El Paisano

Overwatch World Cup Storms Los Angeles

Daniel Gomez, Online Editor-in-Chief

The stage and lights will change based on who is playing and the state of the game.

Blizzard Entertainment’s newest video game title Overwatch is the company’s first dive into the first-person shooter genre. The game’s fast pace, variety of skill sets, and large skill gap allow for the best players shine. This made the game very popular to esports players and tournaments were held as early as the game’s beta phase.

Since then 2 years have passed and the inaugural season of the Overwatch League has just concluded. The multi-million dollar league was created by Blizzard to support Overwatch esports, and gather the best players from around the world. The inaugural season was a huge success and fans are eagerly awaiting it’s return in January.

In the meantime, Blizzard’s 2nd annual tournament has kicked off; The Overwatch World Cup. This tournament has 24 countries from around the world form the best roster of players possible using only resident players. In the Overwatch League teams can sign players from any region, so the World Cup is all about regional pride.

The tournament takes place over a period of four months starting with group stages. In this stage, six countries face off in a single round robin with the top two teams in each group earning a spot to Blizzcon, Blizzard’s annual convention, for the final.

In Incheon, South Korea the first group concluded with tournament favorites South Korea and underdogs Finland earning their spots to Blizzcon. From September 7thto the 9th, the second group saw teams Canada, Brazil, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, and USA face off for the next 2 spots.

USA and Canada were the clear favorites and they proved that throughout the weekend. Between the two teams, only the US dropped a single map against Brazil. While the other countries showed high level play, professional experience from USA and Canada put them on a whole other level. Both teams would even run unconventional strategies for the sole purpose of pleasing fans and flexing their skill level.

Canada was undefeated and in first place going into the final match of the group stage. Despite this, the USA was the clear fan favorite in the sold out Blizzard Arena and professional analysists also believed them to be the favorites. The arena was electric, packed with American and Canadian jerseys and flags. Cheers filled the arena as the players took the stage. The match was a constant back and forth but, eventually team USA walked away the victors. The stage concluded and locked in two more spots at Blizzcon.

The Overwatch World Cup is a celebration of the diversity of esports. It gives all countries the opportunity to gather their best players and compete against the major regions. USA has made it clear that their only goal is to defeat two time champions South Korea. Now only two stages and four spots remain until the final at Blizzcon in Anaheim, CA. The remaining teams will meet in Bangkok, Thailand and Paris, France until the top 8 finally face off in November.

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