The Overwatch pro-gaming scene is slowly picking up steam, and players from around the world will soon be able to participate in the Overwatch World Cup exhibition match at Blizzcon. Yes, it is only an exhibition match and not actually a full pro-gaming tournament.
Blizzard’s choice for its first officially sanctioned Overwatch competition takes an unusual shape. Teams will be drawn from multiple nations, but will be put together through a voting system. Essentially, Overwatch players will be asked to vote for their favourite local talent to be included in the national team. Blizzard will be region-locking the votes; meaning that people will only be able to vote for players from their own region.
Once the voting is over and the teams are selected, the assumed rag-tag group will select a team captain and begin the qualifying matches. These matches are played as a single elimination, best of three tournament; where the top teams from the three major geographic regions will progress to the finals at Blizzcon. Some 16 teams will be selected, with six coming from Europe and APAC; and the remaining four drawn from the Americas.
Interestingly, Blizzard has already determined that teams from certain countries will be heading directly to the finals. According to the announcement, this is due to a combination of server locations and geographical considerations. The seven countries are the USA, Canada, Brazil, China, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
One thing to note is that the Overwatch World Cup is referred to as an exhibition; which is extremely important as there is no prize money to be won. All Blizzard is offering is a free trip to Blizzcon. This may discourage pro-gamers from joining, as they happen to need prize money to sustain their careers.
On the other hand, an exhibition tournament is probably the best choice considering the state of Overwatch’s competitive mode. The developers themselves have said that it will take several seasons before they get it working right, and it may be a better idea to avoid having serious tournaments based on how it works now.
In either case, Malaysia is on the list of countries eligible for the tournament. An all-expense-paid trip to Blizzcon is not exactly something to turn down; especially for those who simply want to play Overwatch.
Voting begins on 11 August, so be prepared to send your favourite players off to compete against the world. Or simply get your ranking high enough and try to get enough votes be to selected for team Malaysia.