Overwatch World Cup is back with a new year and some changes to the National Competition Committee selection process! Although no specific date has been set yet, the finals will definitely be held in November at this year’s Blizzcon in Anaheim, South California. According to Blizzard’s official announcement post, from today until the end of Competitive Season 9 (April 28th), each country will have their top 150 players’ average skill rating (SR) monitored. If you’re interested, you can track each country’s progress on the Overwatch World Cup website. At the end of this period, the top 20 highest performing countries will receive an invitation to compete in the 2018 Overwatch World Cup Group Stages.
Additionally, the four Group Stage host countries (Thailand, South Korea, France and the United States) will have the advantage of an automatic qualification into the competition. As a result, there will be 24 qualified teams in total.
One of the more significant changes in the competition is the method behind the forming of the qualified countries’ National Competition Committees. Last year, these committees were formed through a fan-voting process. However, this year, they will be formed via the following process, across Phase 1 (May 1–14) and Phase 2 (May 17–29):
Once Phase 2 is complete, each country’s NCC will be revealed on May 31st. Following that, the Committees will host tryouts (June 1st - July 5th) for players to compete for a spot in their country’s team. Then, committees will submit rosters which may contain up to 12 players, from June 15 through July 5. Blizzard has said that they will work with players and committees to identify seven players from each roster who will travel to applicable live events.
For us here in Malaysia, the nearest Overwatch World Cup host country is Thailand. Any Overwatch fans planning a trip up north to catch the group stage?
All images are courtesy of Overwatch.
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