Team Australia’s dreams are cut short in the Overwatch World Cup
Australia gets knocked out by Canada in the first round at Blizzcon
Blizzcon is definitely Blizzard’s biggest event of the year. With limited content and news releases the convention is a buzz of fans overly excited about all things Blizzard, making for the perfect stage to host the Overwatch World Cup finals.
Back in July, Australia beat Japan in Sydney and qualified for the World Cup finals at Blizzcon. The match was an intense game for Australian esports and team Australia, getting the country hyped to be represented overseas at the biggest Overwatch event of the year. However, now that Blizzcon has come around our dreams of victory were cut short in the very first round.
Team Canada was invited to the finals last year. This year they defeated Russia and the Netherlands in August at the qualifying brackets in Katowice, Poland and earned their place at Blizzcon. This was a strong start as Russia was a hard team to beat but team Canada pulled it off to get an easier start in the finals – against team Australia without having to verse Team Korea straight up.
The same players as last year comprised Team Australia: Ajay “Aetar” Umasankar, Jordan “Gunba” Graham, Jason “ieatuup” Ho, Marcus “Kiki” Jacob, Andrew “Rqt” Haws and Ashley “Trill” Powell. These guys are the cream of the crop for Australian Overwatch esports and regardless of the outcome we should be proud of each of their accomplishments.
Something important to note: this was their first time playing together since the qualifiers which may have led to some of the issues they faced in the match.
Coming out of the gates Oasis Canada scored the very first objective with ease, which put our guys on their heels. Thankfully, we were able to take advantage of Team Canada’s Liam “Mangachu” Campbell's mistake and tie the score on the second round. Mangachu had gotten ahead of himself and pushed too far into the Australian spawn, leaving the point undefended and open to capturing. This momentum continued on to the last round in Oasis as Australia dominated over Canada and made the score 1 - 0.
The second match saw Australia making some real progress, running rings around Team Canada’s defence for a fast capture and then holding solid against the attack. A few key team kills really helped to keep them in the lead when in the third round Australia was able to capture the first point and claim victory with a score of 2 - 0. This was truly the match where Australia was in the zone and feeling good.
Hanamura was the start of our demise. Our luck ran out when Team Canada finally found their footing and pushed back. Team Canada pulled out a three-tank pick on defence, with a focus on really absorbing the main damage and taking out the support as much as possible. This caused Australia to over-commit a few too many times when they did not have enough damage to take out the big tanks. Canada takes Hanamura in the third round for their first point, 1 - 2.
Australia made an enormous mistake on Junkertown that cost them a huge amount of ground. On defence the team picked a Reinhardt/Widowmaker combo that involved staying far away from the enemy. This is a fine tactic but Team Canada were ahead of the curve with a pirate ship play, which involves two shield tanks (Reinhardt and Orisa) protecting a Bastion riding the moving cart into the enemy lines. With more shields than they needed to withstand Australia’s Widowmaker, Canada took Junkertown to even up the score to 2 - 2.
The biggest and most frustrating match for fans to watch as Team Canada’s Mangachu cleaned up was Pharah. His shots were accurate and with a Mercy pocketing him for the entire match he remained in good health and pumped out some high damage. For reasons beyond us Australia did nothing to counter him, ignoring any hitscan characters that could easily take out Pharah and allow Team Canada to walk all over them and knock us out of the running as the score hit 3 - 2.
It was a shame that our dreams have been cut so soon but to have gotten to the finals in an international competition is still an amazing accomplishment. Next year the boys will try again and maybe even take the cup.
For more on esports in Australia and worldwide check out our esports hub for all the news and coverage you need. Keep tuned for which country will take out the Overwatch World Cup.
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