Those that follow the eSports side of Overwatch are likely aware of the annual Overwatch World Cup. For those that haven’t heard, though, the tournament finals took place this past weekend, and South Korea emerged victorious for the second year in a row.
Since Overwatch’s release last year, Blizzard has heavily promoted the game’s eSports scene at various levels. Overwatch League focuses on city-based teams competing globally, while the Overwatch World Cup has teams representing their entire country. Despite initial apprehension surrounding the viability of Overwatch e-sports, the popularity of the title in competitive circles seems to only be growing stronger.
32 teams entered the Overwatch World Cup group stage matches in July, and Blizzcon saw the top eight teams competing to take home first place. From there, the final match came down to Canada vs. South Korea, with the latter nabbing the championship 4-1. Meanwhile, Sweden emerged victorious with a 3-1 score against France, allowing them to snag third place.
There were also several other tournaments at Blizzcon, including events for Hearthstone, Starcraft Remastered, and Heroes of the Storm. However, with Overwatch recently hitting 35 million players, it’s no wonder that all eyes were focused on the stage when the World Cup started.
What’s perhaps most impressive about this is the diversity of the top eight. Compared to League of Legends’ recent world championship, which featured a 5-2-1 split between Asia, Europe, and America, Overwatch saw a 3-3-1 split, with the eighth slot taken by Australia. Granted, this is in part due to the country-based divisions of the Overwatch World Cup teams, but it’s still nice to see considering that Overwatch has been known to go toe-to-toe with League when it comes to popularity.
With another year down, the teams are set to head back into training for next year. The question is: will South Korea be able to defend their title for the third year in a row? Only time will tell. In the meantime, you don’t have to wait long for an Overwatch e-sports fix; the Overwatch League preseason begins next month.
Overwatch is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.