Team USA has finally overcome the greatest historical obstacle at the Overwatch World Cup: Team South Korea. USA took the victory over South Korea in the 2019 OWWC Semifinals 3-1, and will face the winner of Team France vs. Team China in the Grand Finals.
Since the inception of the Overwatch World Cup in 2016, Team USA has come in with an increasing amount of hype each year due to the establishment of the Overwatch League and continued development of the lower tiers of competitive play.
However, no matter how much momentum the Americans would bring to the uphill battle, South Korea could be trusted to put the 'US' in 'Sisyphus' and send Team USA tumbling down time and time again. The result was always the same, and the only potential variable was how much heavier the boulder of shame would weigh on the states' shoulders with each subsequent defeat.
Team USA first met its end at the hands of South Korea in the Quarterfinals of the 2016 OWWC by a score of 2-0. In 2017, the two countries faced off again in the OWWC Quarterfinals, and while America managed to take a few maps this time around, SK took the series 4-2 and moved onto the Semifinals.
In 2018, Team USA was expected to face off against South Korea in the OWWC Semifinals after its Quarterfinals match against Team UK. Because of the establishment of the Overwatch League strengthening the US talent pool, as well as more visibility on the competitive scene than ever before, Team US was expected to dispose of Team UK quickly and finally have a chance at toppling South Korea. US ended up losing to UK 3-1, and like 2016 and 2017, Korea won the OWWC yet again.
Things couldn't have looked more hopeful coming into the second day of the 2019 OWWC for Team USA. The star-studded roster, highlighted by OWL 2019 MVP DPS talent Jay "sinatraa" Won and Tank Matthew "Super" DeLisi, continued their dominance from San Francisco Shock's 2019 OWL Championship run. The duo led Team USA to a Golden Stage in Group A, going 4-0 without dropping a isngle map and securing a Semifinals bye as a 1st seed.
South Korea looked shaky in the Group Stage, finishing 2-2 for the 3rd seed in group A after its loss to the USA was followed up by a shocking upset at the hands of Team France. However, Playoff series are a totally different environment than in Group Stage. The United States' ability to repeat its Group A success against South Korea and punch its ticket to the Finals in its first Semifinals appearance at the Overwatch World Cup was understandably questionable.
Team USA's 3-1 victory over South Korea was not only monumental for the victorious team, but it was also a historical moment. This is the very first time in Overwatch World Cup history that a South Korean team has been eliminated. Due to the wealth of established talent, as well as the continued emergence of Corey "Corey" Nigra as a North American DPS star, the 'upset' nature of the series was only in context of the matchup's history.
Team USA will face off against the winner of Team China and Team France in its very first Overwatch World Cup Finals at the conclusion of BlizzCon 2019.