Team USA announces its surprising OWWC roster

KSF, Rawkus, Space, Corey, Sinatraa, Moth and super make the cut

Overwatch's Icon Sascha Heinisch · 26 Aug 2019


Photo via Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment

Team USA have announced their roster for the Overwatch World Cup and it came with a few surprises. Shane "Rawkus" Flaherty and Grant "moth" Espe, Matthew "super" DeLisi, Indy "SPACE" Halpern, Corey "Corey" Nigra, Kyle "KSF" Frandanisa and Jay "sinatraa" Won will be representing the US at Blizzcon in the OWWC.

Both Moth and Space had been a known entity as they were the only players in their role respective roles nominated for the final 12-man team.

Shock’s super beat out Outlaws’ main tank Muma for the starting position presumably on the back of his excellent season and strong leadership qualities. While the roster might run into hero pool problems with this selection (judging by the heroes super has shown proficiency on) we can expect the Shock’s coaching staff to focus on closing super’s hero pool gaps for the Overwatch League season finale.

Outlaws’ flex support and Ana specialist Rawkus beat out Justice’s sleepy and will be recurring starter for the US. For some fans this selection might come as a surprise, as preexisting synergy between the former Shock support sleepy and moth could be seen as an advantage. On the other hand, sleepy had recently been put on the bench for his teammate Gi-do "Gido" Moon, perhaps signaling a dip in form which might have also shown up in the tryout process for the national team.

On the DPS, Corey, Sinatraa and KSF made the cut, leaving out Dante "Danteh" Cruz and João Pedro "Hydration" Goes. Especially KSF over Danteh may potentially be the biggest surprise in the roster selection. The fan favorite had been one of the few shining performers during the season for the Outlaws and with a wide hero pool looked on paper to be a shoo-in.

KSF, however, shined brightly in the 2-2-2 meta and delivered several carry performances during stage 4 for the Valiant. Given that tryouts likely also played a role in the selection process, KSF seemed to have convinced the three coaches.

Corey’s trajectory in stage 4 had been even more impressive. With outstanding performances on Widowmaker and Hanzo, the rookie lead the Washington Justice to an impressive victory against the Titans and a notable 6-1 stage record. 

Season MVP candidate Sinatraa perhaps expectedly made the cut too. While his hero pool could be questioned (after all, his marvelous performances this season had been mostly on Zarya), the coaching trio still put confidence into the Shock prodigy.

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A controversy had developed over the weekend during a post-game interview in which flex support player for the Atlanta Reign, Dusttin "Dogman" Bowerman had called the decisions made by the coaching staff of Aaron "Aero" Atkins, Harsha "Harsha" Bandi and Jae "Junkbuck" Choi into question. 

Dogman later doubled down in the press conference, stating that he thinks that while Aero is a “nice guy” he thinks of him as “incompetent” as reported by Thegamehaus on Sunday. He further extended the criticism to all members of the coaching staff.

“I mean, I wish the game was a little cleaner so the trash talk could be smoother. But, for the most part, I think it’s just because we have frd, Babybay, Gator and Hawk on our academy team. These are all players eligible for Team USA and three didn’t even make it past the first round of trials. So, I think the competency of Team USA’s head coach and the coaching staff wasn’t very good this year.”

You will be able to watch Team USA at the OWWC starting on November 1st at Blizzcon.

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