Blizzard just announced the countries and their rosters for their rendition of the World Cup, which will bring over 50 countries to play in a round robin. The World Cup, which starts this month, is like the FIFA World Cup. They have qualifiers, then a round robin that leads to a single elimination tournament that takes play in California at Blizzard’s Blizzcon. The teams will be playing online matches against each other in a best of three, single elimination tournament according to Blizzard’s Play Overwatch blog. These roster were voted by the fans of Overwatch at Blizzard’s playoverwatch.com.
Starting in September and going to November, there will be 58 teams from all over the world. These teams will be separated into 3 divisions with a certain number of countries represented. These divisions are Americans division with nine, the European division with 36, and the Asia-Pacific division with thirteen. These top sixteen teams will win a free trip to Blizzcon in November to play in the round robin tournament for seeding for the final single elimination tournament.
There is an issue, however, with the way in which the tournament is being organized. Blizzard already had it set up in which four from the Americas’ division, six from the European division, and six from the Asian-Pacific division will attend. The issue isn’t the bracket of 16, but the fact that they already have automatic invitations for the tournament: three from the American division, Zero from the European division, and Four from the Asia-Pacific division. Will this affect the European powerhouse, Sweden?
Blizzard gave out certain countries “invitations”. These invitations are due to the how the countries are set up, from server locations to geographical locations, to even connectivity of where the teams played. But they forgot about Sweden, who a lot of people say have the best team in the Cup with players like IDDQD.
Sweden is the overall favorite, with South Korea and the United States following up, but doesn’t have an automatic invitation. This seems weird. Sweden has a team of six signed players and there are no automatic invitations in the European divisions in general. Blizzard states on their website that there are a plethora of reasons from server locations to regional infrastructure (what does that even mean?), and geographic consideration.
Sweden is one of the top countries in the eSports community, along with China, Korea, and the United States, and has 18 teams on their own among all major eSports games. Those three teams had the automatic invitation into the Blizzcon tournament. So what would be Blizzard’s reason behind not giving them an automatic invitation? They have earned the world’s respect in the eSports community, and they even have one of, if not the best DPS players in IDDQD. People want to see him, and if they are allowed to, meet him.
The server locations can be a bit of a grey area, as in I have looked all over and couldn’t find where they are actually located. But because they are a first world country, I believe they should have a server or one very close to it. Great Britain, France, and Spain all have to have servers nearby, especially seeing how the players are so dominant in Overwatch. This may go hand and hand with the server connectivity issues, but as stated before, it should go well with Sweden.
Overall, it doesn’t matter what happens. Most people believe that Sweden will make it to California anyways. However, maybe when they have the World Cup again, more careful consideration should be taken in ensuring everyone is on equal grounds in this exhibition, even if it is only for glory.
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