Francisco’s coordination looked slightly cleaner–Seominsoo had a grav countered by a Choihyobin dva bomb, but Jjanu’s attempt to do the same directly afterwards was unsuccessful. Vancouver did manage to retake and build to 99%, but San Francisco blocked both perfectly and took the advantage and the cap. Sinatraa used grav to block everyone off the point, no one could begin overtime, and San Francisco took the series lead.
Titans 0 : Shock 1
Map 2: King’s Row
A quick kill onto Haksal broke the Titans’ first-point defense immediately, and in a protracted archway fight they once again failed to finish off weakened targets. Seominsoo’s grav got nothing, while Sinatraa’s led to a team wipe, forcing a defense right in front of B. A flying Bumper shatter bought a moment of respite, but the Shock seemed to have ultimates on cooldown, which they used in the next fight to split Vancouver’s positioning and eventually pick off weakened Titans individually. That gave them more than 4 minutes to push through C, and San Francisco needed almost none of it, continually staggering Vancouver and finishing with a 3:20 timebank.
On the attack, a brilliant flank shatter from Bumper gave the Titans a first pick, and the Shock foolishly committed all of their ultimates to contest, which gave Titans a stronger ult bank for the snowball. The silver lining was that the first fight had taken nearly 2 minutes, but by essentially losing out on all of the Point B contest, the Shock were put firmly on the back foot. The payload arrived at Point C with the clock just below 4 minutes, and the Titans’ final timebank of 3:11 was for all intents and purposes identical to San Francisco’s.
That sent the map to timebank, where Vancouver attacked first. Seominsoo killed Rascal first, which should have set up the same scenario as the early pick on Haksal. Instead, Super snuck a shatter right past Bumper, who dropped shield at exactly the wrong moment. The Titans still had ult advantage, and ran directly in to win the subsequent fight, but time burned is always time burned. More sloppiness was on display when Twilight and Slime used their ults at the same time while trapped in Sinatraa’s grav. They won the fight, but in retrospect only one ult was necessary. Slime never built another barrier even after Vancouver won a fight at the end of Point B, so when Twilight died first on C without getting to use trans, the Titans had no tools to bring the fight back. It was still an impressive overtime push, but at this high level these little edges matter.
For their second defense, Vancouver dominated the poke battle, forcing Viol2t to trans before Seominsoo’s grav. San Francisco eventually won a fight by bare inches–Bumper’s shield was the slightest bit too small to block damage onto a shattered Haksal–but lots of time had been burned. Vancouver took an aggressive fight in archway, and despite losing they had enough time to return for an overtime defense at the end of Point B. Once again it was Seominsoo’s quick gravs that won it, as the Titans’ Zarya locked up half the enemy team so that Haksal’s flail could deliver the knockout punch.
Titans 1 : Shock 1
Map 3: Paris
San Francisco decided to go to Paris, where they have the two fastest completion times. Vancouver threw out the first curveball of the series, putting Bumper on Winston instead of Reinhardt. Both teams unleashed a storm of ultimate after ultimate, trying to gain a tiny edge or to nullify an opponent’s attempt. The Titans weathered three of these assaults in a row, draining the clock nearly to nothing. A desperation charge from Super started overtime, but the final fight was more of a whimper than a bang. Vancouver, somehow, managed to hold San Francisco to just over two ticks, setting up a very winnable attack phase.
The Shock had to know a victory was unlikely, but they gave it their best effort. Their standard 3/3, after all, is the equal of Vancouver’s–maybe they could pull off the greater miracle. But the Titans showed us something amazing: that quad DPS composition they run is a serious strategy. Needing only two ticks, they elected to blast San Francisco off the point from a distance, and everything went according to plan. Haksal popped up over the rooftops on Pharah, snuck a concussive blast in between defense matrix uses, and knocked Choihyobin off the map while his boosters were on cooldown. Dva might have been the absolute worst hero to lose in that situation, as the flurry of damage could now be directed into the Shock without any nullification. Kill after kill followed, putting the Titans in the lead for the series.
Titans 2 : Shock 1
Map 4: Gibraltar
Reeling from a crushing defeat on Paris, and needing a victory to bring things back, the Shock opted next for Watchpoint Gibraltar. Attacking first, they pushed the cart within a meter of A before any real fight was joined. The Titans finally engaged,but took heavy damage. With Seominsoo and Bumper taken low and forced to retreat into a corridor for health, Haksal was left to stand alone on cart, and Super jumped on the opportunity to delete him, earning the Shock a cap without requiring any ultimates. That signaled the beginning of an ominous trend for the Titans: San Francisco stopped being afraid of their ultimates. Midway through B, Seominsoo caught nearly everyone in a grav, but Viol2t determined it wasn’t even necessary to use transcendence. As it turned out, he was right, and the Titans were unable to engage and get kills despite having locked up their opponents. Vancouver nearly stabilized with a scrappy fight at the end of B, but that unused transcendence came into play for San Francisco and barely let them push over the line into C, with more than 5 minutes on the clock.
Despite briefly stabilizing on C, Vancouver threw it all away in the very next fight. Twilight’s aggressive use of trans didn’t net any kills, leaving Seominsoo to die in an enemy grav, and Slime’s sound barrier dropped too late, as the fight was already lost. One last rabbit was pulled out of a hat to prevent the capture at 3:00, but Vancouver’s supports were constantly having to use ults first, and the Shock got the third point with about 1:30 remaining.
The Titans tried a bizarre loop around strategy which only resulted in two consecutive team wipes, whose only redeeming feature was Seominsoo building a grav. Once again, though, the Titans hardly even engaged into the clumped up enemy when it was used, and it required a monstrous shatter from Bumper to finally get the payload away from spawn. A perfunctory fight at the end of A was an easy cleanup for Vancouver, but San Francisco started holding strong inside the hangar. A shatter from Super, a grav from Sinatraa, and San Francisco won two easy fights before Vancouver broke through. Even so, the timebank was already going to be better for the Shock, and the Titans weren’t able to get kills until the last fight with 30 seconds remaining. A scattered final defense was easily run over, giving Vancouver the cap–but it was only in overtime, meaning the Shock would have a 2:38 timebank against the 1:00 of the Titans.
The timebank round was where the series turned. A series of mistakes from the Titans lost them the map, and put the Shock in a driver’s seat which they would never thereafter relinquish. The first mistake was a lack of target focus: Haksal stunned Choihyobin into a wall away from his team, but not everyone threw their damage into the enemy mech, allowing him to escape. The Titans nonetheless won a fight in the car wash, but they failed to peel for Twilight, who was taken out late by Rascal, denying him crucial percentage towards trans. At the gates of A, Bumper found a first pick onto Rascal, but the rest of Vancouver was caught in a grav by Sinatraa. Without healing from trans, the low-health members of the team tried to rotate around a corner, which broke line of sight for both Slime’s sound barrier and the trans that Twilight finished building right as Haksal and Seominsoo were taken out, ending the push.
It was a tough ask, but Gibraltar is known for full holds, and the Titans were certainly still capable of getting the win. Unfortunately, the mistakes continued on the defense. Bumper was roasted to death in the car wash, putting Vancouver in a difficult position. They had to regroup and return, but Moth was ready: he spotted Seominsoo trying to take a high ground position a fraction of a second too early and booped him off the ledge, leading to another immediate kill and the map win for San Francisco.
Titans 2 : Shock 2
Map 5: Oasis
Oasis was a statement map. Things started on Gardens, where things started out dire for the Titans. The Shock absolutely crushed two fights, then were barely displaced in a third, by which time the control progress had built to 91%. Worse, the Titans had had to invest everything to get the flip, which meant they had no ultimates to cycle for the long hold. Instead of holding an advantage, the Titans had to play on even footing, and quickly lost it. Bumper was taken low, forcing an early trans just to keep him alive, which then wasn’t available for the full engagement. Seominsoo was dropped low, tossed out a grav, but was firestruck down just before Slime’s sound barrier was used. There was no recovering, and the Shock took a clear-cut win in the first round.
Next up was City Center, where Vancouver were nearly bullied off the point before making a last-second contest. Despite all being low health, they kept the Shock at bay long enough to recover, and in fact found the first kill onto Super, which eventually snowballed into a surprise first cap for the Canadian team. But Super found his revenge in the next fight when he jumped to a side angle and hit nearly a full-team shatter to give his squad the flip. That’s the only way to take this point quickly, as the Titans found to their dismay. Despite a first kill onto Sinatraa, they were unable to press home the advantage, and the Shock wrested back the upper hand in what turned into the final fight of the map.
Titans 2 : Shock 3
Map 6: Blizzard World
The Titans were one defeat from a loss, but they had been there before. Last Stage Finals was also a 2-3 situation, but in that case Vancouver had managed to win maps 6 and 7 to get the victory. Backs against the wall, needing a win on a hybrid map, they went for… Blizzard World.
I’m not a big fan of this decision, nor were a lot of the people I watched with. Just the day before, New York had put up their best performance against the Titans on this very map, and Eichenwalde was the other option. Nonetheless, I was hopeful there was a plan developed since the previous day.
The first two fights were encouraging, with the Titans engaging aggressively from the high ground and building ultimates faster than their opponents. But all that advantage was for naught. Seominsoo caught the whole team in a grav, but Super hit a brilliant counter shatter that laid low most of the Titans roster. Twilight was killed before being stunned, preventing him from using trans, and the Titans were wiped in the blink of an eye.
The pattern of strong fights then a wipe replayed itself on second point. On the strength of a few team wipes, the Titans drained the timebank from 4 minutes down to a final fight with 30 seconds to go. But Haksal was picked early, and the Titans invested the entire ultimate bank to no avail, giving the Shock another lease on life. Sinatraa did his best to throw that away by whiffing a grav directly onto the back of the cart, a mistake that should have cost his team dearly. It appeared it would when Moth was taken down first, but Choihyobin and Super bailed him out by eating Seominsoo’s grav and landing a monstrous shatter in quick succession. Instead of holding early in Point C, the Titans finally evicted the Shock right before the end.
Vancouver’s attack looked strong until Viol2t intervened. His discord orb dropped Bumper terrifyingly low, forcing the Reinhardt to retreat. Seominsoo rotated to the other side of the point, giving Viol2t an easy angle to snipe him with a right-click volley and snuff the first push. Next up, it was Sinatraa’s turn. The Titans once again took an advantage in the fight, this time bringing things all the way down to a 3v2 scenario, but Sinatraa built his grav at lightning speed. That let him lock up Slime and Seominsoo, turning a fight that looked lost into a victory for his team. Finally Vancouver broke through in the third and last attack, but the lost time hurt dearly.
Sinatraa, though, was still feeling the pressure, once more whiffing a grav onto a wall. Suddenly, though they had time for only a single fight, the Titans were in an ultimate advantage situation. At the cusp of Point B, they pressed Q one after the other, a storm of ults which needed only a single kill to deliver them the victory. Alas, it was not to be. In a fitting end to the series–Vancouver had struggled all night with following up on ultimates–San Francisco survived the onslaught, found kills, and turned the fight. A last-second contest felt futile in the extreme, and for the first time ever, the Vancouver Titans had been defeated.
Titans 2 : Shock 4
Player of the Match
I believe two things simultaneously. One is that the San Francisco Shock deserved this win, because on this day, they were the better team. The only weirdness that happened, when Seominsoo’s grav on King’s Row somehow dropped through the floor, didn’t matter because the Titans still won that map.
The other is that the Titans massively underperformed. Jjanu in particular was nearly silent, I suspect a result of the food poisoning he disclosed he was suffering from against NYXL. Twilight and Haksal, too, had less impact on the game than they normally do.
But there was one player who played, if anything, better this series than he had in the previous Stage Finals. Faced with an opponent every bit as talented on his signature role, this player stepped up and delivered.
Seominsoo was not only the best Titan today, but also the best Zarya on the field.
Sinatraa’s stats on Zarya are, there is no other word for it, incredible. His damage dealt has ouptaced even the most talented players in the rest of the league. He’d done the same in the Stage 1 Finals. But in these Finals, Seominsoo answered the call. His damage dealt was neck-and-neck with Sinatraa’s at all the key moments, and he seemed to find another gear when the team needed a fast graviton to save their bacon.
Unfortunately, a lot of those gravitons were not followed up on by the rest of the team. But it’s not Seominsoo’s job to play everyone else’s roles, and his teammates’ inability to secure kills doesn’t invalidate the impressive job he did in setting up those opportunities in the first place.
Map 1: Busan
Titans opened their season on Mecha Base and came out with a standard 3/3 comp. Shanghai brought in Gamsu for his first experience with the team, but seemed unwilling to run their own 3/3 against Vancouver’s known skill. Instead they opted for an approach reminiscent of NYXL’s approach, using Dding on Sombra to counter the bunched-up Titans. It didn’t have much effect on Mecha Base, where Vancouver won convincingly, but on Sanctuary the effectiveness of the strategy was multiplied. Though the Titans tried approaching from all directions, every time they came near the point another EMP would come out and wipe them, giving Shanghai a 100-0 win and tying the control maps 1-1. City Center sort of meandered between teams without any convincing fights until Seominsoo hit a major grav to unlock the point. Once in control, Titans cycled ultimates masterfully and held strong for the win, highlighted by a Haksal 3k and Jjanu eating pulse bombs left and right.
Titans 1 : Dragons 0
Map 2: Hollywood
Despite Dding’s quality play on Sombra, Dragons subbed him out for Geguri going onto Hollywood, thus opting into a 3/3 mirror. Vancouver on first defense played super aggressively, giving Seominsoo huge amounts of charge, which he once again parlayed into a fight-winning grav. Jjanu followed that up with a completely unsupported self-destruct that somehow got 3 kills, and Bumper put on a charge and shatter clinic, which is exhibit A in his case to be considered a top-tier main tank. The microcosm of the map was when Gamsu, just walking to approach the point, dropped shield right as Seominsoo’s right click hit him in the face and sent him back to spawn. Titans had only given up 55% on their defense, and that dominance extended to their offensive round. One push was all it took to trade up and seal the cap, giving Vancouver a well-deserved 2-0 lead going into halftime.
Titans 2 : Dragons 0
Map 3: Anubis
Once again first to defend, Vancouver won the first scrappy fight but barely lost out on the second. Fortunately they forced Shanghai to commit ultimates to the point A cap, which meant ult advantage for the Titans. What ensued was more than 5 minutes of Shanghai getting wiped and Geguri trying desperately to die or remech in sync with her team. Shanghai finally took the advantage on a push with about 2 minutes to go, and while Vancouver couldn’t bring it all the way back, they did delay nearly to overtime. Shanghai’s defense put Diem on Widow and Youngjin on Brig, which was an interesting but ineffective strategy, and point A was capped, providing Titans with a 7 minute time-bank. The snowball rolled straight onto point B and easily finished the map.
That set up another round where Shanghai’s 1 minute timebank was pitted against nearly 7 for Vancouver. When the first defensive fight went the way of Titans, Dragons were forced to dive wildly onto point, which was never really going to work. Once again Vancouver had 7 minutes to take the point, and once again they needed almost none of it to take 33% and take a 3-0 lead.
Titans 3 : Dragons 0
Map 4: Dorado
Flush with victory, Titans brought in Stitch to give him some playtime, and Dragons brought Dding on so they could play a Pharah/Widow dive. After losing first point defense, Titans opted in to the dive battle, putting Haksal on Genji and Stitch on Widow. The fights here looked slightly more chaotic, probably reflecting a lack of practice for both teams, but Vancouver always seemed to get one more kill than Dragons. Bumper showcased his signature Winston style, building Primal Rages so he could jump onto the enemy Widow, and generally making Diem’s life hell. Stitch wasn’t very impressive on his own Widow, but Haksal’s Genji looked to be in good form as he cut through the opponents. Shanghai ran into a brick wall halfway through the second point, setting a very attainable target for the Vancouver attack.
Titans decided to try some interesting compositions, first opting for the same Widow/Genji dive as on defense, then a Genji/Tracer dive with Hammond, then when those had both failed finally swapping to modified 3/3 with Stitch on McCree. For the first time in the match, Stitch had a major impact on the match, clutching headshots to cap first point in overtime. Second point was nervy, until Stitch once again came up big, getting 2 kills on a flanking deadeye to seal the victory and propel Vancouver to the 4-0 match win.
Titans 4 : Dragons 0
Man of the Match
It’s hard to choose a single player who was most key to this victory. Bumper’s play on Rein was exemplary and his Winston careened between genius and feeding (as seems to always be the case with him). Jjanu was everywhere at once, eating pulse bombs, diving for kills, securing wipes with massive self-destructs.
But my choice today is Seominsoo.
Every single grav was on point, his bubbles were literal lifesavers, and he seemed to sit at a constant 100 energy. His presence on the side of Titans tilted the scales heavily in their favor whenever 3/3 compositions clashed. An example from Anubis is illustrative: with Shanghai on the attack, Diem’s Zarya sat at about 85% charge, while Seominsoo was only at 60%. Somehow, he closed the gap, and as soon as Diem’s grav came out, Seominsoo locked up the enemies with a grav of his own, which eventually resulted in a won fight for Vancouver.
With mere days away from the moment we have all been waiting for, when our Titans are facing familiar rivals on Saturday, I have decided to make one last pitch to those who’ve just arrived to the fray or are still on the fence and make a short introduction to our Vancouver Titans.
Even prior to the inaugural season of the Overwatch League not many teams could claim the same branding awareness and following as RunAway. A plucky, tightly budgeted but closely-knit group of talented players clad in pink sweaters and led by two well known streamers, the power couple – Runner and Flowervin. The journey towards the big leagues was not a smooth one for this team however… Coming close to, but not winning the championship was a recurring theme for RunAway and finally when OWL season 1 was coming near, no one was willing to sign the whole roster as a team like some of their rivals were.
With the failures of not making the Overwatch League, not winning Apex, not getting a proper sponsorship again and Runner having to leave for his Mandatory military service, It looked like the end for RunAway. But with Flowervin taking the reigns, and the crazy support of their fanbase (seriously, a fan donated a washing machine) the team… no, the family decided to have another go at it in Contenders.
Finally, after a crazy 8 map finals win over KongDoo Panthera, in what many consider to be the best series of Overwatch ever played… RunAway were finally crowned as number one. The tears from Flowervin and the players flowed as the redeeming pink confetti was falling on the stage. Finally, the financial sacrifice, the commitment to the team, the resilience to push through and finally get the long awaited championship, had all paid off.
As season 2 expansions rushed in to fill out their rosters to compete with the now-1 year “veterans” of OWL, not many were as coveted as the Tier 2 champions of the best region. The only question was whether they will be signed together as a team like they had always dreamed of. Rumblings from the Pacific North West soon came… that indeed they were.
Finally, in one of the final roster reveals for season 2, on December 1st, the rumors were finally confirmed: RunAway is in the Overwatch League! The whole team, now clad in the Cascadian blue, green and white and will be henceforth known as the VANCOUVER TITANS. The magnificent snowmen are finally here and are ready to compete on the big stage. Not unfamiliar with adversity and fueled by the desire to prove those who overlooked them wrong, we can expect the Titans to come out strong, fresh out of the gates. With existing synergy, a meta-proof roster and a chip on their shoulders you can expect the Vancouver Titans to be a team to be reckoned with, more so than any other expansion, one that could even rival the top dogs in OWL.
Can Haksal who’s been hailed as a Genji prodigy from the age of 15 live up to the promise? Can Stitch go toe to toe with OWL’s insane hitscans like Carpe, Pine and Surefour? Can BUMPER keep up his ridiculous streak of adapting and improving in any meta or role? Can SLIME, Twilight and RAPEL live up to the hype of being hailed as the best support line outside OWL? Can JJANU keep up with the ridiculous talents at the D.va role? Can Hooreg redeem his poor play in season 1 and remain consistent? Can SeoMinSoo prove that he is a top 5 flex player in the world and carry again in the clutch? Can the Vancouver Titans recreate the magic without the pink? Without Flowervin? Only time will tell.