Overwatch World Cup returns this 2017
Oh, some major Overwatch Esports activity.
If you have been expecting the Overwatch League to take center stage in Blizzard’s esports activities for their hit FPS, Overwatch, then you might want to be a lot more patient as clearly the OWL is still up in the air for Blizzard instead plans to host another season of the Overwatch World Cup.
First launched in 2016, the Overwatch World Cup was considered the first “premiere”, Blizzard-organised pro event for Overwatch which featured teams from the Americas, Europe, Oceania, China, South Korea, and South East Asian regions, with the main event held at BlizzCon 2016.
This year’s Overwatch World Cup will see some major changes especially on how the participating countries will be decided for Blizzard will be looking into the average skill levels of countries, based on the average skill level of the top 100 players per country, to determine the 32 teams that will participate in the live qualifier rounds. Blizzard has even put up a website as to also have the public track these stats, showing the list of the top 50 countries based on average skill level, and even with a timer to determine when this qualification phase ends. The top country as of the moment is, as expected, South Korea, followed by China on 2nd, with the USA on 3rd, the Philippines on the other hand, if in case you’re wondering, manages to enter the Top 50 list by sitting at the 50th place, about 18 countries behind rank 32.
Once the 32 participating teams are decided, a voting phase will then be made by a “National Player Committee” for each country to determine the roster of players that will represent them in the Overwatch World Cup. After the players are locked in, the Live Qualifier round will then follow, with the 32 teams divided into groups and will undergo a series of group stage matches to determine the final 8 teams that will be heading to BlizzCon 2017 for the Overwatch World Cup Grand Final.
The first phase of the tournament, which is the country qualification phase is now ongoing and will run until the 25th of April where the Top 32 countries will then be determined, the Player Voting phase will then take place in April, the Live Qualifiers in September, and ultimately, the Playoffs and Finals in November.