Team United States were one of the favorites to win the Overwatch World Cup, until Team South Korea blew them out of the water with a 2-0 sweep in the quarterfinals. According to Steven "Ster" Serge, the result didn't come as a huge surprise to the team, who had trouble finding cohesion in the group stage and believed they had little chance of stopping Korea's stampede through the bracket.
In an interview with Yahoo Esports' Rod "Slasher" Breslau published Thursday, the American competitor and popular community figure said his team didn't practice at all after they got out of their group on Opening Week.
"We didn't practice Anubis, we didn't practice anything," he said. "Ever since we came to BlizzCon, we didn't play one game as a team. There were just some team issues that we had."
He said the last nail in Team United States' coffin came early on, when the team learned they would be facing South Korea in the quarterfinals. "As soon as we found out Korea was [matched against us], it was like, I don't know, everyone lost motivation," he told Slasher.
Ster's disappointment is palpable in the interview. He says he felt the team could have beaten South Korea, if they had put the work in. "That's why the defeat feels so bad, I think we could have actually beat them," he said.
Like all teams at the Overwatch World Cup, Team United States' roster was decided by fan vote. Besides Ster, it featured stars like NRG DPS Brandon "Seagull" Larned, Team EnVyUs DPS Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree and Cloud9 support Adam "Adam" Eckel.
Despite the talented lineup, Ster claimed that the team weren't able to work together very well even in their Opening Week matches against Germany, Chile and Russia.
"I hung out with Team Canada every day. After scrims, Team USA just disappeared," he said. "There was no cohesion there."
Ster claimed that in the week between the group stage and the main event, the team did initially plan to scrim, but ended up endlessly postponing their sessions. He called the reasons teammates gave "really lame," and said there was one day where everyone's hands were "too cold" to scrim.
Ster said the team had no plan going into the match against South Korea. Once they were in the game, he said, teammate Daniel "Gods" Graeser tried to organize a coherent strategy, but by then it was too late. "Half the time we didn't feel like playing anymore," he said.
Team United States entered the playoff bracket as Group B's second-seed after a loss in the group stage to Russia. South Korea ultimately faced Russia in the Grand Final after defeating Sweden in the semifinals, but swept the best-of-seven series 4-0.
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.