Overwatch World Cup 2019 Roster Round-up
It’s almost that time of the year again. With the regular season of competitive Overwatch wrapping up year round, the shortlists and team assembly for multiple National teams has already begun. Big countries in the world of Overwatch have already put in their preliminary rosters, with South Korea, U.S.A. and Canada confirming their lineups as well as some other high profile nations. This year’s play-in format for the Overwatch World Cup will differ from last year, with an estimated 40+ countries putting in their bid to qualify for the World Cup knockout stages in early November.
In this feature, we will highlight all the confirmed rosters so far and discuss whether or not their roster has the chops for success in the qualifying rounds. And which teams will be locks to secure their spot at BlizzCon later this year.
Defending the homeland
Every year, the Overwatch World Cup brings together the hype of international football with the fast-paced action that esports is known for. With months still left to prep, several nations have decided to get ahead of the game and announce their rosters and shortman lists before the start of August.
Korea has officially put in their seven man final roster for submission. The roster includes Main tank Kim “Mano” Dong-gyu from New York Excelsior and off tank Choi “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-bin from the San Francisco Shock. Regardless of several high-profile players deciding to sit out of this World Cup, South Korea have not missed a beat in terms of talent due to an abundance in all roles.
With Hangzhou Spark’s main support Park “iDK” Ho-jin and London Spitfire’s flex support Choi “Bdosin” Seung-tae, this iteration of Korea at the OWWC will be an aggressive duo that is more than willing to assist in damage despite their healing roles. Korea has yet to look bad at a World Cup, and this roster is only proof that they are still pining for success regardless of past glory. Look for this team to easily reach the knockout stages with relatively little friction in Qualifiers.
After a disappointing early exit at the hands of United Kingdom last year, Team USA have revamped their lineup with a gang of new faces to possibly lift them to new heights. While their final roster hasn’t been finalized, the 12 man shortlist featuring Corey, FCTFCTN and super is sure to bring some heat to an already talented roster.
The debate at DPS is healthier than ever before for Team USA. With sinatraa, Hydration, KSF and Danteh all vying for a spot. In this current Mei-Reaper meta, there’s a chance Danteh holds his spot over the other competitors due to his flexibility on a variety of heroes.
Canada have opted for an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach this year as they take the same exact roster from OWWC 2018. Regardless of time spent not playing professionally, xQc has impressed with his ability to remain potent at a competitive level for his country. With Agilities, NotE and Mangachu all getting another year to improve, this might be the year Canada push themselves over the edge and walk away with more than a silver medal when its all said and done at BlizzCon.
A truly international affair
With even more exciting news, this years Qualifiers will be the most inclusive tournament in Overwatch’s history with 42 countries (and counting) participating from across the seven continents. Teams like South Africa, Ireland, Colombia, Argentina, Bulgaria, Greece and India will be fielding international rosters for World Cup contention for the very first time.
This type of international inclusion is once again a trailblazing first for Overwatch as an esport as they continue to push the boundary on international involvement and their developments across the global scene can really improve if this experiment goes well. Last year’s qualifiers were interesting and competitive regardless of some one-sided games along the line.
With so many teams entering to qualify, the format of the World Cup group stage will take place in a two group round robin where Team USA, Korea and Canada have all been placed due to their performances last year. This year will also see ten total teams competing at BlizzCon as they will eventually shake out into an eight team bracket once knockout stages are introduced. For a full list of international team rosters, visit the Overwatch World Cup 2019 Liquipedia page to make sure your home country has made the cut!