Germany is no stranger to the Overwatch World Cup. As with several of the other prominent European teams, they’ve participated to some degree in every iteration of the Cup thus far. Get to know the team with The Game Haus’ Team Germany preview.
Starting back in 2016, Germany broke through the European Qualifier to stand as one of the six European teams bound for BlizzCon. Alongside an impressive roster, Dennis “INTERNETHULK” Hawelka was an integral member of the team, the only year where he would see play. Despite a win over Chile, Germany suffered back-to-back losses against Russia and the USA, falling out as third place in Group B.
Following their 2016 loss, three players left the competitive Overwatch scene entirely leaving only two players remaining for 2017. INTERNETHULK refrained from play this year, remaining with the team in a high-capacity mentorship role. Despite his overwhelmingly positive presence, Germany in 2017 never moved past the Santa Monica Qualifier and regretfully saw their plans cut short once again.
Just three days following the conclusion of the 2017 Cup, INTERNETHULK passed tragically and unexpectedly. Something so heavy for the Overwatch community at large was felt even more intensely within the German Overwatch community, and Blizzard responded with the establishment of the Dennis Hawelka Award just eight days later.
Seemingly symbolic of a country-wide community rally cry, Germany returned for the 2018 Cup with a fierce composition of players. Steven “Kodak” Rosenberger (now considered an Overwatch League staple with the Atlanta Reign) and Herman “Nesh” Kobrin (of British Hurricane fame) rounded out an impressive roster. Despite this, Germany found themselves again disqualified after placing fourth in the Paris Qualifier.
Unlike many of the other prominent European teams preparing right this very moment for the 2019 Overwatch World Cup, the Crusaders face minimal pressure. Missing out on a direct invite has ironically given them their biggest advantage: Germany is a four-year long World Cup-seasoned country (with actual BlizzCon experience) being thrown into the Preliminaries with teams that are lucky to have one year of qualifier experience under their belt.
Roster-wise, this is the strongest Germany has looked since 2016. Moritz “Engineer” Becker and Max “Moose” Kießling of Clockwork Vendetta round out a Contenders-heavy team with Wavecheck’s Julian “ProGi” Maier guiding them as Head Coach. The expected World Cup meta should work in Germany’s favor, a lucky thing given their player’s smaller range of playable heroes.
In Bracket D, their strengths should play in their favor in their first Preliminary match against either Hong Kong or Paraguay. Hong Kong has equivalent qualifier experience (though has placed significantly lower than Germany) and this is Paraguay’s first venture for the Cup. Following a victory here, Germany faces either Mexico, Russia, or Latvia. The latter placed significantly lower than the Crusaders in the August Eurocup Fundraiser, and thus is likely Germany’s desired opponent. Historically, Russia (Germany’s 2016 rival) and Mexico have both placed favorably in past qualifiers, though it should be noted this is Mexico’s first qualifier in three years.
Germany’s most prominent wish for 2019 is to push past the Preliminaries and into the Group Stage; their fellow Germans feel that this is enough to make the entire country proud. This isn’t to say they intend to stop there, of course. Every victory past that will place another notch firmly in their caps. While a World Cup victory may seem like a long shot, the team has the history, the energy and the fond lingering memory of INTERNETHULK with them to likely get close.
A special thank you to F1r3wall for providing the history, goals, and expectations for Germany this year.
Follow me on Twitter: @lowercasegig for questions or to tell me you love me.
Alternatively, I’m always willing to get in touch on Discord @ gig#9417.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Team Germany Twitter page
Follow The Game Haus for more sports and esports coverage.
“From Our Haus to Yours”