The 2019 Overwatch World Cup Is Set To Begin Soon; Participating Teams, Notable Players, And Financial Woes

The 2019 Overwatch World Cup Is Set To Begin Soon; Participating Teams, Notable Players, And Financial Woes
Credit: PlayOverwatch via YouTube

Overwatch has maintained a relatively stable following despite general Activision-Blizzard public relation woes, in no small part due to the vibrant cast of professional players, streamers, and personalities that hold true to the brand through thick and thin.  The next annual iteration of the Overwatch World Cup is due to start November 1st, and end November 2nd; a two-day fiesta of celebrating top players being able to represent their home nations.  South Korea has claimed first place in the two previous Overwatch World Cup with a fantastic offering of players; given the popularity of the team-based shooter in South Korea, the Koreans tend to overshadow both the World Cup and the Overwatch League.  Nonetheless, many countries are holding a strong roster this year, resulting in what may be the most interesting Overwatch World Cup yet.

Unfortunately, many national teams don’t have the ability to launch a direct fundraiser, as requested by the Esports Association; thus, they’ve turned to produce merchandise with a high-profit margin in order to afford the tickets and accommodations necessary to travel to California for the World Cup.  This financial problem has removed many from the Overwatch World Cup brackets prior to the matches even starting; most recently, Team Poland took to Twitter to announce and apologize to their fans that they simply couldn’t generate the capital necessary for this year’s World Cup.  They join Bulgaria, Israel, Greece, Peru, Egypt, Romania and Switzerland in backing out due to financial reasons.

Other nations have had different issues, with Team Kuwait announcing recently today that they ‘lacked the necessary government support’ for their players.  Requests for further explanation of how the Kuwaiti government failed the team were no responded to.

Some Overwatch fans have taken to calling for action by Blizzard, as the financial strain for many of the teams is simply too much.

Yet while many countries find difficulty in making the trip for various reasons, the remaining teams and rosters are more than enough to look forward to.  The current countries competing in the 2019 Overwatch World Cup are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal,  Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the United States.

With various international storylines naturally occurring as a result of these teams playing for national pride (China versus Hong Kong may start a riot if they end up matched against each other), one should take notice of Overwatch League superstars donning the colors of their nation.  Their performances throughout the Overwatch League can give us a peek at how we can expect this Overwatch World Cup to play out.

Among many heavy-hitting rosters, Team South Korea is obviously the most notable, with gigantic names such as Carpe, Haksal, and ChoiHyoBin to name a few.  South Korea’s deep bench with their alloted 12 players means that even their bench-warmers are likely to cause trouble for the primary roster of most other nations.  Their four DPS slots include Architect from the San Fransisco Shock, Carpe from the Philadelphia Fusion, the legendary Haksal from Vancouver Titans, and Decay from Los Angeles Gladiators.

Team United States also holds some big names in the esport, like Super, Moth, and sinatraa.  While not boasting the same depth as Team South Korea’s roster, Team United States has fantastic synergy among their players, with a heavy tank-line, consisting of Super from the San Francisco Shock, Muma from the Houston Outlaws, and FCTFCTN from Los Angeles Valiant.

Canada is bringing a ready amount of super-power to their roster as well, boasting names such as the ever-controversial xQc, Surefour, and Agilities.  While the northern team is bolstered by those three superstars, the rest of the roster leaves a bit to be desired.  xQc’s notorious tendency to tilt after a poor decision may very well bode defeat for Canada before they even begin; although the star tank could also clutch with important picks across the series.

A final team to watch is China, bringing almost the entirety of the Chengdu Hunters roster to bear for the nation, which gives them a large boost in synergy (a tremendously important aspect for a team-based shooter such as Overwatch.  On top of having almost an entire team, they’re also showing pick-ups such as Guxue, farway, and Eileen.  Watch this team for their synergy-focused plays, and the entire team moving across the battlefields as a singular unit.  Early elimination of this team would be the safest bet for other nations in this annual clash of the titans.

Whatever may happen in this World Cup, one thing is sure: drama, clutching, and intense battles are sure to occur regularly for the two days straight of Blizzard’s 2019 Overwatch World Cup.