Team USA came into the Overwatch World Cup quarterfinals at BlizzCon as the strong favorites. Many analysts put them above the indomitable South Korean roster in the tournament, projecting them to take the entire World Cup. But then came USA's match against the UK team, where it lost 3-1. What happened? Why did the USA lose?
The first issue, and main issue is that the USA ran into tank play. Boasting one of the strongest tank lineups in the tournament with Austin "Muma" Wilmot and Indy "Space" Halpern, many thought that the USA had an amazing tank lineup, set to demolish the UK. Cameron "Fusions" Bosworth and Eoghan "Smex" O'Neill completely beat up the USA lineup. These Overwatch Contenders tanks came in with purpose and drive and their team took it to the USA tanks, mitigating one of the largest on-paper advantages that the USA had.
One of the other issues that the USA faced was composition. The UK is well known for its GOATS compositions, which entail running three tanks and three supports, with a Brigitte being the key piece. Team UK worked around their Brigitte and made the most of it. Their coordination with her stuns created so many opportunities for the UK team to demolish the USA. The visiting team showed off the true potential of the Brigitte on the highest level with the best communication.
Because of this Brigitte and GOATS composition being such an issue for the USA, their play against it did not create the opportunities they needed. A Pharah is a great counter to those compositions, and the USA switched out their best Pharah player after the first map. If they hoped to have a better chance, it may have made more sense to leave in João Pedro "Hydration" Goes Telles to take down this composition from the UK.
If the USA had mitigated these issues above, there is still no guarantee that they could have won, but they would have certainly been more competitive. Team UK played out of their minds and have shown off why they should not be taken lightly. As the rest of the tournament progresses, the USA fans will have to watch and wonder. Maybe next year will be better, with Ashe in the game and more heroes, BlizzCon 2019 is where the USA's Overwatch hopes lie.
Photo courtesy of Robert Paul/Blizzard