One group down, but three more to go. The competition now moves from South Korea to the United States, where six more teams will battle it out to advance to the Top 8 and play for the championship at BlizzCon 2018 in November.
Here are the 7 players representing Team Canada for the OWWC group stages!
🇨🇦 #NorthStrong 🇨🇦
The pairing of Christopher “Bani” Benell and William “Crimzo” Hernandez will form the support line for Canada. Both players can play essentially any support hero, which is important in as diverse of a meta as we have now. That being said, Bani will likely be the one to play Lucio and especially Mercy. In this past OWL season for the Houston Outlaws, Bani logged 93% of his total playtime on Mercy. As for Crimzo, he was forced to play a more diverse cast of heroes for his Team Envy in this past Contenders: North America season. In their recent playoff run, which ended in defeat in the semifinals to Fusion University, Crimzo saw a lot of action on Moira, Ana and Zenyatta. These two support players shouldn’t have too much trouble during the group stage, but will still be picking up valuable experience as both of them have never been on the World Cup stage before.
.@NotEvenBleu with the 3K.
Félix “xQc” Lengyel and Lucas “NotE” Meissner were selected as the main and off-tank, respectively, for the Canadian side. xQc, like Brandon “Seagull” Larned, was a Dallas Fuel player turned full-time streamer. Apart from his eccentric personality, he is most well known for his prowess on Winston, which bodes well for a Canadian team that looks to be playing a lot of dive setups. Although it has been several months since xQc competed in a professional environment, he is still expected to be one of the best tank players in the group stage. As far as main tanks go, the only person that might be able to outplay him would be Austin “Muma” Wilmot of the United States, a matchup that is made all the more intriguing due to the history between those two players.
NotE comes into the OWWC after having a largely successful first OWL season. Out of all players with more than 30 hours of playtime during the regular season, NotE’s 19.15 eliminations per ten minutes were the highest mark. This means that he wasn’t just performing at an elite level for one or two stages, but for the entirety of the year. 97% of his stage time came on D.Va, making her easily his most played hero. She is also likely the hero that he will play the most during the group stage, given both the strength of dive compositions in this meta and Canada’s comfort on them.
When the competition begins to heat up, fans should look to Lane “Surefour” Roberts and Brady “Agilities” Girardi to be the saviors for the Canadian side. Three-time Team Canada member, Surefour, became one of the most talented damage players in all of OWL during the course of the inaugural season. His combination of a diverse hero pool and deadly mechanical skill were key factors in his rise to stardom. In Stage 4 he looked particularly impressive on Widowmaker and even won the Widowmaker 1v1 tournament during the All-Star Weekend. He was arguably the most important piece to the Los Angeles Gladiators making the playoffs and he will need to be at the top of his game once again if Canada is to capture the OWWC crown.
Agilities is among the youngest players in OWL, still just 18 years old, but has already established himself as one of the top projectile DPS players in the game. His 8,758 damage dealt per ten minutes was the third highest mark in the league, trailing only Andrej “BABYBAY” Francisty and Hyeon “EFFECT” Hwang. Agilities is especially deadly on Genji and Pharah, two heroes he will likely find himself playing often during the World Cup. It also seems that he will be on Brigitte duty when, or if, Canada chooses to play triple support compositions.
For the most part, Team Canada should sail through the group stage with little resistance. A Top 8 appearance is all but certain, barring a catastrophic collapse. Their match against the United States will be a must watch, however, as the winner will finish atop the group and also have an inside track to the championship.
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