Blizzard's annual esports competition, “The Overwatch World Cup” returns after its 3-year hiatus.
Overwatch World Cup was finally confirmed for 2023, as well as a bunch of new details going forward.
In a recent post on Blizzard's official website, details about the future program were shared. Among these was a complete roadmap for the competition, stretching from tryout programs all the way to Group Stage come Fall 2023. Here's everything we know so far and what we can expect from Blizzard's iconic PvP event.
This news comes in the midst of hotfixes being applied to add more polish to the game before its use in the major league tournament. Find out more about Season 2's recent changes to the Overwatch sequel here.
What is the Overwatch World Cup?
If you're new to the Overwatch scene, The Overwatch World Cup — like the title suggests — is an international esports tournament featuring multiple teams hailing from different regions.
If it sounds like a big deal, it is. The last Overwatch World Cup was broadcasted live in Blizzcon 2019, where the USA clinched the gold medal with a 3 – 0 win against China in the finals.
Let's do it.
Overwatch World Cup returns in 2023! pic.twitter.com/seu2GGjkiX
— Jon Spector (@Spex_J) December 17, 2022
Since its inception, this annual competition was always the biggest Overwatch event. With close to 2.1 million viewers at its peak, Blizzard's last worldwide brawl had a major presence in the esports world 3 years ago, but due to worldwide lockdowns, both the show and Blizzcon were indefinitely postponed.
With new maps, game modes and larger-than-life heroes, Overwatch 2 has more than enough ways to give us a World Cup, unlike anything we've ever seen in the past. Though the first game was never originally poised for esports, seeing how its events have generated massive crowds over the years makes it safe to say that Overwatch fulfills the role well.
The Overwatch World Cup Roadmap
In hand with the news of the Overwatch World Cup making its long-awaited return, Blizzard also shared with us the official roadmap going into 2023. The new year will be a busy one, as teams from all over the world will compete in numerous tryouts before the main event later in the year.
Here's the quick rundown on the Overwatch World Cup 2023 roadmap shown below:
- 36 teams from all over the world will be selected by Blizzard to compete
- Competition Committees will be vetted by Blizzard
- These committees will organize tryout events for their respective countries/regions
- World Cup Trials open tournament begins
- This new format lets teams compete for their very own spot in regular tryouts
- Blizzard confirms list of official Competition Committees
- Regular Team Tryouts start!
- Aspiring players must have a competitive rank of Diamond or above
- Competition Committees from each country/region select their teams
- Blizzard enforces the integrity of their final picks
- 36 teams clash in a competitive online format, narrowing it down to 16 teams
- The winning teams advance to the Group Stage
- 16 teams play against each other live (aka “round robin”) in a local area network on the main stage
- The remaining 8 regions make it to finals
- 8 teams compete in a single-elimination bracket to determine the medalists and the first Overwatch Cup World Champion since 2019
To respect current Covid-19 guidelines, measures are still being taken to ensure a safe play environment before the world's best Overwatch teams take the stage in Fall 2023. Knowing that restrictions on large events are getting lighter, long-time fans of the massively popular title can start gearing up for the exciting months ahead.
If you're not an Overwatch pro (yet) and just want to be a part of the hype, Blizzard's cooking up something just for you. Overwatch's devs are planning to release new event challenges to commemorate the return of Overwatch's largest worldwide esports event, as well as brand new loot.
There are much more thrilling announcements to look forward to. But until then, we'll just have to wait patiently for more information. Much like the present Overwatch timeline, we're likely to see our very own big-shot personalities reassemble for this major event. Overwatch esports is coming back in a big way, and we're eager to see the surprises Blizzard has in store for 2023.
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