When considering World Cup favorites, nations like South Korea, Sweden, France, and Finland are the first to come to mind. This is not a piece about any of those nations, though—instead, it's about a group of underdogs in Sydney on Team Portugal.
Headlining the roster is the Portuguese duo from Laser Kittenz, Greyy and mowzassa. The two proved their mettle in Overwatch Contenders Season Zero, qualifying for Season 1 and taking home a top 4 finish in a tournament featuring most of EU's strongest teams.
The rest of the team features strong, but lesser-known players for the most part. Addicted and Phatt come most recently from professional Portuguese team k1ck eSports Club and look to prove themselves amongst the tier 1 competition present within Sydney. kiler4fun, a former TF2 player, looks to bring his competitive experience to the team, while Horthic will use his time on th0nkers as a solid base to build upon.
In all honesty, the road forward for Team Portugal is certainly not an easy one. They enter Sydney as overwhelming underdogs and need to build upon their performance from last year, in which they achieved a paltry 1-3 record and failed to advance past the group stages. Their group features Team Sweden, Team Australia, and Team Italy, meaning they will play against a current top professional team in Blank Esports and one of the many star-studded Nordic rosters.
On whether the two most notable players on the team would provide guidance, Laser Kittenz CEO Alicus had this to say: "Both [Greyy and mowzassa] are highly capable of excellent leadership and decisive play. They're very smart and talented, and easy to learn from." According to Alicus, the two are the most notable voices on the Laser Kittenz team already, so their calling will be crucial in making up for the potential deficiencies that Team Portugal might encounter.
While the Laser Kittenz lineup might be known for their dive-heavy approach to the game, Alicus does not think his players will force the style on their national lineup. "I think they'll find the style that suits the team best and play it. I don't think the two are limited to any style." He added, "I hope they've had enough time to accomplish exactly that and am excited to watch them represent their country."
Team Portugal's first match pits them against one of the group favorites: Team Sweden. While they might be looked down upon, the nation of Portugal looks to makes a splash in the land down under.
The Team Portugal roster is:
- Henrique "Horthic" Damião (DPS)
- Nuno "kiler4fun" Ferreira (Flex)
- Eduardo "Addicted" Torres (Flex)
- Tiago "mowzassa" Rodrigues (Tank)
- Alexandre "Phatt" Silva (Support)
- Luís "Greyy" Perestrelo (Support)