Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment

With a 4-2 win over the Seoul Dynasty, the San Francisco Shock have won the Overwatch League Grand Finals in consecutive seasons and cemented themselves as the greatest team in Overwatch history. 

While the sample size is too small for the “dynasty” moniker to be slung around, the Shock’s organizational culture warrants praise. After winning 2019’s championship, partly on the back of play from that season’s MVP, Sinatraa, and his fellow DPS, Architect, San Francisco was without both players in 2020’s playoffs.

As other teams have tried rotating starters, no team has found success doing so quite like the Shock. With Sinatraa leaving to pursue a professional career in Valorant and Architect being transferred to the Hangzhou Spark, both midseason, the organization’s next-man-up mantra paid dividends as midseason acquisition ANS slid into the lineup and helped carry the team to a cool $1.5 million in Grand Finals winnings.

When asked about that ability to rotate players seamlessly, the team’s main support, Moth, offered a simple explanation: “Shock’s always been a team that feels like we don’t really have bench players. Everyone has a role.”

Primarily running ANS and Striker at DPS with Moth and Viol2t on support, head coach Crusty rotated his tank line, complementing ChoiHyoBin with both Smurf and Super during their tightly contested playoff run. Here’s how the final four shook out, followed by the biggest plays and moments from the year’s most important match.

         

Thursday, October 8

Seoul Dynasty 2-3 San Francisco Shock

Philadelphia Fusion 0-3 Shanghai Dragons

         

Friday, October 9

San Francisco Shock 3-2 Shanghai Dragons

Seoul

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Four
Getty Images

The midseason hiatus and subsequent Orlando bubble as a response to COVID-19 has changed almost everything about this NBA season, but it has had a notable impact on gamblers. Bettors that had futures stakes in some of the best teams in the NBA saw their money go up in flames when groups like the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers couldn’t adjust to bubble ball. The Miami Heat, meanwhile, have rewarded the faith that bettors put in them with one of the more surprising runs to the Finals in recent NBA history. 

The numbers on some of the earlier bets placed on the Heat, according to William Hill Sportsbook, are stark. Here are the some of the craziest bets they took: 

  • $200 on the Heat at 200-to-1 to win the title ($40,200 payout). 
  • $600 on the Heat at 75-to-1 to win the title ($45,600 payout). 
  • $2,000 on the Heat at 40-to-1 to win the title ($82,000 payout). 

Now, it should be noted that these odds changed drastically over time. When 2020 championship odds were first released, the Heat were in cap hell and hadn’t yet acquired Jimmy Butler. As unbelievable as it seems, there was a moment in which a 2020 Heat championship seemed practically impossible. As the season went on, their odds steadily improved. First, they got Butler, then Bam Adebayo became an All-Star, and by midseason, they’d established themselves as fringe contenders. 

The Lakers, even at their worst, never had such low odds. The mere presence of LeBron James ensured that they’d be in the championship conversation even after missing the 2019 playoffs. Vegas always believed that he’d find a superstar teammate with the Lakers, but before he did, there was still a bit of value to be found. One William Hill Sportsbook bettor, for

“Both of those guys, of course, they want to beat each other. Why wouldn’t they?” 

Those were the words of Dwyane Wade when asked by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith about the possibility of LeBron James’ Lakers meeting Pat Riley’s Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals. The former Miami superstar attempted to downplay any sort of rivalry because Riley is the Heat’s president, not their small forward. As Riley has often said, “Keep the main thing the main thing,” and that’s basketball.

MORE: Predictions, picks, schedule for 2020 NBA Finals

And yet, while Riley won’t have any direct impact on James’ stat lines in the upcoming series, you can bet there will be some added motivation to win for both sides.

James had four incredibly successful seasons as a member of the Heat, capturing back-to-back championships and MVP awards in 2012 and 2013. During his time in Miami, James went from the most reviled figure in the NBA after “The Decision” to crush the hearts of Cavaliers fans and a confounding 2011 Finals performance to someone who had widely earned respect as the undisputed best player in the world. 

When it came time for the James-Riley relationship to end, though, it was not exactly a smooth landing.

LeBron leaves, Riley reacts

The Spurs dominated the Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals, sending Miami home in five games. That surprisingly efficient elimination kickstarted yet another “Summer of LeBron” with questions about where he would land in free agency.

In his annual end-of-season news conference, Riley addressed the speculation with a bold statement that appeared to be aimed at James, as Wade and Chris Bosh had both already indicated that they would like to stay with the Heat.

“This stuff is hard. And you got to stay together, if you’ve got the guts,”