“Cheers love, the Overwatch World Cup is here!” That’s right, this past weekend Blizzcon has been and gone and that means that the worlds eight best nations battled it out on every Control, Payload, and Escort map. From Watchpoint: Gibraltar to Lijiang Tower, it was a bloodbath.
From four heats of six teams, the twenty-four went down to eight: the United Kingdom, United States of America, South Korea, China, Finland, Australia, France, and Canada. Then there was a single elimination best of five brackets to crown the victor.
South Korea were heavy favorites, the back to back champions having players from the Overwatch League (OWL) teams such as New York Excelsior, London Spitfire, and Seoul Dynasty. However, many teams were looking good. The United States was wanting to prove a point, Canada wanted revenge from last years final, and China had brought a rather strong lineup to play.
It didn’t take long for the first upset to happen. In fact, it took the first match for that to be the case. The United Kingdom team, which was a team full of Overwatch Contenders (the amateur league) players, as well as the only British OWL player Isaac “Boombox” Charles, faced the mighty United States of America. No-one could have predicted that it would be the union jack flying high after four maps, eliminating the Americans from the tournament in 5th/6th.
One upset was rare in such a small team size, but the United Kingdom wasn’t done yet. Next, the Brits had to verse the favorites—South Korea. It seemed that the match was too much as South Korea mopped the floor on Nepal, thanks to Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim’s Pharah. This was continued into Kings Row, as the United Kingdom had no answer to the aerial barrage. They got it to overtime, but with no time left, the Brits had to prevent the Koreans from getting 33% of the first capture point.
Everyone knew the Koreans gameplan – get Fleta’s Barrage and wipe the UK off the map. This nearly went perfectly, but Finley “Kyb” Adisi had other ideas, using Roadhog’s hook to perfection to stun Fleta out of his ultimate. He went on a rampage, wiping South Korea back to the spawn and ending the map in a draw.
South Korea seemed to be back into action after the halftime break, completing Volskaya Industries with five minutes left on the clock. The UK completed the map too, but with a lot less time. Then, in overtime, the Brits got the first point but no progress on the second. Korea foiled the UK’s plan of an ambush using a Sombra to scout, taking the first point with ease, but they were not able to roll over to the second point as they had previously. The UK didn’t go down without a fight, using their ultimates sparingly and winning fights by only using one or two ultimates at a time. When the final push for Korea came, every player on both sides had their ultimate abilities. However, Eoghan “Smex” O’Neill stole the show, getting a triple D’va bomb and securing a second successive draw.
This seemed to shift the momentum into the UK’s favor, stopping South Korea’s attack before the second checkpoint, and dominating the first checkpoint of their own offense at a rapid pace. However, the Koreans showed why they are the favorites and mastered a perfect hold in the same place as the Brits had but without them getting further than the Korean’s had mustered. Thus, the fairytale came to an end with South Korea winning the series 2-0 after two draws.
Meanwhile, the Chinese were on a tear. They bypassed Finland with ease, 3-0. They then went on to beat last years runners-up Canada 3-0 as well, to match up in the final against South Korea. Unfortunately for them, the previous encounter with the UK had turned the Koreans into the animals they are known as and China had no chance at all to beat them. South Korea won the final 4-0, taking the Overwatch World Cup for a third successive year.
In the third place match-up, a close battle ensued between the Brits and the Canadians. But Justin “Jayne” Conroy’s men won the slug match 3-2, meaning that Canada obtained the bronze medal.
The placings were as follows:
1st: South Korea
4th: United Kingdom
5/6th: United States of America