Blizzard introduces SEA Invitational tournament for Overwatch World Cup teams

Eight Pacific teams will compete for the prize of round-trip airfare to BlizzCon.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

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Move over, trophies. Flight tickets are the next big prize. Blizzard Entertainment and Overwatch Contenders, in conjunction with The Foundry, have revealed the SEA Invitational tournament. On Sept. 21 and 22, eight Pacific Overwatch World Cup teams will battle it out for round-trip airfare to BlizzCon.

The 2019 Overwatch World Cup will take place entirely in Anaheim, California. Preliminary stages and group stages will take place before BlizzCon and playoffs will be held on Nov. 1 and 2.

Blizzard is covering the airfare and hotel charges for the top-10 seeded teams, which include Team South Korea, Team China, and Team USA. The rest of the participating teams are on their own for airfare and hotel, which is where the SEA Invitational comes in. International flights for an entire team, plus coaches and support staff, could cost thousands of dollars.

The winning team of the single-elimination bracket tournament will receive round-trip airfare to Anaheim to participate in World Cup activities. Team Chinese Taipei, Team Hong Kong, Team Japan, Team Malaysia, Team New Zealand, Team Philippines, Team Singapore, and Team Thailand will all be vying for the grand prize.

Of those teams, Team Japan and Team Thailand have historically had the best records at previous World Cups. In 2018, Team Japan came in fourth in the Incheon Qualifiers and Team Thailand scored fifth in the Bangkok Qualifiers.

A round of eight will take place on Sept. 21, while the semifinals and grand finals will take place on Sept. 22. Games begin at 10pm CT or 11am in Hong Kong. Since the tournament is in partnership with Overwatch Contenders, all matches can be viewed in English on Twitch.