Jessica S. August 17, 2018
South Korea secured a win over Finland in of the Overwatch World Cup’s most anticipated qualifying games.
While South Korea is the favorite to win it all, the Finnish team looked good going into the match. Finland’s roster was stacked with six big name Overwatch League players from five different teams. Finland’s players represent the Philadelphia Fusion, Houston Outlaws, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, and the Los Angeles Gladiators.
South Korea’s team is stacked with five players from the New York Excelsior, one of the winningest teams in the first season of the Overwatch League. The two remaining players are from the Philadelphia Fusion and the Los Angeles Valiant. Zenyatta main Seong-Hyun “Jjonak” Bang comes into the World Cup as the Overwatch League’s inaugural MVP.
The first map saw a victory for South Korea, but the second map was a tense fight that ended in a victory for Finland. Before this match, South Korea had never lost a map in a qualifying match. Map three, Temple of Anubis, was much less exciting. Finland’s defense was steamrolled and South Korea was left with more than five minutes in the bank. On Finland’s attack, they were unable to take the first point, which brought South Korea to a 2-1 lead.
Making its Overwatch competitive scene debut, the Rialto escort map saw an aggressive defense from Finland, who played farther forward than seen in previous maps. Their momentum took them all the way to South Korea’s spawn, but the game was paused after a crash. With their element of surprise quashed, South Korea was able to get out of their spawn and put up a good fight, but Finland came out the victor after regrouping towards the end of the map.
In the first tiebreaker map of the 2018 World Cup, the first control point went 99% to 99% but flipped to Finland. The second control point went to South Korea, which entered the teams into the tiebreaker’s tiebreaker, point three. In another tense 99% to 99% fight, South Korea was eventually able to come out with the victory, which was met with loud cheers from the home team’s fans.
Two teams will leave the Group Stage and move on to compete at Blizzcon in California to determine the winner. South Korea leads their group after this match, but Finland is still a favorite to move on as well.