The Overwatch World Cup is back for 2018.
From now until the end of Competitive Season 9 (April 28), Blizzard will be tracking the average SR of each countries top 150 players. Every countries’ progress can be followed on the Overwatch World Cup website. The top 20 countries by the end of Season 9 will be invited to compete in this year’s World Cup.
The four host nations for the Group Stage this year are: France, South Korea, Thailand and the United States, who will all receive an automatic World Cup appearance as well. If any of these nations are in the top 20 at the end of Season 9, the next nations out will earn a spot. So, if the U.S. is ranked in the top 20, they’re already automatically in, so the 21st ranked team would move into qualification, and so on, depending on how many host nations make the top 20.
Blizzard is also changing the structure of the national teams:
Committees: This year, we are changing how qualified countries’ National Competition Committees are formed. Each will be comprised of three people: a GM, a coach, and a community lead. Members will be compensated for their time and effort, along with travel and accommodations required to support their teams during the Group Stages and Finals. These committees will be built via the following process, across Phase 1 (May 1–14) and Phase 2 (May 17–29).
A further explanation of the team roles is as follows:
- GM: GMs will be selected by Blizzard. Applications will be accepted, but we also will scour each country for qualified individuals, whether players, talent, or community members. (Application links for all three positions will be provided at a later date.)
- Phase 1: Any player with an account in good standing may apply for their national team’s coach position. Candidates will be provided with a custom URL to share, which will allow the top 150 players (by SR) from the candidate’s country of residence to endorse one candidate.
- Phase 2: We reveal the top three candidates per country, and hold a second, runoff vote, again among the top 150 players. Each player may vote once.
- Community Lead:
- Phase 1: This will follow the same process as coach selection, but voting is open to the country’s entire player base. Players may vote for multiple community leads.
- Phase 2: We reveal each country’s top 10 candidates, and players cast one final vote.
Full committees will be revealed on May 31. Right after that, player tryouts will begin on June 1 through July 5. Players, Overwatch League players included, will be able to try out for a spot on the team of the country they are currently a citizen of.
Committees will select rosters, which can contain up to 12 players, from June 15 through July 5.
So, there you have it! One of the best competitive Overwatch events of the year is back. I, for one, absolutely love the World Cup. The Finals have become the highlight of BlizzCon for me each year and I’m ready for another few months of some great international Overwatch.
To the players and teams: I’m looking forward to someone finally beating Korea this year, don’t disappoint me.