Australia has many points of great pride. For example, we have two Bunnings warehouses in each of our suburbs, known for providing highly cultured cuisine to our people. Australia also boasts an impressive list of A-list celebrities. Such as David “Kochie” Koch, who for non-Aussie folk, is our Beyoncé. However, what truly brings Australia together as a people above all else, is the love we share for our Australian Overwatch league boys Scott “Custa” Kennedy and Ashley “Trill” Powell. Despite only having one of these players representing Australia in the upcoming Overwatch World Cup, hopefully, this roster of players will become just as beloved and closely followed post World Cup.
A Brief Introduction
Australia has a relatively small esports scene. As such, we are rarely featured at prominent international tournaments around the world. In our Overwatch scene, it’s nigh impossible to find a ranked match above 4,000 SR at any time of the week and so Australia is not a region that is exactly rich with talent. Despite this, a dedicated grassroots community has cultivated a thriving Contenders scene. The Oceanic region plays like no other, often with an instinctive flair.
With this flair, team Australia has managed to collect scalps including Sweden and Japan in previous World Cup tournaments. In 2017, Australia even pushed an elite team like Canada to five maps. 2019 will mark their fourth consecutive appearance at Blizzcon for the international showcase matches, and they will have to go through New Zealand, Chinese Taipei and Denmark to make it out of their pool.
In contrast with previous years, the 2019 Aussie squad has been picked from a diverse pool of talent and regions of competition. Both of their DPS players are currently unsigned. One of those players, Felix “CKM” Murray has actually come out of retirement to compete in this year’s OWWC. CKM may be a bit rusty heading into the tournament, as too might his DPS partner Jason “ieatuup” Ho, who himself hasn’t played professionally since his departure from Team CC in Chinese Contenders 10 months ago. These two players despite being out of practice, are among the few Aussie players with international recognition. Neither player has their comfort hero picks in META right now and will need to showcase their depth in this tournament.
The support duo for Australia is comprised of two successful players currently playing in Contenders. Giorgio “tongue” Lahdo and Max “Unter” Unterwurzacher. For those familiar with Australian Contenders, these two players need no introduction. But for the uninitiated, these two players are consistently outperforming most supports in the region. Unter is a back-to-back Contenders champion with his team ORDER, and tongue is the best performing player on Australian Overwatch’s first traditional sport backed organization, Warriors Esports. These two players have yet to play on such a large stage and will be looking to impress those international viewers who may not often traipse over to the Contenders broadcast.
Where the Australian lineup shines brightest, is in their frontline. The tank duo of Leyton “Punk” Gilchrist and Trill may be our saving grace. For close to a year, over multiple METAs, Overwatch’s most prominent compositions have been molded around two or more strong tanks.
Punk has been in the Overwatch scene for a long while and can be spotted playing on the Boston Uprising Academy team in North American Contenders. Academy roster spots are coveted positions by any aspiring OWL players and are generally filled by players with extreme potential, and Punk is no exception.
Main tank player Trill has had an up-and-down kind of year. He finally got his big promotion to the OWL league, but sharing playtime on a struggling roster wasn’t the optimal way to best show his aggressive and skilled gameplay. Here at Blizzcon, Trill has the perfect stage to show exactly why he is an OWL caliber player.
Predictions and Conclusions
In recently played show matches against other Oceanic and South-East Asian teams, Australia was not particularly dominant. In fact, they will need to perform much better than they did in those show matches as they have New Zealand and Chinese Tapei in their immediate vicinity along with their knockout bracket. Ieatuup has been known to pop off in crucial moments and Australia does have the most well-established tank line of the teams they face in their group. So, the Aussies should be optimistic about their chance to proceed further into the tournament. The Australian spirit has been known to allow Aussies to outperform their expectations before, so watch out.
ヽʕ •ᴥ•ʔﾉ Raise your koalas ヽʕ •ᴥ•ʔﾉ
Watch the online preliminaries on October 31, starting at 12:30 PM EST on the PlayOverwatch Twitch channel.
For more Overwatch content, or a chat, follow Sam on twitter @yaakiisoba, or message him on Discord (yaakiisoba#2969).
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