Overwatch’s Team USA will be without one of the country’s strongest support players for the upcoming Overwatch World Cup.
Elijah “Elk” Gallagher has turned down the opportunity for a tryout with the team, according to a post on his personal Twitter account.
Elk endorsed Grant “moth” Epse as a potential replacement for the support role after turning it down.
Elk is currently a two-way player for both the Philadelphia Fusion and its developmental team Fusion University. Fusion University is one of the most dominant teams to ever play in Overwatch Contenders, and the Philadelphia Fusion fought their way to the grand finals of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season.
Needless to say, Elk has the chops to compete at all levels of Overwatch.
Team USA will feature the head coach of the Dallas Fuel, Aaron “Aero” Atkins, for the second consecutive year. Analynn “bawlynn” Dang will serve as the team’s general manager.
In addition to Aero, Team USA’s 2019 coaching staff will feature Harsha “Harsha” Bandi, coach of the dominant Vancouver Titans, and Jae “Junkbuck” Choi of the San Francisco Shock, champions of the most recent Overwatch League stage playoffs.
During the 2018 World Cup, Team USA was upset by the United Kingdom in the first round of the tournament after qualifying through the Los Angeles Qualifier. USA steamrolled the first game, but the United Kingdom rallied to peel three straight games off of their more favored opponents. South Korea won the 2018 World Cup in addition to their victories in the 2017 and 2016 World Cup competitions.
The UK loss was heralded as a massive upset, as Team USA were expected to challenge for a spot in the finals of the World Cup. Several members of that 2018 squad are expected to return, such as San Francisco Shock stars Jay “sinatraa” Won and Matthew “Super” DeLisi.
Elk was not a part of the official World Cup roster in 2018.