The real surprise is the player missing from the announcement.
The Overwatch League offseason has been exciting thanks to a record number of free agents on the market, but fans are still craving some competition in whatever form they can get. To spice up the dull winter, the San Francisco Shock and the Dallas Fuel decided to give fans a repeat of their historic 2022 Grand Finals showdown.
Though the Grand Finals ended with a 4-3 score line in the Fuel’s favor, all eyes were on the Shock on Dec. 26. The team revealed part of its 2023 roster before the showmatch kicked off by assembling the new San Francisco squad live at a LAN in South Korea.
Next year, the Shock will be leaning on more rookies out of O2 Blast from Overwatch Contenders South Korea as well as a veteran known for his support dominance.
Tank Choi Max Su-min and DPS Chae HeeSang Hee-sang, straight off a dominant win in the Contenders Pacific Showdown, will be joining the 2023 Shock roster. They’re two of the most-hyped rookie pickups in the league as a whole and many expected San Francisco to pick them up; earlier this year, San Francisco acquired O2 Blast as its academy team, giving them first pick of the Contenders warlords.
They’ll be joined by support Park “Vindaim” Jun-woo, who spent last year as a part of the Seoul Dynasty. Before that, he was also a part of O2 Blast on a loan in 2021 and won a few championships alongside other phenoms.
Shock regular Oh FiNN Se-jin will also be reprising his support role next year. To absolutely no one’s surprise, San Francisco managed to retain 2022 Rookie of the Year and MVP Kim Proper Dong-hyun.
Fans immediately noticed the absence of veteran Shock support Park “Viol2t” Minki on the official announcement tweet. Neither the team nor Viol2t himself has commented on the absence, but this may be a sign that he’s heading in another direction in 2023.
That said, five players is enough for roster construction requirements only until the end of March. Shock will have to add more players before the season begins at a yet-unknown date.
The Dallas Fuel, on the other hand, opted to reassemble some of its championship roster for the showmatch. It was a bittersweet moment for Dallas fans, considering most of the roster has dispersed across the Overwatch League during the offseason. Fuel supports Han “ChiYo” Hyeon-seok and Kwon “Fielder” Joon recently joined the Atlanta Reign but donned their blue jerseys one last time for the event.