The World Cup is here – Which nation is the king of Overwatch?

Overwatch World Cup 2018

The third instalment of the Overwatch World Cup is kicking off this Friday. Blizzard has picked 24 of the world’s best teams and placed them in groups based on their past performance. Each of these four groups will travel to either South Korea, United States, Thailand or France, where the qualifiers for the main event take place.

The main event itself is scheduled for November’s BlizzCon in the US. From each qualifier, two of the best teams will be awarded a spot in the main attraction of the World Cup. The defending champions for the second time in a row are South Korea, who will start the World Cup as the host country for Russia, Finland, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Hong Kong. The South Korean qualifier is the first qualifier to be played and is scheduled from August 16th to 19th, depending on where you’re located. As in all the opening events, each country will play against everyone in their group once.

And the first teams to advance to Playoffs are…

The top contenders of this group are definitely South Korea, Finland and Russia. South Korea’s line up is nothing but the best of the Overwatch League (OWL). Five of their seven players are in the active roster of New York Excelsior (NYE), who dominated the OWL’s regular season and placed first. The remaining two players, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee and Pan-seung “Fate” Koo, play for some of the most successful teams in the League as well. For example, “Carpe’s” Philadelphia Fusion placed just well enough in the regular season to qualify for playoffs but exceeded all expectations by finishing second in the inaugural finals, after beating NYE in the semi-finals.

Finland has an impressive amount of OWL players as well, having only one non-OWL player in their roster. Joona “fragi” Laine plays for the aforementioned Philadelphia Fusion, while Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni and Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara were also seen in the League’s playoffs wearing Los Angeles Gladiators’ colors. Tuomo “Davin” Leppänen is Team Finland’s only player who doesn’t have experience in the OWL yet, but his team, Team Gigantti have done well recently by winning the Finnish championship as well as taking the shared third spot in the Overwatch Contenders season two after dominating the group stage.

Team Russia has two OWL players as well as four players from Winstrike Team, who shared the third place in Contenders with Team Gigantti. George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha plays for Philadelphia Fusion, and Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov won the third place in OWL Playoffs in Boston Uprising’s shirt.

Groups and schedule

Here are the groups for the qualifiers. The top two of each group will advance to November’s main event.

South Korea (starts on Aug 16th 8:00pm PDT)

  • Russia
  • Finland
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Hong Kong

United States (starts on Sep 7th 10:00am PDT)

  • Canada
  • Austria
  • USA
  • Brazil
  • Switzerland
  • Norway

Thailand (starts on Sep 13th 8:00pm PDT)

  • China
  • Australia
  • Sweden
  • Thailand
  • Spain
  • Denmark

France (starts on Sep 21st 1:00am PDT)

  • United Kingdom
  • Poland
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • France

Complete schedule is available here.

Source and image: Blizzard