Yesterday was a bad day for the land of the free as both top-seeded American teams in the Overwatch World Cup and HGC Finals were soundly beaten in shocking upsets.
Team USA was heavily favored to sweep through a faltering UK team that were, in part, lucky to find themselves in the Overwatch World Cup in the first place. But they proved the world, and an apparently overconfident Team USA, wrong in every way possible. A similar story for HeroesHearth Esports who also lost to European organization called Team Liquid, after going 7-3 in the group stage in the HGC (Heroes Grand Championship).
Both came as a surprise as the American fans filling up most of the audience had to watch both of their star teams crumble right in front of them.
HeroesHearth Esports playing from behind
You could say that HeroesHearth might’ve been overconfident going into this match with Team Liquid, because, after all, they did post a 76% win ratio during the qualifying and group matches; whereas Team Liquid had only a 61% win ratio. But I hope HeroesHearth was smart enough to know that Team Liquid played in the more difficult Group A stage where they faced Korean juggernaut Gen.G and were the only team to record a win against them.
Either way, HeroesHearth secured a higher seed than Team Liquid and were favored to win the match anyhow…and that’s how the first round went. In a best of 3, HeroesHearth didn’t overpower their opponent in grand fashion in the first round but did beat them soundly and it looked like they were on their way to advancing. They were even winning halfway through the second round. But the moment they lost the lead and the momentum, they started playing scattered and panicked.
After gaining a grip on the match in round 2, Team Liquid never relinquished it and that played to HeroesHearth’s apparent weakness – playing from behind. Round 3 was Team Liquid’s the whole time and with HeroesHearth facing down elimination they didn’t play like themselves and, like mentioned before, played scattered and panicked and lost the game. It wasn’t the upset of the century, but it was an upset nonetheless.
Team USA overconfident, failed to prepare for the UK
Now for perhaps the upset of the century, at least as far as esports goes. The UK beat Team USA in the first round of the Overwatch World Cup. Now that is a line I never thought I would end up writing this year. I would say it’s equivalent to the New York Jets beating the Los Angeles Rams during this current football season. But it’s not just that they beat them, but how they beat them.
During the first round on Ilios Team USA came out swinging, recorded multiple kills, and took control of the point immediately. They continued their onslaught and won that point easily. All USA fans, including Team USA, began licking their chops thinking they were in for an easy win. The second point on Ilios proved to be much more challenging with the UK holding their own and forcing an overtime but still gave up the victory to Team USA, giving them a 1–0 lead.
It was all downhill from there.
Immediately the UK took control with an impressive support and tank composition that was seemingly impossible to take down. No matter what the USA threw at them they just could not get any kills, and after burning up all their ults they would be left defenseless and the UK would simply pick them off one by one.
There were times when Team USA would make a run, but it wouldn’t last. In the end they were just confused and had no answer to what the UK was giving them. Whereas the UK knew exactly what to bring and when. As stated in the subhead, USA was overconfident and didn’t prepare nearly as well as the UK did.
Overall it’s unfortunate to see my beloved country show up so shamefully on one of the biggest esports stages of the year, especially when there was so much promise. Yes, there’s always next year, but that’s an awfully long time.