Malik Shelp

Malik Shelp

Malik specializes in esports photography, videography, video editing, and graphic design. He has also written Overwatch and DOTA articles for over 2 years for DBLTAP and other esports outlets. You can learn more about Malik on our About page.

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Overwatch World Cup 2019 Preview: Top 5 Teams

OWWC Overwatch World Cup 2019 Preview
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ESTNN takes a look at the top teams ahead of the 2019 Overwatch World Cup.


The Overwatch World Cup rapidly approaches and teams from around the world will be descending upon Blizzcon for the chance at the World Champion title. The Overwatch World Cup is a showcase of what each country’s top talent, and is an Olympic-modeled esports event. While there were 47 teams invited to the Overwatch World Cup, there are a few that stand out above the rest.

South Korea

-Jae-hyeok "Carpe" Lee

-Minho "Architect" Park

-HaksalHyojong "Haksal" Kim

-Hyo-bin "ChoiHyoBin" Choi

-Dong-gyu "Mano" Kim

-Ho-jin "iDK" Park

-Seung-tae "Bdosin" Choi

South Korea has won every Overwatch World Cup so far and I doubt that will change this year. Carpe is the only returning member of the roster, but it is still stacked. Architect and Haksal is the scary duo that everyone should be looking out for considering their run in the 2019 Overwatch League season. ChoiHyoBin was solid all season and in the playoffs, his Sigma was top tier. Team USA versus Team Korea will be a match to watch as ChoiHyobin and Architect on Team Korea go up against their teammates, Sinatraa, Super, and Moth. Despite their supremacy in previous years, the ATL Academy and the San Francisco Shock have proven that Korean teams can fall from graces.

United Kingdom

-Kai "KSP" Collins

-Finley "Kyb" Adisi

-Eoghan "Smex" O'Neill

-Cameron "Fusions" Bosworth

-Isaac "Boombox" Charles

-Daniel "FunnyAstro" Hathaway

-Harrison "Kruise" Pond

Team UK’s 2019 roster is identical to last year’s with the exception of DPS MikeyA being swapped out for FunnyAstro. Most of the team has improved immensely over the past year, and the strength of this team will come from FunnyAstro and Fusions. Fusions has proven to be a solid shot caller for his teams, and FunnyAstro’s recent performance at the Gauntlet with ATL academy raised eyebrows. Team UK has one of the strongest support lineups with Kruise, Boombox, and Funny Astro. Team United Kingdom fell to Team Canada in the final round of Overwatch World Cup 2018, and this year, they may have a chance.

United States

-Corey "Corey" Nigra

-Jay "sinatraa" Won

-Kyle "KSF" Frandanisa

-Indy "SPACE" Halpern

-Matthew "super" DeLisi

-Grant "moth" Espe

-Shane "Rawkus" Flaherty

Last year the U.S. team fell to Team UK in the first round of the Top 8 bracket. Not many teams have changed up their roster too much, but Team USA has some accolades under their belt. The roster features three members from the San Francisco Shock, KSF swapping in for ZachaREEE and Corey is filling in for Hydration this year to bring in fresh DPS talent. The strength in this team will come from the previous playtime Sinatraa, super, and moth have from playing together during the 2019 Overwatch League season. Corey popped off in Stage 4 thanks to role lock being implemented, and KSF has had a jolly good time on Hanzo in the League. Super is talented and his D.Va is above most in the League, Unfortunately, the meta right now is heavily reliant on Orisa and Sigma, neither of which Space played well during the 2019 season.

Canada

- Lane "Surefour" Roberts

-Brady "Agilities" Girardi

-Liam "Mangachu" Campbell

-Lucas "NotE" Meissner

-Félix "xQc" Lengyel

-Chris "Bani" Benell

-William "Crimzo" Hernandez

Oh, Team Canada. Surefour, Agilities, Mangachu, and xQc are returning to the World Cup stage this year joined by newcomers NotE, Bani, and Crimzo. NotE was fairly active in the most recent season of the Overwatch League, and Crimzo is fresh off of his Contenders Gauntlet with Team Envy. Like Space, NotE is a better D.Va player than Sigma, but they have had ample time to practice. A minor concern with the Canadian roster is Bani, a Houston Outlaws support player who has had very little play time since GOATS fell away. Last year Bani mainly played Lucio but swapped depending on the situation and Team Canada took home 3rd place.

China

-Yi "JinMu" Hu

-Ou "Eileen" Yiliang

-Luo "Elsa" Wenjie

-Xu "guxue" Qiulin

-Li "Yveltal" Xianyao

-Kong "Kyo" Chunting

Team China’s roster is bringing back Guxue and Yvetal, but their true strength comes in the majority of the roster being from the Chengdu Hunters.  JinMu, Elsa, Yvetal, and Kyo are all on Team China’s roster. Despite turning 18 recently and being picked up by the Hunters, leave will not be performing at the Overwatch World Cup due to health issues. Luckily Eileen from the Guangzhou Charge filled Team China’s third Damage slot and Guxue from the Hangzhou Spark will more than likely take the main tank position while Elsa flexes onto a likely Sigma or D.Va. It would be refreshing to see guxue’s world-class Winston play, but the ape scientist is out of meta, and Elsa’s hero pool is limited.

Finland

-Richard "rCk" Kanerva

-Ricky "Ricky" Foxell

-Joonas "zappis" Alakurtti

-Roni "LhCloudy" Tiihonen

-Jonas "Shaz" Suovaara

-Petja "Masaa" Kantanen

-Aleksi "Zuppeh" Kuntsi

Now that we have the top 5 teams of the Overwatch World Cup, I decided to add one more team as my resident sleeper for the World Cup. It was a close call between Team Denmark and Team Finland but rCk, Shaz, and Masaa put them on top. Shaz and Masaa are in the support slots for Team Finland, but Shaz’s ability to flex over to hitscan heroes makes his Ana and Zenyatta deadly. The world cup limits teams to choose citizens from their own country and Team Finland had a less than favorable pool to chose from compared to other EU teams. Taimou as a backup, and rCk and Ricky as the main DPS players, they stand a fighting chance this year. LhCloudy didn’t get the chance to shine very often during the normal season, but it was enjoyable to watch him flex over to Winston and Wreckingball at times. His Orisa was solid most of the season and faced much harder foes than Denmark’s Henningson has.

Anything is possible during the Overwatch World Cup, and the preliminary rounds begin on October 31st live on the Overwatch League's Twitch channel. The true action takes place on November 1st and 2nd, once the Group Stages kick off. I will be covering the Overwatch World Cup live from Blizzcon this weekend so we will have updates as they happen.

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