Last weekend, Team USA took on Team China in the Grand Finals of the Overwatch World Cup 2019. Before the match, pundits discussed the similarities between Team China’s playstyle and that of the Chengdu Hunters in the Overwatch League. They expected Team China to come out strong and challenge Team USA in a way unlike anything they have faced.
When the two teams came out, Team China was met with a mix of cheers and boos. This is undoubtedly related to the controversy of Blizzard punishing Hearthstone player Blitzchung for making comments on the political situation between China and Hong Kong. Team USA, however, came out to a much louder show of support.
With the introduction of a 2-2-2 role-lock system earlier this year, the rosters started like this…
Eileen – Damage
Jinmu – Damage
Guxue – Tank
Elsa – Tank
Kyo – Support
Yveltal – Support
Corey – Damage
Sinatraa – Damage
Super – Tank
Space – Tank
Rawkus – Support
Moth – Support
Map One – Ilios; USA 0 – 0 CHN
For the first point, the teams met each other with mirrored compositions: Reaper, Doomfist, Orisa, Sigma, Moira, and Lucio. The game went to 99%-99% and Team China took the point after repelling a desperate attack from Team USA.
On the second point, Mei made an appearance for both sides with Team USA switching out their Reaper for a Bastion. Again, Team USA managed to get to 99% and faced a tough battle, trading eliminations before winning the point.
The third point saw another change in the damage heroes used by both Team USA and Team China. Corey and Eileen both opted to play as Widowmaker for the initial phase with Pharah and Hanzo coming into play in the latter stages. A Death Blossom ult from Sinatraa saw the final attack from Team China break and the Americans take Map One.
Map Two – King’s Row; USA 1 – 0 CHN
Team China opened map two with a dive composition attack on the double-shield defense of Team USA. D.Va and Lucio were met with quick deaths as Team USA dealt effortlessly with the onslaught. Eventually, Team China did break through and began to escort the payload. However, they were held at 64.24m by Corey’s Bastion finishing the attack in overtime.
Facing similar struggles, Team USA struggled to break the initial defense. Once they did, though, there was little Team China could do to stop them in their push forwards onto another win. Team USA was one map away from winning the Overwatch World Cup 2019.
Map Three – Dorado; USA 2 – 0 CHN
Team China had to throw everything they had into the next map. Team USA started the map on the attacking side and found it difficult to deal with Eileen’s Sombra. Thankfully for Team USA, Eileen’s missed EMP was punished by Sinatraa’s Bastion Ultimate, and Team USA pushed forwards at a slow but steady pace. A Gravitic Flux from Space left the payload uncontested, and Team USA secured all three points.
Unlike Team China’s defense, Team USA set their shields up on the high ground and let Team China push the payload the first few meters uncontested. Team China again attempted a dive-composition attack. Unlike their attempts on King’s Row, the dive proved much more successful, and Team China got off to a fast start. However, they got stuck at 23.97m for a long time, and this ultimately left them without an opportunity to make use of the time they had created for themselves. They ended on 61.57m, just over halfway, and Team USA took the map and won the Overwatch World Cup 2019 3-0.
What made the difference between the two teams was Team USA’s punishment on outnumbering Team China. Despite this, there were instances where Team USA found themselves struggling to get through 6v5, or even 6v4, scenarios. In a game so reliant on the timing of ultimate abilities, Team USA found the edge over Team China through their countering and ultimate combos.
The 2020 season of the Overwatch League starts February 8 and, if it is anything like the gameplay we have seen during the Overwatch World Cup 2019, then it is going to be unmissable.