I admit it, sort of: I’m a Vancouver Titans hater. I don’t have a problem with teams that are undefeated. I have a problem with a team that exudes such a high level of cockiness and arrogance that they should be knocked down a peg. When NYXL was hot, I didn’t actively root for their loss. Their players had a bit of playful cockiness to them. Jjonak is spicy, but as the league MVP from last year and arguably the world’s best Zenyatta, I think he can get away with it. However, when you tell people to let you know what you should play because you can beat any team with any hero, I think you have gotten way too big in your own mind. That’s when I actively started rooting against them.
Going into the playoffs, my picks when like this: Shock, Spitfire, Titans, NYXL. I then anticipated that it would be a Shock/Titans rematch, with San Francisco Shock taking the win. Did I think they were going to win because they were the better team? Maybe. Was it just because I wanted to be there when Shock beat Titans? Oh absolutely yes. I wanted that to happen so bad. I even prayed to the Mother’s Day gods that this would happen. So what happened in the playoffs.
The first round nearly went as everyone anticipated. Shock easily beat Shanghai, though Shock’s map win streak is now over. NYXL easily beat the LA Gladiators. Dallas Fuel didn’t stand a chance against the Titans. The only shock was how the Spark beat out London Spitfire. The next round had Shock versus the Spark, which again was an easy match that went exactly how everyone thought it would go. The real surprise of this round was how easily the Titans beat out NYXL. This was the match that everyone was waiting for: the first time NYXL and Vancouver Titans went head-to-head. Instead of it being a close match, NYXL ended up losing 1-4. It didn’t even seem close. It was really a disappointment, at least for me. I can’t speak for everyone else.
Then it was the rematch everyone wanted: the Shock and the Titans were once again facing off in the Stage finals. It was definitely an exciting match to watch. The Vancouver Titans put up a fight, but ultimately lost 2-4 to the San Francisco Shock. So how did these Titans finally fall? Did the Shock just want it more? Did they just want revenge? Or did the Titans just get too cocky and thought that they could walk all over any team?
My thoughts? It was a little bit of everything. They went in so full of themselves, so certain that no one could take them down, that they didn’t seem to do anything to improve themselves as players. Why should they improve if they are already the best? No one can beat them. They thought they could just steamroll based on their skill alone. Except, the Shock did practice hard to get stronger. They didn’t accept that they had a perfect stage; they wanted to win it all. They wanted that story of going from an underperforming, mediocre team to the best. They wanted the win more.
Bumper played his normal aggressive style, thinking that he could just charge through and destroy his opponents as he always did. Only this time, he got punished for his hubris. Super, who has a similarly aggressive style, did a great job of tempering himself more. Sinatraa, who should’ve gotten the “Player of the Match”, was melting everyone. Plus, did you see that hold he pulled off on Blizzard World? He may have ultimately had to give up the first point, but he ate up a lot of time on the clock. Which ended up helping them walk away with the win.
I’m happy with the way the stage finals played out. It was such an exciting match and it was definitely great to see the Shock that excited for the win. They earned it. I’ll also admit that the look of defeat on the Titans face was just as sweet. They needed to be taken down a little. The question is “Do they learn from this?” Will they start taking their matches more seriously instead of just assuming they are going to win? Will they be out for blood and destroy everyone in their path? Or, will this have tilted them so much that they struggle to find their footing again in Stage 3? With the All-Star Break giving them some time to shake it off, it will be interesting to see what the new Titans look like. Maybe, they will look a little bit more humble.