When it came to the Overwatch World Cup at BlizzCon, there were two Western teams in everyone’s minds: Finland and the United States. The former kept it close with South Korea back at the Incheon qualifier while the United States bested Canada in Los Angeles and paraded a strong history at the World Cup. Both failed to make it to the Round of Four and Canada earned 3rd place, but the United Kingdom displayed a spirit deserving of the Overwatch League.
The United Kingdom roster was largely built from Contenders talent compared to the likes of the Overwatch League stacked Finnish and American rosters. The difference in experience and pedigree was obvious, but once the server launches and the game starts, it’s up to everyone to perform. The United Kingdom drew the fan-favorite United States for its first match and the star-spangled team were a consensus favorite — so much so that the United States didn’t even prepare.
“I’d say that yeah, we weren’t prepping hard for UK,” USA DPS Zacharee said. “We were mostly putting a lot of our cards into South Korea because in scrims, playing all the other teams like France and Finland, we pretty much thought that we were just better at the same comps we played as UK.”
Zacharee’s teammate Jay “Sinatraa” even added this:
“Yeah, we prepped zero for UK.”
The United Kingdom was seen was a stepping stone and the players were treated as small fry. Though, it didn’t take long for the players to prove that they weren’t a bunch of cheeky chips from Nando’s — they were a whole meal that commanded the utmost respect.
Team UK initially was initially stomped down by the United States — countered easily by Team USA’s Pharah and Doomfist duo on Illios — but stuck to its guns and overwhelmed the states with its prowess on GOATS. While the composition is generally seen as simple and boring, small micro decisions make a world of difference and every fight is balanced on a fine needle.
Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth stepped into the team following Christopher “ChrisTFer” Graham’s retirement and defined the team in its GOATS endeavours, hitting Earthshatter after Earthshatter as the United Kingdom propelled forward. Not to be forgotten, swiss-army knife Finley “KYB” Adisi set up a majority of the “shatters” with his timely Brigitte play. Whenever Team UK needed a big play, these two stepped up and made it happen — the UK took the series 3-1, shocking the USA and its fans.
Up against a roster with proven Overwatch League talent, the United Kingdom showed the dormant power present in the European Contenders scene. Harrison “Kruise” Pond is now confirmed to join the Overwatch League with Paris, but apart from that — the UK was put together with un-prioritized talent. Going into its next match, the opponent would be built entirely from Overwatch League talent: South Korea.
Up against the greatest opponent in the tournament, the UK once again showed its resilience and forced draws on both King’s Row and Volskaya Industries. The United Kingdom lost 2-0 overall, but Fusions and KYB continued to impress with their synergy in the GOATS meta and forced South Korea to adapt more than a few times. The UK couldn’t make the kings bleed, but it definitely made them stumble.
In the Bronze medal match, it was more of the same for the UK. Up against Canada, one of the overall favorites in the Overwatch World Cup, the UK brought everything and forced five games. Unfortunately once again, the United Kingdom fell just a bit short, losing the match 3-2 against another Overwatch League stacked lineup.
The UK has yet to make it past the semifinals in the Overwatch World Cup, but the fact that it keeps making it there is impressive in and of itself. The United Kingdom continues to show the conviction of a region that demands respect in esports and the Overwatch ecosystem. Through this performance, they say: bring us aboard, because we deserve it.