Defending and two-time world champions South Korea met expectations as they dominantly qualified for the playoff stages of the Overwatch World Cup with a 5-0 record during the Incheon Stage last weekend. They will be accompanied by the Finnish team who finished second with a 4-1 record, having barely lose to the Koreans 2-3 in their thrilling, five-map second match.
Dominant throughout the whole weekend, the Koreans only dropped two maps to the plucky Fins who were the only team to give the hosts a run for their money. By far the most mechanically-gifted team for this qualifying stage, the Koreans who are made almost entirely of New York Excelsior showcased a potential new meta as LA Valiant’s Tank – Fate – caused havoc on Wrecking Ball. Philadelphia Fusion DPS, Carpe – who is the only other non-NYXL team member – carried on from where he left off at the end of the Overwatch League season, clicking heads, winning duels and ensuring his team’s kills outnumber the opponents.
Stacked with Overwatch League superstars such as Dallas Fuel’s Taimou, Fragi of the Philadelphia Fusion and Houston Outlaws’ LiNkzr, the Fins were the second favorites to qualify from Incheon and they did so in convincing fashion despite being pushed by the Russians before eventually winning that bout 2-1. From there onwards, it was plain sailing as the Fins stamped their ticket to BlizzCon with a resounding 4-0 win over Chinese Taipei to close out the competition.
Russia gave their all but ultimately weren’t good enough to dislodge neither the Koreans nor the Fins. ShaDowBurn and Mistakes tried their best to carry the team forward but losses to South Korea and Finland meant that the 2016 Overwatch World Cup runners-up will just have to sit out of the playoff stages this year. Japan who made a splash during last year’s qualifying stages is another casualty in the sea of God-tier competition.
By far the second-best Asian team competing in Incheon, the Japanese were unable to shock their European opponents and walked home with two consolation wins against minnows Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong. The biggest disappointment of the weekend is surely Hong Kong who failed to win a single map; even going down 0-4 to Chinese Taipei whom we considered their equal.
The Overwatch World Cup moves on to the United States as six more teams compete in a round-robin set of matches to qualify for the Overwatch World Cup 2018 playoff stages at BlizzCon this November. Hosts United States welcome their Canadian neighbors who (like the USA) are stacked with Overwatch League players alongside four other teams who are more than happy to dispel the notion that the two qualifiers from USA are locked in.
We will be sharing our preview of the matches soon so stick around to Kakuchopurei.com for all Overwatch World Cup news!