The Overwatch League Summer Showdown is underway and the top teams in the game are competing for seasonal supremacy and a $275,000 prize pool. Right now, there's no team (at least in this region) hotter than the San Francisco Shock. Last week, it looked like they'd face a challenge in the #2 ranked Philadelphia Fusion. Instead, it turned into a laugher fast. But can the Shock continue to ride this wave of momentum?
We're discussing the Shock riding high with one of the team's leaders. Matthew "Super" DeLisi was one of the Overwatch League MVP candidates last season. However, he hasn't seen a lot of action, as of late, given the current meta. We had the opportunity to speak to Super earlier this week about his team's hot streak, as well as his current role with the team.
Shacknews: The team had some struggles early in the season, but you guys are getting hot at the right time. To what do you credit the team's current level of play?
Matthew "Super" DeLisi, San Francisco Shock: As a team, we didn't put too much weight into those early season losses, other than chalking it up to getting used to the online format and a bad read on the meta that week, as well as poor play in the matches. We never lost our confidence because of those losses, so we were able to pick ourselves up pretty easily.
Shacknews: Specifically, you beat the Fusion 3-0 on Sunday very convincingly. How did you guys prepare for that matchup?
Super: When preparing for a match, we don't really prepare specifically for opponents and make strategies to counter them too much. We instead go through a checklist of potential things that could happen, and how to counter them based on what we believe would work best. For example, we'll talk about a potential strategy A that teams could pull out, and if they do that, we can use counterstrategy A. But usually, we will always start things off in a match just the way we practiced.
Shacknews: How are you looking to avoid complacency going into your next matches? It can be easy to take the foot off the gas when you beat the #2 team in the region by such a wide margin.
Super: Our next match is going to be the Summer Showdown Playoffs, so we can't get complacent because this is when matches begin to hold a lot more weight and meaning. I believe we are just going to continue to practice the same way we have been.
Shacknews: Would you say that the Shock performs better in a playoff format such as the Summer Showdown?
Super: I think a lot of our players perform really well under pressure and in the clutch, so playoffs and tournaments let us use that clutch factor to our advantage.
Shacknews: You've been one of the top Reinhardt players in the world, but you're veering more towards Sigma and Wrecking Ball. How have you worked to improve your play with those two heroes?
Super: I play a lot of ranked gameplay, and if I know I need to practice other heroes, I can work on my mechanics pretty easily by playing a lot of ranked, and I have always considered myself to be mechanically talented, so being able to pick up those heroes I haven't played that often in matches isn't too much of a problem for me. Also they're fun to play, which helps a lot.
Shacknews: I want to take a moment to ask about one of your teammates, Ans (Seon-chang Lee). You've played with him on stream and you've seen him put up wild accuracy numbers with Widowmaker. You also saw him put up 56% scoped crit accuracy against the Fusion. He spent most of 2019 retired, but rejoined you guys in the offseason. How have you and the team helped him develop his Widowmaker into what it is today?
Super: When we first tried out Ans, we all thought that he was an extremely talented player with his mechanical abilities, but sometimes we thought that his gamesense and awareness could use help, but that wasn't too big of a concern because we knew we would be able to shape him into a better player. His mechanics were too insane to pass up.
Shacknews: With the meta being what it is, you've taken something of a step back. You didn't play against the Fusion, but you also have so much to contribute as an MVP candidate last season. How do you adjust to going from an everyday player to a contributor from the bench?
Super: I think a big thing that you have to learn while being on a team is that sometimes you have to take a backseat every once in a while and recognize that it is a team game. You won't always be able to be the biggest contributor to the game, but that's part of putting your ego aside and realizing that there's more to a team than just yourself.
Super and the San Francisco Shock will face off against the Washington Justice later today in the Overwatch League Summer Showdown quarterfinals. That game begins at 4PM PT on YouTube and the Overwatch League website.