Some World Cup squads feature a vast array of all-star talent, with rosters such as South Korea's containing players considered to be some of the best at their respective positions. However, the World Cup isn't just comprised of these colossi, as the event allows for lesser known players to have their share of the limelight.
Team Turkey's time in Katowice will allow the players to draw attention to themselves and in turn the relatively underdeveloped Turkish Overwatch scene. The roster features five former players of SuperMassive eSports, who competed in the lower tiers of online play in the European scene, joined by Nycto on support.
Originally JohnSinan, a member of the Turkish World Cup committee, and arcade, also a former player for SuperMassive eSports, were chosen to compete in the qualifiers. However, in similar fashion to the difficulties experienced by Team Russia, the players were unable to secure visas and thus had to withdraw from the event. Alfred and Suretler46 stepped in to fill the roster's vacancies as a result of these struggles.
DPS player h3x agreed to give us some insight on the problems experienced by Turkey's World Cup squad:
First of all, can you tell me a bit about yourself and your teammates?
h3x: Hello, I’m a 19 year old Turkish player, I previously played TF2 at a high level for a quite some time. As for my teammates, actually most of them don't have an extensive competitive background in esports except our tank Edwin, who is an ex-League of Legends player.
How much time have you had to prepare as a team?
h: Actually we didn't have enough time to scrim since we had four players experiencing problems with their visas. Our Genji and flex player could not attend in the end but our last two had their visas approved at the last moment. We’ve only had one and a half days to practice as a team.
Many viewers will not be familiar with the Turkish Overwatch scene, can you tell us a little about the competitive Overwatch community in Turkey?
h: Even though there isn't that many known players in Turkey there is a lot of talent that could shine in future. We are still trying to do our best to make our Overwatch community bigger.
You’ve obviously got a significant challenge ahead of you with Canada and Russia in your group. What are your expectations for the team at the Katowice qualifiers?
h: Due to us having visa issues and losing one of our players, I feel we are way behind. So it's going to be really hard for us since we have a lot to do. We must remember that this is Overwatch and anything can happen!
Thanks for your time h3x! Before we finish up do you have any shoutouts you want to give?
h: Thank you to everyone who supported me and my team during the issues and everything. Special thanks to the Overwatch staff/casters for being so nice!
With little practice under their belt and a lack of top tier experience, Turkey enter the event with nothing to lose. Challenging games against Russia and Canada lie ahead of the Turks but in true World Cup spirit they are prepared to give each match their full effort.
The Team Turkey roster is:
- Şahin "h3x" Latifi (DPS)
- Emre "Yaga" Yenilmez (DPS)
- Alp "Alfred" Kocabora (Flex)
- Ata "Edwin" Özevin (Tank)
- Cem "Nycto" Yigit (Support)
- Bartu "Suretler46" Uzun (Support)