Team UK reflects on Overwatch World Cup performance

Fans hold UK flags during the Overwatch World Cup at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California. Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- After smashing Team USA in the first match of the Overwatch World Cup at BlizzCon, 7Lions were on top of the world. After all, few believed they would get past the quarterfinals after they took a serious loss against France when they faced off in the Paris Qualifiers.

That high didn't last long, as the UK fell to the would-be champions South Korea in the semifinals and again to Canada in the battle for third place. The losses didn't dampen the UK's spirits though -- they had a lot to be proud of already. The Contenders-filled team, with only one active Overwatch League player, made it all the way to BlizzCon and defeated a squad stacked with league talent.

"People see big names and assume that means big skill," UK support player Harrison "Kruise" Pond said following his team's loss to Canada. "Overwatch League is Overwatch League, but there are so many people in contenders that don't get mentioned at all. Just being in the Overwatch League doesn't make you one of the best players in the world."

While the entire team played well, Cameron "Fusions" Bosworth stood out with impressive Reinhardt, Winston and Orisa play. He joined the UK's World Cup roster a month ago after the Paris Group stage and has made a clear impression on the world of Overwatch since then. Team sources have confirmed that Bosworth has signed with the Boston Uprising. He joins his teammate Pond, who will play for the Paris Overwatch League franchise next season, and Philadelphia Fusion star Isaac "Boombox" Charles as the only British players currently signed to an Overwatch League franchise.

"I think I took a lot away from these matches," Bosworth told ESPN after his team lost to Canada. "I played better than I thought I would after Chris stepped back."

Bosworth replaced Christopher "ChrisTFer" Graham after Graham transitioned into a coaching role on the team, giving Bosworth the chance to step up from the London Spitfire's academy team, the British Hurricane. Bosworth was a relatively unknown name in competitive Overwatch before he joined the UK's squad. He's played in multiple seasons of contenders and in other regional European tournaments since the game's release. This, however, was his first time on the big stage.

"He was an incredible asset in season one of contenders, although he had some faults in season two," said Overwatch commentator Thomas "Tridd" Underwood. "He's shown tremendous potential in Hurricane's run back into season three."

With only a month of practice with the rest of his team, Bosworth dominated early on alongside Finley "Kyb" Adisi, helping the team surpass expectations in the quarterfinals. Bosworth's tank play underlined the teams coordination, setting up highlights for Adisi's Brigitte.

"I doubled my followers on twitter since I started playing with this team," Bosworth laughed. "I probably wasn't too well known before. People in contenders will have known me but a lot of people don't watch that. Now I think I've met the mark and people will remember me."

Team UK coach Elliot Hayes agreed with this sentiment. "[His] transition clearly worked," Hayes said. "In a way, we wanted to transition Chris out and someone else in -- it just made perfect sense to bring in Fusions and it turned out quite well."

A big part of the smooth transition was Graham himself, who gave Bosworth hero-specific tips and guidance in the lead-up to the quarterfinals. That help couldn't have been more vital, as a chance like this to perform on the big stage doesn't come often for players at Bosworth's level.

"It worked as Chris helped me a lot," Bosworth said. "Having someone who knew my role point out what I couldn't see helped me improve quickly and get in sync with the team."

It's likely that Bosworth had already secured his position on the Uprising before his performance in the World Cup, allowing him to shed some of the pressure a makeshift tryout like that can have. He didn't comment on his new role at BlizzCon, saying that the tournament was about the team and not his future in Overwatch.

"That wasn't really what I was thinking about coming into it. I just wanted to do well, sync well with the team and represent the country," Bosworth said. "It was about making memories, not making the Overwatch League."