Blizzard earlier today confirmed that the 2018 Overwatch World Cup is set to take place (usually at BlizzCon) in November and will kick-off with the World Cup qualifying rounds starting this August. However, they have changed the format of the tournament this year – mostly to accommodate the schedule of the Overwatch League whose players will definitely make the bulk of the national teams competing in the OWWC.
Replicating last year’s format where four qualifying rounds in four different cities were carried out to pick two representatives from each region, Blizzard only changed the number of participating teams, trimming it down from 32 to 24. We foresee a single group, round-robin method during the group stages to pick two teams advancing to the final round.
As detailed from the official announcement post, teams competing in the OWWC will be determined as follows:
Via Overwatchleague.com: From today through the end of Competitive Season 9 (April 28), we’ll be tracking the average skill rating (SR) of each country’s top 150 players. Each country’s progress can be tracked on the Overwatch World Cup website. The top 20 countries at the end of this period will be invited to compete in the 2018 Overwatch World Cup.
This year, the four Group Stage host countries will be France, South Korea, Thailand, and the United States. These countries will automatically qualify into the tournament, resulting in a total of 24 teams. If a host country makes the top 20 through average SR, the 21st-ranked country will take their spot—and so on.
As it stands, only China, Japan and Hong Kong (along with Thailand and South Korea’s automatic qualifications) will be making it to the final-24 teams list. Being picked as hosts definitely benefitted Thailand the most as their cumulative SR alone would not have placed them amongst the top-20 nations to compete even in the qualification stages. However, they are currently the highest-ranked SEA team so that alone should justify their position as hosts. Defending champions South Korea will definitely be aiming for a third claim to glory and this year’s squad should be their strongest yet, having established a solid foothold in the Overwatch League with star players such as Saebyeolbe, Pine, Profit and Ryujehong.
Just like in the past, we will be covering the Overwatch World Cup from top to bottom so make sure to keep it locked on to Kakuchopurei.com for everything related to the Overwatch World Cup (and yeah – of course, Overwatch in general!)