Welcome back to our Overwatch Player of the Week series! This week, players competed in the OWL Countdown Cup, the final midseason tournament before Grand Finals. As in past tournaments, teams advanced through a single-elimination bracket as they competed for a $50,000 grand prize. In previous tournaments, we saw underdog teams make surprising runs through the tournament bracket. But this time around, heavyweight teams like the Philadelphia Fusion and San Francisco Shock dominated the bracket throughout the tourney.
Countdown Cup Champions – San Francisco Shock
The champions of the OWL Countdown Cup are the San Francisco Shock! After working their way through the bracket, the Shock defeated the Fusion 4-2 to secure their victory. Prior to this, the Shock eliminated the Dallas Fuel and Florida Mayhem to make it to the final round. Their victory means that the Shock won 2 out of the 3 midseason tournaments hosted by OWL following their first victory in the May Melee tournament.
The San Francisco Shock have long been one of the most dominant teams in this season of Overwatch League competition. Boasting one of the best records in the League, the Shock are typically favorites to place highly in these tournaments. After being surprisingly upset in the Summer Showdown tournament, the Shock played with a vengeance this tournament. Across the entire weekend, the Shock only lost 3 maps in their journey to 1st place.
A huge component of the Shock’s continued success is the ability of every player on the roster to make impactful plays. Multiple players from the Shock have been featured in our Player of the Week Series, such as Minki “Viol2t” Park. A support main with the Shock, his Zenyatta dominance earned him a spot in the OWL Top 5 Support Plays of the Countdown Cup.
Another standout player is Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi, who was our featured player in Week 12. In the Countdown Cup, his incredible off-tank play lead him to be selected as a possible League MVP finalist. Looking at his stats from the tournament, it is clear to see why he earned this distinction. This weekend, ChoiHyoBin scored 248 kills, 71 final blows, and 110k hero damage. Even as an off-tank, he far outdamaged every other member of the Shock. By directly contributing to so many of the Shock’s kills, he made a clear case for MVP consideration. With MVP candidates like Viol2t and ChoiHyoBin leading the Shock, expect San Francisco to remain a reliable Overwatch Bet throughout the season’s end.
Next week, the OWL schedule returns to normal with more regular-season play in Week 28. With only a few weeks of competition remaining before Grand Finals, expect teams to make a push to improve their records as much as possible. Next week, the Seoul Dynasty and Vancouver Titans both play two matches, giving them the potential to boost their seeding. As always, make sure to check back here next week for our pick for Overwatch League Player of the Week!