Team Ireland Trials vs Austria Scrimmage

This past Tuesday, Team Ireland squared off against Team Austria for a friendly scrimmage to help shape the final lineups for each team before Trials end.

The battle started on Oasis, with Team Ireland using a GOATS variant by replacing the D.Va with Mei, meanwhile Team Austria opted for the traditional GOATS lineup. After the first fight, there were some latency which led to a pause (and the players talking about the weather in match chat — classic Ireland) and ultimately Ireland’s coach Scrivzy had to be subbed in for MrTea for the map, who switched from Mei back to D.Va due to a loss of ultimate charge. Led by Liam’s Reinhardt, Team Ireland was dominant in the 3–3 mirror matchup before switching to Sombra GOATS for Oasis Gardens, which led to a 3–0 win for Ireland on the map.

The teams then headed to Junkertown, with Austria attacking first. Team Ireland started with a double-sniper triple-tank bunker composition held together with a solo-heal Baptiste. Austria substituted in Minimi at the main tank role, mirroring the double-sniper but opting for Ana and Mercy as supports. After a strong hold on the Point A, Ireland had to fall back as Austria took Point B with several well-executed ultimates, but were able to regroup and hold Austria halfway to Point C. On their defense, Austria gave up Points A and B to a handful of beautiful Halt-Dragonstrike combos from Liam and TheRCPanda, but were able to stabilize Point C until Team Ireland swapped back to the 3–3 composition and completed the map.

Both teams attempted to defend Volskaya Industries with the Ana ‘FLOATS’ composition, replacing Reinhardt with Winston and Zenyatta with Ana. However neither team found success with this, with Team Ireland’s GOATS completing the map with 4:15 left in the time bank and Team Austria’s Sombra GOATS one-upping them by finishing with 4:55 remaining. Heroray played Sombra for Team Austria and picked apart Ireland’s defense with crucial hacks, leading to an easy Point A take and allowing them to snowball into Point B with an advantage in the ultimate economy.

When moving to Numbani, viewers of Liam’s stream were given the treat of hearing cows over the Team Ireland comms (classic Ireland!), and there were several more audible ‘moo’s throughout the match. Team Ireland was up first on the attack, but was unable to find any success here on the 3–3 mirror matchup, ending the round without even a tick taken on Point A. On their own attack, Team Austria dominated the 3–3 matchup again, taking Point A and B with ease without losing a team fight. Ireland was able to stabilize Point C, but ultimately gave it up with 1:19 remaining in the time bank.

Taking to the streets of Dorado, Team Austria subbed Minimi back in and attacked with his now-infamous ‘Clockwork’ composition against Team Ireland’s Sombra GOATS. Austria was able to complete the map with a hefty time bank left, causing Ireland to switch to a Clockwork variant on their attack. This was Orisa, Roadhog, Baptiste, Mei, Torbjorn, and Hanzo. They found success in this matchup, but stalled out mere meters from the finish of Point C and were unable to push the last little bit due to the incredible zoning ability of Austria’s ultimate usage.

Both teams stayed on the same compositions as the battle moved to Hollywood. Team Ireland struggled at points on the defense and despite solid efforts on the hold, succumbed to Austria’s attack and gave up all three points. This map moreso than the others saw miscommunications for Team Ireland, which is to be expected since they’re still in Trials and the lineup is not set yet and the players are still learning each other’s styles. On their own attack, they were able to slog through and complete the map in overtime.

On the first map of Lijiang Tower, Team Austria ran an unpredicted triple-DPS composition utilizing double-sniper, a Pharmercy combo, anchored with an Ana and Minimi’s Orisa. Ireland could not get a footing against this on the Garden map, with Austria’s Widowmaker (Kain) finding crucial picks on Lucio before Ireland was in position to engages. Austria switched back to the Clockwork composition for Control Center against Ireland’s GOATS, which was a back-and-forth bout with each team reaching 99% captured but Ireland taking it with some monster Earthshatters from Liam.

For Night Market, Austria swapped their Roadhog and Zenyatta for a Pharmercy combo, but retained the rest of the Clockwork comp. It was again an exciting round, each team playing well and control of the point never staying with either team for too long. While Team Austria’s Clockwork variant was more suited for point control, Team Ireland was able to stuff them in the choke point coming back from spawn several times and ultimately got the 100% and overall win on Lijiang Tower.

While this scrimmage was certainly not the final lineup for Team Ireland as Trials are still underway, it was a wonderful peek at what the team has in store. When the team was working together, they looked absolutely dominant but other times they suffered communication issues and did not always have the familiarity with each other which led to some mistakes. As the lads play more alongside each other and get more comfortable with playstyles, as well as the lineup getting solidified, Ireland could really be a force to be reckoned with in this World Cup.

Article by Staff writer, Matthew “Setanta” Kennedy

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