The story of Team Austria is similar to that of Team Romania from the Shanghai Qualifier. The two nations are filled with obscure talents from their national scenes and marshalled by their seasoned main tanks. Both also just squeaked into the World Cup, earning the seeds of 31st and 32nd respectively.
wat7, former main tank of Team Dignitas and Ninjas with Attitude, is tasked with leading his young team at Katowice this coming weekend. He is a member of the Austrian committee and easily the most well-known player from Austria. His team will certainly need his wealth of high-level experience to lead them in a group that also includes South Korea, the Netherlands, and Poland.
The other members of his team are not on the roster by accident, however. Itzeru, _ ub3rb1ng0_ and Sensotix are a part of Team Respawn - HFC, while iki is part of WarKidz. While most may be unfamiliar with these two teams, their countrymen are likely to know them well; the two teams met in the grand final of what wat7 believes to be the biggest Austrian-only tournament to date. The last player is Kabaji, who isn't on a team only because he is currently focusing on streaming.
This doesn't mean Kabaji is playing just because of popularity, though. Kabaji is a top 100 ladder player and wat7 believes he is one of the best Tracer players in Europe. With a top Tracer and Winston in a meta that currently favors dive, Austria might be stronger than they appear at first glance.
Alongside Kabaji at DPS will be iki, a player who was a Widow main in previous seasons. wat7 indicates that he will not be auto-locking Widow during the World Cup, however, mentioning that his practice on Widow means he has the aim to play other hitscan like McCree and Soldier. Sensotix will be Austria's flex, a player who is traditionally a Zarya main but has shown to be more than capable of playing D.Va in try-outs.
Fans of Austria should expect to see Itzeru on Zenyatta. While there are a lot of good Ana players in Austria, according to wat7, Itzeru was one of a few who could also play the more dive-friendly support at a high level. The emotional backbone of the team will be _ ub3rb1ng0_, while he traditionally flexes onto anything his team needs, wat7 says his positive attitude and good mechanical skills on Lucio made him a good choice for Austria on that hero.
wat7 understands the challenges facing his team. "Getting second in groups would be a great victory for us," he said. "[Although it will be] hard because of the lack of international experience of our players."
Team Austria rolls into Katowice with:
- Emre "Kabaji" Dincer (DPS)
- Sebastian "iki" Egger (DPS)
- Patrick "Sensotix" Thonhauser (Flex)
- Patrick "wat7" Marwal (Tank)
- Oliver "Itzeru" Endler (Support)
- Paul "ub3rb1ng0" Pachner (Support)