LOS ANGELES — If there was any lingering confusion about what Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman meant by his comments made toward Dallas Fuel head coach Aaron “Aero” Atkins Saturday after his match, he quickly cleared them up in a news conference.
“He’s a nice guy, I just think he’s incompetent,” Dogman told reporters shortly after Atlanta beat Dallas, 3-1, at The Novo.
Moments earlier, in a post-match interview on stage, Dogman expressed his displeasure with Aero’s Team USA roster selection. Four Atlanta players are American, but none are in the running for Team USA, which will compete in the 2019 Overwatch World Cup in November at BlizzCon.
The 12 finalists were announced at the end of June, but Dogman said three Atlanta-eligible players didn’t make it past phase one of the selection process. Dogman declined to name the players.
Aero said he didn’t hear what Dogman said on stage after the match, and Dogman didn’t face reporters until after the Fuel’s media availability.
But Aero did speak about the selection process.
“We did a full tryout process,” Aero said, “and even though those guys weren’t picked, we tried to make it as even a playing field for everybody that came out, because South Korea and the U.S. are the two (countries) that have by far the most players in the Overwatch League that are from one country
“And so we had a ton of players to try out and go for it, and just happened to not be them.”
Dogman’s thoughts about Aero’s coaching ability were not limited to just World Cup roster selection, though.
“Also on his coaching of Dallas Fuel for sure,” he said.
Nathan “FRD” Goebel, who stood next to Dogman during Atlanta’s post-match media availability, told Dogman that he didn’t need to answer further questions about the Fuel’s coach, which is, of course, true.
Dallas, which lost its 12th consecutive match Saturday and finished the regular season in 15th place, hasn’t won a match since June. The Reign are in position for a top-six finish if they beat the Boston Uprising sunday.
Dogman did say he will pull for Team USA during the World Cup, though.
Fuel DPS player Dylan “aKm” Bignet was visibly annoyed when told about Dogman’s postgame comments, before Dogman questioned Aero’s coaching competence.
“He’s just looking for attention. That’s what he’s doing,” aKm said. “There are way better players than him in America and that’s why he’s not being picked up. It’s understandable (to be frustrated), but at this point just take the criticism.
“If you’re not good enough to make Team USA, move on, work hard and try to be there next year. That’s all you have to do instead of trying to find attention.”
In June, Aero tweeted the process for team selection. Read the full statement below:
Hey everyone, Aero here to talk a little bit about the USA OWWC trial process and our 12 person roster.
This year 30 players were invited to participate in a 4-week, 2-2-2 locked trial process, where the coaching staff and committee evaluated player skill, adaptability, communication, leadership, and team work. This gave players a unique opportunity to play with new, current, and former teammates. With this trial process now concluded I’m extremely happy to talk about our 12 members.
The USA has an incredible amount of talented players, so we’ve decided to shift the distribution of roles to have 3 main tank players and 5 DPS players in our 12 player lineup this year. With Moth and Space being particularly stand out players in their roles, we’re confident that this distribution suits us well both for current and future metas.
Thank you to every participant, the tryout process was a ton of fun. Being a part of the USA’s 12 person roster is a great accomplishment. A big congratulations to those that made it. To those who didn’t make it, this process was extremely competitive and we didn’t take any decision lightly. Keep your head up and keep grinding! The committee is extremely excited for our World Cup run this year and couldn’t do it without all of the incredible fans. #WeBelieve
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