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Get ready to hear a lot of “USA, USA” chants this weekend.
As the home team at the Overwatch World Cup, Team USA always manages to get the most hype and the rowdiest fans. This year, the American team is hoping to claw their way to the top of the World Cup bracket with Overwatch League talent.
- DPS: Corey Nigra (Washington Justice)
- DPS: Jay “Sinatraa” Won (San Francisco Shock)
- DPS: Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa (Los Angeles Valiant)
- Main tank: Matthew “Super” DeLisi (San Francisco Shock)
- Off-tank: Indy “SPACE” Halpern (Los Angeles Gladiators)
- Main support: Grant “Moth” Espe (San Francisco Shock)
- Flex support: Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty (Houston Outlaws)
This year, Team USA opted to create a roster from the extremely deep pool of Overwatch League talent available to them. The DPS line consists of Overwatch World Cup veteran Sinatraa, returning for his third year, as well as new additions Corey and KSF. Corey’s projectile expertise adds extra terror to Sinatraa’s Doomfist or hitscan choices. He’s the Overwatch League MVP for a reason.
SPACE returns for his second year as Team USA’s off-tank alongside Super, who’s enjoying his first year as Team USA’s main tank after years of tryouts. There’s no built-in tank cohesion, but the two are so individually talented that they should be able to figure it out. San Francisco Shock shotcaller and main support Moth will spend his second year coordinating the team alongside Rawkus, who’s back for his third year as flex support.
Unfortunately for Team USA, hype hasn’t always equaled results. The best year for the team was arguably 2017 when they rolled through the Santa Monica qualifiers and made it to BlizzCon. They were handed South Korea in the quarterfinals and rose up to the challenge, taking a map off a team that was previously unstoppable. Even though they were eliminated early, many fans saw it as a success.
But 2018 was a much more disappointing year. As a top seed, Team USA were pitted against Team United Kingdom in the quarterfinals of BlizzCon. Many expected the match to be one-sided since Team USA were focused on facing South Korea in the semifinals. United Kingdom stepped up to the challenge, though, defeating the most-hyped team in the competition 3-1.
With the extraordinary amount of talent on Team USA, the team’s success will come down to coaching and coordination. Sinatraa, Corey, and KSF all have extensive experience with the 2-2-2 meta thanks to the Overwatch League. Individually, they’ve all managed to carry their respective teams with hero plays and flashy skills. If they work together, this DPS lineup could be one of the most terrifying at the event.
Some team cohesion is built into this roster since Super, Sinatraa, and Moth all come from the San Francisco Shock. SPACE, Rawkus, Moth, and Sinatraa have all played together as well. Team USA benefits from a fixed meta in which they can focus on specific teams, not large-scale composition changes like they did in 2018. If the team can rally around their veterans and focus on the team in front of them, instead of only concentrating on South Korea, they finally have a chance to make it to the top.