Many World Cup squads are made up of the core components from pre-existing professional teams. The committees of countries such as Australia, France and Taiwan have even gone so far as to select entire pre-made rosters. The benefit of this is obvious; teams retain chemistry formed over months of play which should give them an edge over their competition. However, the best Dutch players are scattered over many separate teams, resulting in a national roster that doesn't benefit from a pre-existing core.
Morte, CrusaDe and Dante have all taken their turns scaling the peaks of European Overwatch in 2017. CrusaDe was previously a player for (ex-)Cyclone, the team that dominated the European scene during the lull in major tournament play in early 2017, before joining Laser Kittenz. Dante is a former member of Movistar Riders, victors of the PIT Championship and HND Invitational, as well as qualifiers for Contenders Season 1. Morte currently plays for eUnited, who have been a consistent presence in one form or the other since the game's release. Recently the team broke their streak of second place finishes at major tournaments with their victory in Contenders Season Zero Europe. Don't forget that he has also been to Korea twice and tested himself against the best in the world. Together the three make up a formidable trio of players sourced from the European scene.
TwoEasy will need no introduction to the majority of competitive Overwatch fans, well known for his DPS play across several teams including REUNITED, FaZe Clan and Tempo Storm. TwoEasy and Morte’s time on iterations of the REUNITED roster (in addition to the many years they spent together in other titles) represents the closest tie any members of the Netherlands team have shared outside of World Cup play. With experience across both European and North American Overwatch, TwoEasy adds further depth to the team.
Jona and Vizility round out the roster. Jona became a free agent in May this year after leaving nerdRage who then disbanded shortly after. Lastly, Vizility played for ECV eSports, a Dutch team competing in the European scene, and is also currently a free agent.
Team Netherland's success depends heavily on whether the roster has been able to form chemistry during their preparations for Katowice. We got in touch with Morte to ask him a few questions about the team’s progress and expectations:
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions Morte, first of all how are preparations going for the team?
M: We started quite late as TwoEasy was still in Los Angeles playing with Tempo, but since he got back we’ve put quite a bit of time in. Basically practicing every day, going over maps and coming up with new plans. I think instantly there was synergy in our frontline (dive) so that made things easier.
Unlike some other World cup squads Team Netherlands is made up of a varied mix of players with differing team histories, do you think this will be a major challenge for you and the team at Katowice?
M: Not really, initially I figured we would struggle quite a bit but somehow everything seemed pretty ‘normal’ from the start. On top of that I think with the dive meta it just comes down to people making good and decisive calls while everyone else just listens and reacts instantly.
I don’t think it would be too contentious to say that South Korea are one of the favorites to make it to BlizzCon, what’s your opinion on their team? Do you think you can beat them?
M: Anything is possible, but realistically we are aiming for #2 in our group. I watched some of the broadcasted South Korea scrims and it looks like they are running a lot of non-meta compositions, should be interesting! We got some tricks up our sleeves as well so should make for an interesting match…
Then on the other side of the bracket you’ll likely be facing either Russia or Canada if you make it out of your group, how do you rate those teams?
M: They are both strong contenders, stacked with talent. I think we do have a very good shot against either, we’ve been improving quite drastically and there is still quite some practice time left before we have to go up against either of them. But I don’t really want to get ahead of ourselves, first we face Poland in Poland which is the team we are focussing on for now, taking it one at a time!
Good luck this weekend Morte, any final shoutouts you want to give?
M: Bedankt voor alle steun en motivatie! Thanks for all the support, it means a lot! #OWranje
The Dutch have already made a public appearence this past week, competing in the Legend Series where they spanked Helsinki Reds for four maps before going down 1-2 to Vivi's Adventure. So they beat budget Finland and lost narrowly to discount Sweden.
Make of that what you will, but either way it's fair to say that Team Netherlands have their work cut out for them if they are to qualify. However, the roster has its fair share of talent which if utilized properly could actually deliver them to BlizzCon later this year.
The Team Netherlands' roster is:
- Eric "TwoEasy" van Hoorn (DPS)
- Jeffrey "Vizility" de Vries (DPS)
- Ryan "CrusaDe" van Wegen (Flex)
- Jonathan "Jona" Stelma (Tank)
- Thomas "Morte" Kerbusch (Support)
- Dante "Dante" Zegveld (Support)