History of the Overwatch World Championship

The World Championships is the main event in any sporting discipline. It’s where dreams come true and hopes are dashed, where we cheer on our favorites and tear up our voices. It is here that the national spirit and community cohesion are particularly strong. In this article we’ll show you a brief, but very bright history of Overwatch World Championship and recall the coolest moments of the past tournaments!

World Overwatch Championship history

Throughout the long history of eSports, there have been many things: small tournaments were transformed into packed arenas, mix-ups for a week – into franchise leagues, but throughout these decades one thing has been constant – the community. It desperately defended cyber sports in its infancy while society yearned to throw it off a cliff. The community is smiling contentedly now that Overwatch League slots are worth tens of millions, and no one knows what the future holds.

The Overwatch World Championship is the perfect event for the community. Here dreams come true when your favorite player can join the backbone of your favorite team. It’s where you can choose those who will influence the roster, playstyle, informational background, and more around the team. It is here, after all, where one can desperately shout the name of the home country, cheerfully resent the failures, but in a few seconds gasp with happiness because the match is taken and the nation is saved. By the way, you can check more info about the Overwatch championship at the eSports news site play-score.com. Here presents earnings of each player, and so on.

The theory that you should only cheer for those who were born or live in the same country as you, has always had little applicability to cybersports. Even when it came to the WCG, no one looked at the overall medal standings, the main thing was that the favorites were anywhere in the world. Here and at the Overwatch World Championship you can and should cheer for who you want, but also the unique chance to experience the pride for the home team, which goes round after round, looks very attractive.

Emperors of the world

The 2016 World Cup debut was memorable because just about every more or less media personality could have gotten in there if they had just been voted in, like HuK, for example. Such moments have always been alien to South Korea, a country where rivalry, while not elevated to an absolute, is warmly welcomed.

At the center of world eSports fell in love with Overwatch from its first appearance on the horizon, temporarily displacing League of Legends from the top spot in terms of playing time in PCBangs. Younger and old alike, the South Korean team was the odds-on favorite to win the entire tournament. Miro, Ryujehong and EscA from Lunatic-Hai were joined by TaiRong and ArHaN from Afreeca Freecs Blue, with zunba from Conbox T6 taking sixth, and the task was clear to everyone anyway – it would be awkward to come back without the championship. 

The leadership qualities of TaiRong and EscA, Winston and Ana for Miro and Ryujehong all became legendary a little later, and there were almost no problems at the World Cup: 6-0 in the group stage, an easy outing against the tournament hosts in the quarterfinals, a little harder against heavily armed Sweden.

After losing the first season of the OGN APEX, Seoul decided to be more proactive: a huge number of talented players, the rise of RunAway, GC Busan, LW and Kongdoo, two grand championships of Lunatic-Hai in a row, which elevated ryujehong to the rank of demigod – no wonder that South Korea approached the second World Championship as a major favorite. However, this, as well as the lineup announced a bit later, did not give enough privileges not to play qualification, so the reigning champions had to go to Katowice. 

DPS-duo of LW Blue Saebyeolbe and Fl0w3R, ryujehong and his faithful tobi, zunba and Mano on the front line – no wonder that Austria, Poland and Netherlands won only one round in total. Another round was given to them, after which this Seoul juggernaut went home and then went to Anaheim for the last event before the Overwatch League launch.

For the second event in a row without a lost card, however, it did not work out. Against the USA, they had to lose to Nepal, Hanamura did not conquer in the match with the Americans, and also against the French, and Surefour and his Canadians chewed out Junkertown, which South Korea is not yet accustomed to. Ryujehong and zunba became two-time champions, New York Excelsior and Seoul Dynasty took home the tournament winners, and the timid hopes of other regions disappeared before they could even begin.

The hardest season of the Overwatch League, which could have assembled several teams for South Korea, in one way or another, claiming world domination, showed that the trove of talent in the heart of cybersport is not even going to dry up, because stars like Fl0w3R, WhoRU and Haksal are not even allowed to take part in the OWL yet. Will the World Championship become analogous to the WCS Global Finals for Starcraft II, where sixteen players take part and the Koreans win? Probably. Will it mean anything bad? Certainly not. After all, one of the best teams in the world, New York Excelsior, will be playing almost entirely for South Korea in 2018, deciding that Mano already has the title, so you can take Fate from Los Angeles Valiant, and by the same token, Carpe from Philadelphia Fusion, the dueling master on Fatal Widow.

Can we fight this? We’ll see in qualifying when South Korea plays Finland, Japan, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei at home in Incheon for the right to go to Anaheim in the fall to defend their comfortable throne.

The best of the best

Despite the fact that for many teams the main goal at the World Cup is to get as close as possible to beating South Korea, there were enough bright teams at the previous two tournaments that were capable of great things.

Most, of course, will immediately remember the team, many still associate with ShaDowBurn and his Genji. Then, in 2016, the team beat Germany, Chile, the United States, France, and Finland by 49 ShaDowBurn kills on Dorado, and then lost to South Korea. Sharpened by its main weapon,  easily beat the public favorites, but in the end stopped one step away from the coveted award.

2017 was less fortunate: in Katowice, team was considered one of the main favorites to pass on, but broke at Oasis against Mangachu and his Farrah. In the end, Canada won the group, and the reigning Blizzcon finalists made it to the top 16 for the champions, this time managing to take an entire round from South Korea.

That Canada, by the way, made it to the finals, making many fans think that the team was capable of two crucial Overwatch World Championship matches in a row. Had a crazy tournament Surefour, talented Agilities and xQc, desperate compositions with one tank in the final against South Korea – with that “maple” team was not boring, and how will be with the new – we will see already in Los Angeles in qualifications. We cannot forget about the favorites of the public from the United States: in 2016 the Americans, though they got Seagull in the team, but not much laurels, but the young team of the next year was pretty rough not only in the qualifying round, but also in South Korea. Now, with SPACE, Super and Hydration, sinatraa and company can claim not just the quarterfinals, but even more serious things, thanks to the talent and fighting power of the team.

Some will remember Thailand at the 2016 World Cup, where Mickie and his friends had fun right on stage and almost made it out of the group, cumming against the French at Hanamura and Lijiang Tower. The Thais ultimately fell short in the tie-breaks, where they lost to both China and France, with China getting in their way again in the top-16 in 2017, but when better to take revenge than in Bangkok at home qualifiers? Sweden, who took two bronze medals at the Overwatch World Cup every year, also walks as a favorite: a core of Florida Mayhem led by TviQ, a talented snillo and Reinforce as the main cheerleader – why not finally swing for the finals, since last year’s disappointing loss to Canada still sits somewhere in your head? 

The Finns were bored last year, too, as their traditionally potent squad managed to go down to Spain and draw with Japan without even making the top sixteen. If they finished second in the group, they could have tried to take revenge on their Swedish neighbors for their defeat in the third-place match in 2016. However, Taimou and his friends will have a chance this season.

The World Championship is, first and foremost, an opportunity. For some, it’s just a shot, like last year’s Japan or China, which almost beat the spirit out of the French despite the absolute visa collapse. Someone may get a coveted offer from Overwatch League organizations by beating a conditional U.S. team in one of the rounds at Eichenwald, and someone will be offered a coaching position because a creative team that no one bets on will suddenly surprise with a whole baggage of strategies.

The Overwatch World Cup is not a place for finding out relationships or bragging about the color of your passport, it’s a tournament where almost everyone turns into the same child who looks spellbound at the banner rising on the flagpole to the already familiar tune.

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