Day one of the Overwatch World Cup is underway and it has been full of top-tier plays, unbelievable moments and massive upsets.
Game Number One: Team U.S.A vs. Great Britain
The first game of the Overwatch World Cup playoffs was far more competitive than expected. Going into the match, Team U.S.A was seen by many as the best team in the competition, as they went unbeaten in qualifying and looked dominant doing so. On the other end, Team Great Britain narrowly qualified for BlizzCon and were perceived by many to be the weakest team left in the competition.
Things started off well for Team U.S.A, as they convincingly captured game one on Illios. Their main tank player Auston ‘Muma’ Wilmot dominated and was especially effective in pressuring down enemy supports. On map two It looked like the Americans were going to roll their way to victory, as they held Great Britain to only one point on Kings Row, heading into their attack. That’s when the script started to flip. Great Britain managed to reinvigorate themselves in a matter of moments, as they held Team U.S.A on Kings Row and tied up the series. On the next map, Great Britain managed to win as well, giving them a 2 to 1 lead and setting up for an intense showdown on Junkertown.
In that deciding showdown, the British simply couldn’t be stopped as they took the map and the series 3 to 1. After the match, the Great Britain players looked like they had just won the championships, while Team U.S.A looked completely shellshocked. The loss serves as a major blow for the U.S as they were heavily favoured to win it all, and were simply unable to adapt when it mattered most. As for the U.K., the sky is the limit and they could very well ride their momentum all the way to the finals.
Game Number Two: Canada vs. France
Fresh off Great Britain’s massive upset against the U.S, France and Canada faced off in a match between two very evenly matched teams. Heading into the game the lead analysts selected France as the favourite, citing their team cohesion and overall ability to play in the current meta. That being said, it was Canada who ended up taking the first map in fairly dominant fashion. Map two was a seesaw affair on Eichenwalde that started off well for Canada and then seemed like it was going to crumble at the end. With less than thirty seconds left on the clock, Canada needed to push the payload all the way to the end of the map and somehow, without any ultimates at their disposal, they managed to do this:
After that, Canada was able to ride their momentum to a third map victory on Anubis, completing the 3 to 0 sweep and clinching their spot in semi-finals. How did Canada manage to put in such a dominant performance? Perhaps, they’re just that good and perhaps it was fueled by Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel’s pre-game antics. The always energetic xQc reached into a box and began throwing his belongings into the crowd. Keyboards, HDMI cords and various knick-knacks all found new homes, with energetic Canadian fans who helped cheer Canada to a victory. Canada faces off against China tomorrow in the semi-finals and a win there would vault them into the finals for the second straight year.
Game Number 3: China vs. Finland
With so many upsets happening in the quarter-finals, Finland must have been worried heading into their match against China. In their lead up to the game, Finland spent a lot of time scrimming with tier two and three teams and they said that when they started scrimming with other BlizzCon teams they were surprised at how well the other teams were playing. As for China, prior to the game, they mentioned that they spent a lot of time studying Finland’s specific playstyle and felt that they were more than prepared for it. As it turns out they were right.
China came out of the gates blazing, and never gave Finland a chance to respond. China captured Lijiang Tower with room to spare, held the Finnish attack on Hollywood and managed to outlast their opponents on Hanamura to win the series 3 to 0. Everyone on China managed to impress, but it was the DvA dominance by Ma ‘Lateyoung’ Tianbin that stole the show.
China will face off against Canada tomorrow with a spot in the finals on the line, and given their dominance today it’s no doubt going to be a showdown for the ages. Also, with so many upsets taking place today can Australia perhaps upset Korea? We’ll soon see.
Game Number 4: Australia vs. South Korea
Torbjorn on both sides? A closely fought series? An Australian upset? Sadly, only one of these options came true during the Australia vs. South Korea matchup, but it was still an interesting one. Even after Korea won the first map, Australia still fought back and almost managed to slug out a win on Blizzard World. Unfortunately, they ended up coming just short on Anubis and bowed out 3 to 0 to South Korea.
The thing with South Korea is that even when they dropped a fight on a control map or were forced to put up a last-minute defence, they managed to bulk up and pull through. It’s tough to tell if this reflects Korea trying their best, or if it was a matter of them trying to save some surprises for tomorrow’s matches nut regardless, Australia was very competitive and Korea was simply better. Also, they managed to use Torbjorn in all of his glory.
With the win, Korea clinches their spot in tomorrow’s semi-final where they will face off against the U.K. who managed to pull off a major upset against the U.S. earlier in the day. The semi-final action kicks off tomorrow at 12:30 EST with South Korea vs. Great Britain and Canada vs. China at 2:30 PM EST. The final starts at 6:45 PM EST and you can watch all the matches live right here.
Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out the article on Whether the Overwatch League Can Survive Expansion and our Interview with Overwatch Voice Actress Lucie Pohl.
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