Overwatch World Cup was a success when it first started last year, so Blizzard has decided to bring it back again this year. However, there are some changes to Overwatch World Cup 2017 in order for more countries to be incorporated into the event. There are 4 phases of the tournament, and phase one has already begun.
Phase One- Country Participation
The great thing about Overwatch World Cup is that it gathers top players from around the world to fight for the title of best Overwatch country. For this year's event, Blizzard has decided to expand the competition so more countries can participate in it.
The skill rating of the top 100 players from every country will be the means of qualification as Blizzard will continue to keep track on their skill rating to determine the average SR of a country. The top 32 countries that have the highest average SR will move on to the live qualifiers where they will be divided into four groups of eight. Currently, South Korea is holding the top spot, closely followed by China and USA. You can check out the top 50 countries standing at the Overwatch World cup website.
Phase Two- Assemble Your Team
Once the top 32 countries are determined, players will need to assemble their country's own Overwatch World Cup National Committee. Every National Committee will consist of three local experts who will be responsible for roster picks during the tournament. The National Committee selection has two stages. Firstly, ten nominees from a qualified country who are experts like analysts, coaches and many more will be introduced. Secondly, players will vote for the National Committee for their own country. Voting for the National Committee will commence in April shortly after the Top 32 countries are locked in.
Phase Three- Live Qualifiers
Instead of holding all of the matches in California, Blizzard is offering live qualifiers around the world. A series of four group stage events are scheduled for this summer across Europe, North America and Asia. Each of these group stage events will have eight teams pushing and contesting the payload for a full week, and the top two teams will automatically qualify for the Overwatch World Cup finals which will take place at BlizzCon 2017. A limited amount of tickets will go on sale in May for you to witness all the action in person. For those who are unable to attend the event or unable to purchase a ticket, you can still watch all of the games live online for free. One thing to take note is that the group stage events may not include teams for that region as it all depends on Blizzard's scheduling.
Phase Four- BlizzCon Finals
As mentioned above, the top two teams from the group stage will fight it out in the Overwatch World Cup finals at BlizzCon 2017 for their nation's pride and bragging rights. As usual, BlizzCon 2017 will be held at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on November 3 and November 4, 2017.
The schedule for BlizzCon has not been announced by Blizzard yet, but we do know that the finals will take place on one of these two dates. Mark your calendars ladies and gentleman for you wouldn't wanna miss out on all the fun and excitement.
Source: Overwatch Blog