Jessica S. April 26, 2019
Blizzard has officially announced the third annual Overwatch World Cup, to be held in November.
This year’s format has changed due to the longer Overwatch League season, which ends in September 2019. The Overwatch World Cup will now take place in the span of just a single week in Anaheim.
The preliminary rounds will be viewable online only. The group stage will then begin shortly after BlizzCon’s opening ceremony. During this stage, multiple games will be played simultaneously. The top six teams from group play will then compete in a single-elimination playoff bracket on November 2.
All matches will be fully covered live, even when there are multiple matches occurring simultaneously. Additionally, Blizzard is producing the broadcasts in multiple languages. There will be plenty of player interviews between matches and opportunities for the fans themselves to ask questions.
Rankings will be determined by a weighted points system based on the team’s final placement in previous years. Points will be weighted by year as well, with 100% credit given for 2018, 50% for 2017, and 25% for 2016. Draws in the ranking will be determined by the team’s most recent results, and if a tie still remains, head-to-head results will determine final seeding.
Fans are upset about a new feature this year where only the ten highest ranked teams will receive round-trip airfare, ground transportation, and hotel rooms. The community has commented on the fact that the top ten ranked teams will most likely feature players, coaches, and staff who already play in the Overwatch League, while smaller countries who don’t have the financial means to travel may miss out on competing.
One final smaller change is the opportunity for fans to help choose the general manager position for each country’s team.
There is no word yet on whether or not the Overwatch World Cup viewer will make a return. Blizzard stated that the competition will be viewable across multiple platforms, but has yet to state what those platforms are.