Overwatch World Cup 2019: new year, new format

After a recent announcement on their website, Blizzard Entertainment has now confirmed the return of one of their premier Overwatch competitions as the Overwatch World Cup gets set to return to Blizzcon in Anaheim, California later this year. In the fourth edition of this illustrious international tournament, Blizzard are planning to have more teams compete than ever before as multiple countries will compete in a preliminary stage until the field is whittled down to the top 10 teams, which will faceoff in the playoffs at Blizzcon once qualifications are over.


© Robert Paul | Blizzard Entertainment

Switching up the formula

For Overwatch fans that participated in last year’s World Cup, the hype for international competition reached a fever pitch as several small teams were able to surprise the competition and leap towards massive gains over the course of qualifiers. Teams like United Kingdom and China saw their profiles grow immensely as they were considered fringe candidates to start the competition.

By the end of the tournament, both China and Team U.K. were ousted by better competition, but the impression was already made within the professional circuit. Players like Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth, Xu “Guxue” Qiulin and Ma “Lateyoung” Tianbin were making serious headlines as up and coming talents within the scene, and quickly their efforts were rewarded with Overwatch League contracts that were well deserved.

In an effort to continue that trend of big surprises and wild upsets, Blizzard are opening the field up to all forms of competition as pro players, semi-pro and even high level ranked players all have the opportunity to represent their national team at Blizzcon’s playoff stage in early November. The qualifiers will more than likely take place after the Overwatch League ends.

By that time, BlizzCon prepares to host all of the qualified teams at the BlizzCon Opening Ceremony on November 1. The following day, the top six teams from the group stage will advance to a single-elimination playoff bracket to award the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals at the BlizzCon Arena.

Competition committees, National Rankings, and more

Blizzard Entertainment has completely revamped their approach to the seeding process for these tournaments as well. Before each team is seeded for competition, points will be distributed by Competition Committees that will deliberate on which teams run of success in past Overwatch World Cups merit their seeding in this new year.

The General Manager position for each time will also be receiving a new twist via community input. Voting for each National Team’s manager will also return to the Competition Committee, but fans can get a special input and directly vote for their favorite candidate for the job.

The Overwatch World Cup 2019 will consist of three total phases: Committee Application and Nomination, Committee Voting and Player Tryouts. For more in-depth information on the logistics of how and when each of these qualifier teams will compete. Visit the Overwatch League’s official website for a complete rundown of the new changes taking place later this year.