USA National Coach Reveals Intense Selection Process for Overwatch World Cup Squad - Dexerto
Overwatch

USA National Coach Reveals Intense Selection Process for Overwatch World Cup Squad

Published: 8/Jun/2018 1:57 Updated: 15/Oct/2020 17:19

by Joe O'Brien

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The head coach for the US Overwatch World Cup team, Aaron ‘Aero’ Atkins, has revealed the process by which the national committee will select the team.

The national teams for each country will be selected and trained by a national committee made up of a General Manager, a Coach, and a Community Lead. The General manager for each was selected by Blizzard, while the other two positions were selected by public vote.

The committees will have until July 5th to select and announce their twelve-man roster, but they have total freedom over how they decide which players to pick.

For the USA team, coach Aero – who is currently the head coach of Dallas Fuel, and previously coached Fusion University to victory in Contenders NA Season One – announced the rigorous process by which the squad will be chosen.

The USA committee will apparently invite twenty-five players to participate in the process, who will then be split into four teams. The teams will battle it out internally over a two-week period, with one then dropping out and three advancing to a more intense final stage through which the final roster will be built.

Aero detailed the process in a recent Twitlonger:

Hi everyone, Coach Aero of Team USA here to talk about our plan to craft an all-star lineup for 2018’s US Overwatch World Cup team. In order to build a process you need a plan and in order to make a plan you need a goal. Getting straight to the point, our goal is to represent our country honorably and, ultimately, take home the gold. While there are multiple ways to build a team, we felt that our best homegrown options are within the highest levels of competition available in Overwatch: the Overwatch League and Overwatch Contenders.

Twenty-Five of America’s best will be invited to tryout for a spot on the USA World Cup team.The invited players will be split into four teams: Team Theodore, Team Thomas, Team George, and Team Abraham. We have chosen to name our trial teams after the American Presidents that are depicted on Mount Rushmore to both honor their contributions to America and entrench a sense of patriotic duty in the players that have been invited to participate. Once assembled teams will face off in private, internal scrimmages across a two week period following the conclusion of the regular season of Season 1 of the Overwatch League.

Once the first week of play has been completed, three of the four teams will advance to week two where competition will be more intense. At the conclusion of week two, the final 12 candidates will be chosen to represent Team USA. Across both weeks, each player will be evaluated in various categories, including but not limited to: mechanical skill, team play, communication, and attitude. Prior to each map, teams will be given time to prepare strategies with more direct Coach intervention during week two.

On behalf of the USA committee, we are humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to represent our country in the Overwatch World Cup. We’re committed to building and growing the best possible team that the USA has to offer. Invitations will be sent out privately via Discord and Twitter DM’s. Don’t forget to follow @TeamUSAOWWCfor updates and don’t hesitate to ask us questions in the Team USA Discord Server: https://discord.gg/TeamUSA

With the Overwatch League and Contenders having given more players the opportunity to show what they’re made of since last year, many of the teams could look significantly different this time. One of the stars of last year’s USA team and now DPS player for the Houston Outlaws, Jacob ‘Jake’ Lyon, has already recused himself from the process, stating that he has “bigger plans” this year.

Overwatch

Overwatch players discover secret Reaper buff in new patch

Published: 24/Feb/2021 20:50

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch players with Reaper in their hero repertoire will be happy to know the Talon DPS was on the receiving end of a powerful quality-of-life change that buffs the shotgun-wielding damage dealer.

Undocumented changes aren’t exactly anything new in Overwatch, but it’s always a bit surprising when a hero receives a buff that wasn’t listed in the official patch notes.

The latest Overwatch update on February 18 brought in some changes for Reaper that saw his range increase at the cost of some damage reduction. Although the changes were a net buff, there was something else lurking in the update that further increases his strength.

As noticed by player ‘TheeNinjaBanana’ on Reddit, Reaper can now cancel his reload to use Shadow Step – something that he previously was unable to do.

Reaper poses with a box of fireworks
Blizzard Entertainment
Reaper mains are celebrating the new buff.

Most heroes in Overwatch are already able to cancel their reload animations through the use of abilities, but, for whatever reason, Reaper was unable to until now.

Shadow Step isn’t exactly the most powerful ability in Overwatch, but it does have some uses, especially when it comes to quickly traversing maps and gaining access to the high ground.

Perfectly-timed Shadow Steps can also be used to attain a brief moment of invincibility, which can save Reaper from ultimates such as D.Va’s Self-Destruct or Junkrat’s Riptire in the event his Wraith Form is on cooldown.

Reaper on Hanamura
Blizzard Entertainment
Reaper can be a bigger threat when he’s off the map.

It’s also extremely useful as a way to get back on the map if he ever gets booped off. Previously, if Reaper was reloading and got knocked off, it would be lights out, but now, he can teleport back freely.

Overall, players seem pleased with the buff. “I did this by accident the other day yesterday, pretty happy with this change,” one user commented.

“It’s a great change because that was literally the only ability in the whole game that couldn’t cancel reload,” another remarked.

For anyone who mains Overwatch’s edgelord, be sure to remember this buff as it could end up paying dividends if you find yourself in a tough situation off the map.