While football and rugby fans have to wait four years for a world cup to come around, Overwatch fans get to enjoy a world cup every damn year. Following in the footsteps of the 2016 and 2017 tournaments, the 2018 tournament is live right now and will run up to the grand finals to be held in November.
They’ve shaken up the formula once again, trying to find a happy middle ground between the first two tournaments. As before, they’re tracking the skill rating of each country’s top 150 players from now until the end of Competitive Season 9 on 28th April, at which point they’ll determine the 20 best countries to join the four Group Stage host countries – France, South Korea, Thailand and the USA – and compete in the Overwatch World Cup. Host countries will be tracked, but if they place in the top 20, Blizzard will include lower ranked countries.
Once the 24 countries have been decided, May through June will see them set up a committee (partially chosen by the community) to pick the best players to feature in the national team, leading to the Group Stages held from August through to October, before the final knock out playoffs with the top eight teams come together in November.
With the first two tournaments having been won by South Korea, they’ll be going into this as the clear favourites again – especially considering the positioning of the Korean teams in the Overwatch League – but there’s still a pretty good chance for an upset.