So, The Overwatch League has come to an end, sad times indeed. But the pro Overwatch scene barely has time to rest, as the players and casters prepare for the Overwatch World Cup. But what is the World Cup and how does it work? To get you prepared here’s everything you need to know about The Overwatch World Cup.
How does it work?
The Overwatch World Cup is made up of 24 teams, from all over the world. The teams are made up of competitors linked to those countries and at first, they will compete in venues and stages near to them. The 24 teams are split into four groups (where their matches will be played) those groups being: South Korea, United States, Thailand and France. These groups will play their matches in their local times, so to understand when to tune in, check the time zone of that group.
What’s the OWC format?
We start with the Group stages detailed above. These four group stages are played over the course of four weekends. Each group stage will end with 3 teams moving on to the next stage. The next stage the “top 16” will play a series of elimination tournament style games and half of the remaining teams will be eliminated.
This final stage, the “Top 8” will take place and Blizzcon and will act as the Quarters, Semis and final of the tournament, with teams taking part in Knockout games in each case. The best two teams will meet in the final with the winner being crowned the Overwatch World Cup champions at Blizzcon 2018.
What’s at stake?
As per most eSports events the obvious thing at stake here is money, with a prize pool of $488, 000 being on offer throughout the tournament. This money can be won by the teams throughout the tournament both in the group stages and at the overall finals. Although there’s something, arguably, far more important at stake here, as well as money, national pride and, of course, victory, players in the World Cup will be looking to get noticed and perhaps signed to teams for the Overwatch League. Where their careers can further flourish and where salaries and victory pay-outs tend to be much higher.
Who should you be paying attention to?
This is a hard question to answer, there are some favourites of course, such as South Korea who have dominated the Pro scene for a long while. But as with any good sporting tournament, there are of course some surprising underdogs making a case for themselves. Finland, in particular, are the one to watch with the majority of their roster made up of top-tier Overwatch League players.
My biggest recommendation, for now, would be to support and look out for the team of, or closest to, your nationality. If the Overwatch league finals have taught us anything it’s that surprises can happen at these pro Overwatch events and realistically there’s nothing to stop any of these teams taking home a big win in this tournament.
So, that just about covers it. This should be all you need to know to get into the Overwatch World Cup as we make our way through the group stages. If you have any other questions feel free to drop them in the comments below. Otherwise, enjoy the tournament and may the best country win.