After the dust settles in Junkertown, the snow melts at Volskaya Industries, and the 2019 Overwatch League champions have been crowned, it will once again be time for the nations of the world to collectively celebrate the year of competitive Overwatch® at Blizzard’s annual convention, BlizzCon, in Anaheim, California.
In the fourth year of the Overwatch® World Cup program, teams will form to fight as one unit, rallied under their national flag. Players hailing from the Overwatch League, Overwatch Contenders, and even Ranked Play, will put aside their professional rivalries to compete for the glory of their home countries. Of course, three-time reigning champion South Korea will try to hold onto their dynasty of digital dominance to bring home the Gold Medal once again, but the gap at the top is looking narrower than it ever has before!
What’s New in 2019
We’re making some changes this year. To create the chance of seeing more nations represented at BlizzCon, we’re happy to announce a tournament structure that will offer opportunities for all eligible countries to form teams to challenge for their right to play in the onsite Group Stage. This year, the entire tournament will take place in Anaheim, all within one week of competitive celebration, which will be broadcast live to platforms around the world.
Before the BlizzCon doors open, we will start with the Preliminary Rounds. Fans will be able to cheer on their team and spectate the amazing plays online. After BlizzCon’s Opening Ceremony on Friday, November 1, the Group Stage will commence, with multiple matches being played simultaneously. Finally, the top six teams from the Group Stage will advance to the single-elimination playoff bracket to award the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in the BlizzCon Arena on Saturday, November 2.
If you’re hoping to follow multiple teams, fret not! All matches will be fully covered live on broadcast. Additionally, this year we will be bringing international coverage teams to BlizzCon to produce entertaining broadcasts onsite in multiple languages. These teams will have direct access for player interviews, and there will be opportunities for you to submit questions as well, bringing you to the sidelines of the action.
This year, before matches start, countries will be seeded by a weighted point-ranking system based on final placements in the three previous Overwatch® World Cups. Points are awarded along a spectrum ranging from 1 point for a Round of 32 appearance to 10 points for a Gold Medal. The points accrued over those previous years are weighted to favor recency: 100% for 2018, 50% from 2017, and 25% from 2016. Ties between two countries will be settled by the most recent year’s results; then, if required, by the most recent head-to-head results. Competition Committees and players for the 10 highest-ranked teams confirmed to compete at BlizzCon will receive full support for round-trip airfares, ground transportation, and double-occupancy hotel accommodations. All other eligible countries that confirm their attendance will be fully responsible for their travel and will receive some support for hotels.
The Competition Committee voting process is returning with only one minor change. This year, you—the players and fans providing the energy and support for each nation’s team—will also have a say in the General Manager position. We hope this will give you an even bigger voice to help shape how your team is created and managed all the way through the program.
How to Get Involved
Committees will be built via the following processes across Phase 1 (May 15–24) and Phase 2 (May 30–June 9). Player Tryouts and Country Promotion will take place during Phase 3 (June 13-July 14). To be a final Committee candidate or a competing player, you must be over the age of 18 by the time travel is required.
- Phase 1 – Committee Application and Nomination: Self-identified candidates will be provided with a custom URL to share, which will allow all players from the candidates’ country of residence to endorse them. During this phase, individuals may endorse as many candidates as they wish. If a country does not produce enough candidates or overall endorsements in Phase 1, Blizzard may be required to remove the country from subsequent phases of the event, so make sure you get out and support your country in Phase 1!
- Phase 2 – Committee Voting: After endorsements, the top candidates will be revealed prior to a runoff vote for each country. All players from the candidates’ country of residence may cast one final vote.
- Phase 3 – Player Tryouts: Committees may hold player tryouts from June 13–July 14 at their individual discretion. Guidelines will be provided to the teams directly during this stage in order to allow them to build their rosters with full awareness of the Competition Rules and monetary support details. Committees will then submit their potential player list, which may contain up to 12 players, for Blizzard to verify and approve. Of the approved players, the committee will then select the final 7 players to travel to the live event at BlizzCon.
How to Stay Engaged
Follow the @owpathtopro Twitter and the Overwatch® World Cup website for updates at the beginning and end of each Phase. We will reveal your final national competition committees and player rosters through these channels. If there are any questions or concerns, you’re welcome to reach out to us.
Heroes, the stage is set, and the world is watching! Are you ready to support your country and become the 2019 Overwatch® World Cup champions?
FAQWho is part of the official Overwatch World Cup national team that receives attendance to BlizzCon?
- Each final team will consist of six (6) starting players, one (1) official substitute, one (1) General Manager, one (1) Coach, and one (1) Community Lead.
What is the format of the tournament at Blizzcon?
- Preliminary Rounds: a single-elimination, seeded bracket based on the national rankings. The top five countries will have automatic byes to the Group Stage and all other countries will compete for the final five Group Stage placements.
- Group Stage: The 10 remaining teams will be seeded into two groups of five teams each. Within each group, teams will play round-robin against all other teams in their group. The top team from each group will advance directly to the Playoff Semifinals. The second- and third-ranked teams from each group will advance to the Playoff Quarterfinals.
- Playoffs: The top six teams will complete a single-elimination bracket to award the Gold and Silver Medals. A run-off match will take place between the two losing teams from the Semifinals to award the Bronze Medal.
Who is allowed to vote?
- Any active Battle.net account in good standing is eligible to vote for Committee members for their country of residence.
- Players who are ranked high enough on the competitive Overwatch® ladder in their country will have the option to vote for the Coach position for their country.
Where are the rules of the tournament?
- The competition rules will be delivered directly to the final Committees and players, after voting phase ends, for their acknowledgement.
- Onsite expectations, prizing details, match format, etc. will be part of the information communicated directly to these teams.
What documents do I need to be eligible to participate as part of the national team?
- Participants must provide proof of a valid passport, and in the event your passport doesn’t match the country you’re trying to represent, you will also need to provide to Blizzard proof of a government-issued identification from the country you’re trying to represent.
- Participants must use a Battle.net account in your name in good standing, with residence registered to the country you’re trying to represent.
- Eligibility to apply and represent will depend on country of residency and game account standing, so make sure your Blizzard account is up-to-date and in good standing.