The Quarterfinals of yesterday’s World Cup matches were, to say the least, truly shocking. With two major upsets and three 3-0 finishes, it wasn’t the competition many people were expected. Today the fun continues with the Semifinals, Bronze Medal Match, and Gold Medal Match. We have you covered with continuing predictions that are hopefully more accurate than literally everyone’s predictions yesterday.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Blizzcon is upon us once again, and on November 2-3, the eight teams who have passed regional Qualifiers will fight it out for the Overwatch World Cup title. The question on everyone’s mind: can reigning champions South Korea continue their winning streak? Or will they be dethroned by a scrappy competitor? Before we hold our breath for finals, we go to quarterfinal matches. All quarterfinal matches are a best-of-five and will be held on Friday, November 2.
Not sure which teams to pick for your bracket or what to argue with your friends about? I’ve got you covered. Each match below includes a numerical prediction, justification and background, as well as a “Spiciness Rating” of one to five stars. One star means it’s better to catch the VOD later; five stars means you’d better sit down and watch this match, because it’s all anyone will be talking about. May the odds be ever in your team’s favor.
Home is where the heart is. But what does it take to stray from your homeland and put your faith elsewhere? With Blizzcon approaching, I interviewed fans from across the globe who have broken with the idea that home means instant support: fans who are primarily supporting teams other than their home country in the Overwatch World Cup. I wanted to find out why. Treason, after all, is a crime punishable by jail time.
(Note: To experience the full effect of this piece, your author humbly suggests that it be soundtracked with the Roots’ edition of ‘My Shot’ from the Hamilton Mixtape, available on YouTube and Spotify.)
I will acknowledge that, on a surface level, it’s patently ridiculous to call them ‘underdogs’.
After all, Team USA’s 2018 starting roster for the Overwatch World Cup is the stuff of an opposing backline’s worst nightmares. They’ve got both proven performers and insane upcoming talent, with a wealth of high-pressure LAN experience from OWL’s grueling first season. With battle-tested supports, dominant DPS, and a tank line for which ‘godlike’ feels like damning with faint praise, calling them underdogs should be laughable.
For the fifth article in our Believe The Hype series detailing teams going to Blizzcon, we’ve called in reinforcements. Broadcast.gg’s Ieuan “vowels” Hall, one of the English casters for Contenders China, is arguably Team China’s number one fan. In his guest column this week, he tells us why China should be feared – and why they’re number one.
On the 1st of July this year, I was approached by MooshuBeef, head of Broadcast.gg, about working on the English broadcast of Contenders China Season 2. I knew nothing about the region, beyond the plight of the Shanghai Dragons and the fables of Miraculous Youngster, but thought it would be a great opportunity to develop personally as a caster, and to help bring more attention and respect to the region.
Over the course of the last 3 months, I have well and truly fallen in love with Chinese Overwatch, and am unapologetically cheering for their national team over my own at Blizzcon. I can’t guarantee I’ll convince you to do the same, but at the very least I’m hoping I can shed some light on why I’ve fallen head over heels in love with CNOW.
We only made it thanks to Sweden. Even though they failed to qualify, the Swedes took enough maps off Denmark to tighten the map differential. All Australia needed was one map off of China and we’d make it to Blizzcon, but if it went 4-0 to China the Danes would punch their ticket. It was a white-knuckle match, the first two maps going in favor of China. Half-time rolls around, and the Australian World Cup Discord was fermenting in a mix of panic and hype. Someone dropped in to call Australia a “meme team” before leaving again.
People were analysing every move, every glance, worried that the team wouldn’t shake off the nerves. But then they did – Australia took Temple of Anubis and the Discord lost its collective mind. “KOALA-FIED” was spammed, viewers rose their koalas (ヽʕ •ᴥ•ʔﾉ Raise your koalas ヽʕ •ᴥ•ʔﾉ) in celebration. A few people wouldn’t stop thanking Sweden for losing. There’s only around two hundred people in the Discord at any given time, but it’s their roaring passion sets them apart.
In some esports, there is a mindset that South Korean players are the best in the world. They are the most mechanically gifted, they are the smartest, and they come from the birthplace of esports as we know it today. The best of the best usually hail from South Korea, and Overwatch has not been an exception to the rule. With the South Korean talent that we have in Overwatch, they have built themselves quite the reputation since the birth of Overwatch as an esport.
For the second article in our “Believe The Hype” series profiling teams going to Blizzcon, we go into a narrative dive about Team France and the kind of dedication personal and professional growth can inspire.
It’s three o’clock in the morning when my first alarm goes off; there’s no sunlight at this hour, only birds chirping in the distance. I stumble to the kitchen, make toast, then plop down at my laptop. The matches of the final Overwatch World Cup 2018 group stage begin at a reasonable time in Paris, but in America, it’s the middle of the night.
I woke up for Team France.
This is the first in a series of articles hyping up teams that have made it to the finals of the Overwatch World Cup 2018. Each week, we’ll be posting two teams that are looking to fight it out at Blizzcon! This week is Team Canada and Team France.
Oh Canada, the great white North, NA’s 2017 Overwatch World Cup golden boys. Can 2018 be the year they repeat their incredible run through the brackets for another chance at the title? South Korea, last year’s champions, will start out on the other half of the final Eight, and very likely could prove to be Canada’s final hurdle once again. To reach the finals in November, Team Canada will have to advance past both France and the winner of the China vs. Finland match. Once there, Canada could likely face South Korea again, but may meet team USA, team UK, or the Aussies. Read more …
In this continuation of my interview with Dario “Akraken” Falcao-Rassokha of Team Australia, we learn a little bit more about how he’s balancing his career with schoolwork, how he vibes with the rest of the Aussies, and what depths “Akraken” comes from! Check out Part 1 here.