At the OWC LA Group stage, team USA was fresh off their dominating win against team New Zealand. Despite the initial nerves of playing in such a prestigious LAN environment, the team was pleased with their performance and the opportunity to put any lingering doubts to rest. It’s no secret that the community has expressed disappointment on team USA’s roster, but when asked about the topic, Matt "coolmatt69" Iorio explained how the team's different origins are actually the biggest strength.
“One of our strength is we all come from a different team. Since we all have different backgrounds and different perspectives, it comes out in our strat sessions”
Coolmatt69 then went on to explain how this manifested itself in their initial practices sessions and some of the problems they encountered but, eventually, solved:
“Generally, we each had different ideas about focusing targets; what to attack off the bat. Since our team has different play styles, some wanted to focus on hard diving some or some on counter diving. We came to the conclusion to play passively, and it has been working pretty well.
Team USA fans are just happy to be here.
The entire team was being fielded these questions, but Coolmatt69 seemed comfortable speaking for the rest of his team. His role as the team's communicator was obvious when responding to criticism made by the commentators that one of the teams DPS player, Sinatraa, is not very active in comms:
“Not everyone needs to be talking in comms. It’s more valuable for your DPS players to focus on frags and have the tanks and supports focus on communication. It is a positive thing to have your DPS free to focus and play at their peak performance”
Jay "sinatraa" Won did have a strong performance that first game, but only after some personal adjustment. When asked about what it was like playing on their first LAN even, sinatra responded matter-of-factly:
“At first, it was pretty nerve wracking. But after I felt good with my aim, I felt comfortable.”
Sinatra wasn’t the only newcomer to a major LAN environment. Jake "JAKE" Lyon recalls his initial jitters playing on the stage for the crowd:
“I was initially a little jittery, but after playing through the first map, I felt relaxed. We played these games before, we played these maps before.”
Team USA lives up to their namesake. They are a diverse group of players that come from different teams, unified together by a common goal. It’s hard to ignore the red white and blue emblazoned suits complete with patriotic shades, but this is team USA after all. USA chants and bravado are inevitable.
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