The Justice squared off in a “preseason” scrim against the San Francisco Shock tonight, utilizing some… “unique” team compositions in a not-really-serious match that saw the Shock take away a win.
Map 1: Busan
The first match saw some Busan action and some very odd 4-support team comps on the Justice side. Janus naturally played particularly aggressively and even saw the Justice steal away the first round from the Shock, the Shock responded almost immediately on rounds 2 and 3 with plenty of disrespectful play on both sides including some playful teabagging from Babybay at times with his Tracer play. Both teams had plenty of give and take- including a pretty nifty Torb 1v1 in Round 3 that ended in… a sort of draw? Both came down to the last pixels and although the Shock walked away from the 1v1 as the victor, their own Torb died immediately after the duel to nullify a victory in it. No round even came close to a blowout for either team despite both using some odd compositions and nobody really wanting to go back to using the GOATS meta. In the end, the Shock walked away the winner of Map 1 after some consistent and solid point denial, keeping the Justice off the point and claiming victory after a cap.
Map 2: Hollywood
Plenty of substitutes in between maps took place between both teams in Hollywood, and the start was pretty different on round 1. While the defending Justice attempted a more sneaky first attack, the Shock immediately turned face and took out multiple members within a couple seconds. Gido managed to retreat after the initial wave and clip a few eliminations for himself, but otherwise, the Shock took over and claimed the objective’s start. After the initial attack, the Shock found little resistance outside of some aggressive Janus play, Gido pestering them, and Ado literally refusing to die with some strange Moira strats. This was… not a great performance from the Justice, seeming uncoordinated outside the initial attack and scrambling throughout the ride of the objective.
In round 2, Gido clearly attempted to take over as an aggressive point man and repeatedly paid the elimination price. The Shock’s combination of Sleepy on Ana, Striker on McCree, and Choy on Roadhog made any push attempt a frustrating one. The Justice repeatedly found themselves in positions being two or more heroes down at nearly any time throughout the entire round, and the Shock continuously denied any decent attempt at the objective. Besides the final push the Justice made, there wasn’t any real chance at taking the objective at all- already an uphill battle as the Shock completed the limo’s journey to completion. Paving the way, Gido and Ado pushed into the point as their Doomfist managed to nab a few eliminations before finally getting taken down. However, the Shock’s Ashe put down her Bob, buying enough crucial time to let the Shock get back into position and wipe out the Justice before they could complete their push, denying the objective one final time and taking map 2.
Honestly, it could have been worse. The first map showed that the Justice do have some potent and lethal force on the squad to make concentrated efforts against even some of the OWL’s best players. Gido and Ado both had some of the more memorable plays from the match. Janus was… okay, but didn’t seem to be able to excel in any role he played. Dallas Fuel coach and streamer Jayne pointed out at multiple points that “power rankings” were dumb because team synergy and actual play would not really apply until we see some concrete play in actual League games- everything else is simply speculation. Alongside a brand new format for the League this season, stats related to last season are going to look very different and play out very differently with the new meta. Did the Justice win today? No, but I don’t think they or anyone really expected them to walk away the winners against the Shock. Instead, this was a time to experiment and see what hero compositions and roster compositions worked best against a fellow OWL team, as well as learn how to enjoy the experience. We’ll likely see some changes in the coming times. For now, let’s just enjoy the reason of the “preseason” content that the Justice will participate in.
Side note: I’m still somewhat experimenting with the format of each summary and analysis. Seeing what works best.