Dominance is the name of the game this weekend in Santa Monica.
Day two of the Overwatch World Cup Santa Monica group stage came and went with full sweep after full sweep. United States, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Germany all ended the day with 4-0 wins over their opponents—Brazil, New Zealand, Israel, and Belgium, respectively.
Of the four leaders, United States, Taiwan, and United Kingdom have yet to drop a single map across two days of group stage play.
Matches between United States and Brazil kicked off the Overwatch World Cup on day two, sending the two teams to Hollywood, Ilios, Horizon Lunar Colony, and Route 66. United States only showed slight weakness—emphasis on slight—on Horizon Lunar Colony, in which both teams secured capture points, sending the map to a tiebreaker.
United States showed impressive versatility across Horizon Lunar Colony, unafraid to swap heroes if a different composition would have them fare better against Brazil. While capturing the first point, United States broke out the PharMercy combination—Jake Lyon on Mercy with Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty on Mercy—to capitalize on the map’s long lines of sight.
Jake found openness in Horizon Lunar Colony’s sometimes cramped and closed off hallways. Using Pharah, he could disregard those small spaces and fly into strategic positioning. Their push into the capture point was slow, with Jake doing progressively more damage as he pushed forward. Brazil couldn’t hide. In the areas where they were somewhat safe from United States’ ground force, Brazil was left open to Jake’s rockets—damage boosted by Rawkus’ Mercy.
A clutch barrage and a few key rockets before and after the ultimate left the entire team wiped and the point captured. And five of those kills were due entirely to Jake.
Taiwan also impressed on Horizon Lunar Colony against New Zealand, using both its sight lines and cramped corners to its advantage. Their defense began with an unconventional swap. Lyu “Zonda” Jhong-Da opted for a defensive Widowmaker, leaving the team with somewhat low DPS. Well, that ended up not being a problem in the slightest. Taiwan caught New Zealand in one of the small hallways to the side of the capture point and just annihilated them before casters even realized what happened.
Every fight was near identical to the first. Widowmaker wasn’t able to do all the damage herself, but Zonda’s teammates were always in position to support any damage done.
New Zealand simply had no answer for the Taiwanese team.
Over in Group H, United Kingdom made quick work of Israel, while Germany swept Belgium. Day three begins again tomorrow with the United States vs. Taiwan, where one of these top teams will have to drop a map. Brazil vs. New Zealand is next, followed by United Kingdom vs. Germany and Israel vs. Belgium.
The top two teams from the initial group stage will move on to the Santa Monica playoffs, which will immediately follow Israel vs. Belgium. Two teams from the Santa Monica playoffs will qualify for the Overwatch World Cup main event.
Only two spots remain for Overwatch World Cup. Come tomorrow, we’ll find out who will join China, France, Sweden, Australia, South Korea, and Canada at the main event.