With the conclusion of the 2023 Overwatch League season, Daniel "FunnyAstro" Hathaway roars into the World Cup alongside Team United Kingdom (Team UK) with something to fight for. With five years under his belt, FunnyAstro has been a mainstay of the support position for as long as we can remember. He spoke with Esports Heaven about Team UK's chances this year, what he's playing for, and what the meta is like heading into BlizzCon 2023.Astro, word on the street is that the meta for the 2023 Overwatch World Cup is a little "odd". Any clues you'd like to give the people on what heroes to expect or keep their eyes out for?I'd say the only hero to keep a lookout for is Bastion. Other than that, it's really hard to tell based on European scrims, because every team sort of got a roster that suits another team composition.We've got Louis "JkAru19" Power so we want to force Winston, Team Finland has Roni "LhCloudy" Tiihonen so they'll want to force Reinhardt. Stuff like that. The same thing goes for Team France. It's sort of settling down now. If you were to ask me a week ago, I would have said everyone was playing something different. The meta is starting to settle down. Speaking of that, how has practice been going? What's different about this year's Team United Kingdom?Things are going well! The only problem we've had so far is that we're having too much fun. Especially for the guys who have been in the Overwatch League for a long time, it's kind of a treat to play on a full Western roster. Especially with everyone being from the same country, everyone has a very similar sense of humour. It's so easy to stop trying in scrims, have a laugh, and have fun instead. I feel more confident in this year's team. In the last World Cup, we didn't do well at all.I'm way more confident this year. I think we've got a real chance at getting top four and making it there. That's the goal. I hope we make it out, if we lose in groups I'd be upset. Especially because we've got Team Australia and Team Canada in our group. And coming from the Los Angeles Gladiators, you've got Sam "face" Merewether and Max "Unter" Unterwurzacher as the coaches of Team Australia, and Matteo "cal" Mazzucco as a player on Team Canada. So if we were to lose to them, at LAN, the whole event would just be me and Kai "Kai" Collins getting bullied. So we can't let that happen.Let's give the folks at home a stereotypical day of scrims for Team UK. Who is coming in late? Who's always complaining about their headset not working or the ping? Is Christopher "ChrisTFer" Graham trying to sell everyone on Reinhardt compositions? What's a day at the office like for this year's Team United Kingdom? So, ChrisTFer has his ideas.And you've got to be following ChrisTFer's ideas. Alright? You know, "Coach of the Year".If there is anyone who complains it would definitely be JkAru19 about Bastion.As a guy who wants to play Winston, it's not very fun to play Winston against Bastion. We have streamed our scrims a little bit as well. We spoke to Helv from Team Spain recently and he mentioned that they were concerned about Team United Kingdom in the qualifiers. Did Team Spain's performance impress you at all? Is there any team in the group stage that you're worried about or want to beat?Yeah! Team Spain was the biggest wild card to make it through. And they continue to be a good wild card team in scrims. Where they could definitely make it out of their group. For my guess; if they can perform like they do in scrims, they will probably make it out of their group. I can't imagine Team Hong Kong being that good, from what I remember. So maybe Team Thailand is the biggest competition they've got. Obviously, they're not going to beat Team China--but maybe on a good day, you never know!I want to beat Team Canada. I definitely want to beat Team Australia, that's a must. If we lose that, then I'll be very, very sad. Other than that, it would be nice to beat Team USA. I'd love that. I reckon it's feasible, you know? On a good day, it could happen. Lastly, for the 2023 Overwatch World Cup, we have a lot of familiar faces that have been around competitive Overwatch for a long time, yourself included. With the uncertain future of the Overwatch League, what does this World Cup mean to you?For me, I don't really feel the pressure. Obviously, I want to do well but this World Cup could go two ways. Either this could be one of the last events as a player and I just want to do well and have a great last hurrah. And then there is the other option of, maybe there is a new league or something next year that I still want to play in. So it would be nice to do well and have everyone see that 'Ohhh, maybe he isn't a bottom three Gladiators player that we saw this year. Maybe he's a little bit better than that.' Either way, I'm still trying my best and I'm going to work hard to make sure we do well.I think it's more important to me to play for some of the players who haven't had such long careers. Like William "WMaimone" Maimone and JkAru19, I'm sort of more invested in trying for them. They haven't had a chance to play on a big stage and do all of this. And even if the league doesn't die and it comes back next year, then it would be nice for them to get that opportunity and have a great time and enjoy it. Especially for WMaimone, he's a really, really good player, a very underrated in the European scene. I think he's sick. And it's just one of those things. The league has only been around for so long and he just didn't come in at the right time and only just became eligible. I want him to have some sick event on stage where we go on a miracle run all the way to the finals. I think he's a player who deserves that. Images via Blizzard Entertainment
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