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Long-time coach in Contenders and former Drifters owner Alex “byZenith” Ames has joined the San Francisco Shock as an assistant coach, the team announced Wednesday. After a break in both coaching and ownership, byZenith surprised everyone by coming back joining the most successful Overwatch League team so far. The Shock look to add more depth to their coaching to help turn around a tumultuous season, still aiming for that elusive third consecutive championship.

“Drop a #WINNABLE to welcome our new assistant coach @byZenith to the Shock Family,” the San Francisco Shock account tweeted.

byZenith’s path to the Shock

To put it lightly. byZenith has a lot of experience coaching in the Contenders scene. To start, he was a coach on the GOAT’s roster that came up with the now-infamous composition named after them. After that, he joined most of the roster in moving to First Generation. Then he joined the newly formed Toronto Defiant academy team, Montreal Rebellion, as an assistant coach. That Rebellion roster did well for a new team, only losing to the Fusion University in their heyday.

After the Rebellion and byZenith parted ways, he joined GruntO Esports for two months before moving again. This fourth coaching move was to another newly formed Contenders team, this time with Third Impact. He ended up working with Third Impact for the longest stretch in his coaching career. The team had some notable top finishes, including two first-place wins in the North American weekly tournaments and finishing second in the 2020 NA Contenders season.

That was the end of byZenith’s time on Third Impact, as they rebranded to Comically Large Crosshair. Their original name was based after former Third Impact Sean Taiyo “ta1yo” Henderson’s crosshair design. After a short time, the team rebranded to Drifters, where byZenith stayed as a coach and eventually became the owner. In early 2021, he left the organization and didn’t coach for most of the year.

Shock’s future with byZenith

The Shock are trying to keep up with other teams in the Western Division. This roster is clearly no longer the sole favorite to win the championship. They are still one of the best teams in the division, but other teams such as the Dallas Fuel and Atlanta Reign have made it to the Hawaii knockouts regularly, while they still have yet to make it there once. With byZenith’s experience in Contenders, his adaptability and success are two good reasons to add him to your coaching staff.

In the end, the Shock are signing the smartest people they can add to get to their third consecutive championship. The pressure is on for byZenith and the San Francisco Shock to work together and help get to that goal.


Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming as long as I can remember, with my first ever game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played game being Borderlands 2 (3000+ hours). Some other key favourites of mine are Transistor and Night in the Woods, but I spend stupid amounts of time playing Overwatch. I have a BA Honors in Film Studies, and want to continue to be part of film, gaming and writing.


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