The Bangkok Qualifier for the 2018 Overwatch World Cup kicks off today as six more teams vie for two playoff spots at this year’s BlizzCon. After two earlier stages which saw host countries South Korea and United States joined by Finland and Canada respectively, the Thailand stage appears to be the hardest one to call yet, with at least five of the teams having realistic chances to qualify as one of the final eight teams.
To get you up to speed, here is our quick rundown of the teams contesting this week.
While we always root for the underdogs and are definitely supporting the sole SEA representative in the competition, we don’t think Thailand have what it takes to finish among the top two come the final day of this stage. Mickie can only take his team so far and we expect their opponents to target the Dallas Fuel D.Va main before wiping the map clean. The Thais MAY eke a win or two but those won’t be enough to stamp their tickets to Anaheim. A 0-5 record is highly likely.
The Swedes are our favorites this time around with the stacked lineup featuring current and former Overwatch League players alongside seasoned pros. Their biggest hurdle to ensure the top qualifying spot would be the Chinese and Spanish teams but we are confident that Sweden have enough in the tank to overcome these two teams. Reinforce is back competing and we’d love to see him flex his skills in hopes of getting signed up for next season’s Overwatch League.
Although China is the highest seeded nation in the qualifying stage, we have huge doubts on this teams ability to go toe-to-toe with other countries and even qualify past this stage. Nonetheless, do not underestimate their motivation as the players sought to salvage some Chinese pride following Shanghai Dragons’ notorious 0-40 record in the Overwatch League. They may be able to put up a good fight but ultimately fall short due to losses to the likes of Spain and Australia if not careful. Still, we see them winning four matches and only losing one – to the Swedes.
The Danes will play spoilsport this qualifying stage as they may cause an upset or two which will severely derail other hopeful’s World Cup dreams. We don’t think they have it yet to be top dogs in the scene but we’d imagine them taking it to the limit against neighbors Sweden, pull off a shock or two against the likes of Spain and Australia and may even steal a map from China.
Like Denmark, the Spanish team doesn’t look like frontrunners but are definitely potential dream dashers as this experienced team in transition aim to make a mark in what may be the final World Cup appearances for the veterans such as dhaK and HarryHook. They are the lowest ranked team heading into the weekend but don’t expect to see them bowing out to 0-4 losses as it is everybody’s game. Their role, just like Denmark as dream dashers may be most detrimental against the Australians who desperately need wins vs the likes of Spain and Denmark to stand any chance of qualifying past this stage.
The Australians are an interesting team heading into this weekend. They have experienced players with three of them coming from Blank Esports supported by the ever-reliable Custa of LA Valiant. Adding the Valiant flair to the team is team coach Gunba so expect some high-level strats shown by the team from down under. However, Custa on Mercy isn’t exactly the game changer once his teammates start falling like flies and we are still unsure of the quality of players coming from the Oceanic region. They may come out big or crash spectacularly come Sunday.
Our Final Prediction for the Bangkok Stage of the Overwatch World Cup:
Stage Winner: Sweden (5-0)
Stage Runners-Up: China (4-1)
We foresee the Swedes winning all of their games, with their biggest hurdle coming from the Chinese team. Denmark, Australia and Spain will put up a fight but we see them finishing the week on well off the qualifying spot. As for Thailand, we are sad to say that we don’t see them winning any matches during the weekend and will win a maximum of three maps throughout the entirety of it.
You can catch all the action on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/playoverwatch