Many Overwatch fans are craving the unique high of organized play during the Overwatch League offseason. But one upcoming tournament promises both chaos and coordination.
The Flash Ops Kanezaka Community Tournament, hosted by Blizzard Entertainment, is a four-vs-four Deathmatch tournament. Teams will battle it out on Overwatch’s newest map, Kanezaka, and work together to eliminate the enemy team. After a team earns 50 eliminations, they’ll be declared the victor and move on in the tournament.
Competitors are divided into two brackets, North America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). At time of writing, over 300 teams are signed up in North America and over 230 in EMEA.
At the end of each bracket, there’s a whopping prize. $10,000 will be awarded to the regional grand champions of the Kanezaka Community Tournament.
The action begins on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23 as teams compete in a Swiss-style bracket and work to move up in the standings. Four rounds of Swiss play will happen each day before the single-elimination bracket starts on Jan. 24.
Single-elimination games will be broadcast and the finale of the Kanezaka tournament will be aired on the official Overwatch League YouTube channel.
Since this is a community tournament, most of the participating teams are made up of regular Overwatch players and dedicated Deathmatch enthusiasts. Considering the large prize pool, however, some Overwatch League and Overwatch Contenders players are also joining the fray. Teams are restricted to only two Overwatch League players, but they can have an unlimited number of high-ranked ladder players.
In the EMEA region, former Paris Eternal main tank Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait has built a powerhouse team of French talent, aptly named the “Baguette Masters.” He called upon Boston Uprising DPS Terence “SoOn” Tarlier and Philadelphia Fusion off-tank Gael “Poko” Gouzerch to fill the Overwatch League player quota. Former Eternal DPS Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret and flex support Damien “HyP” Souville round out the team.
While few Overwatch League players appear to be signed up in the North American region, some members of the Houston Outlaws roster seem ready for a fight. Main support Enrique “Joobi” Triana and DPS Lee “Happy” Jung-woo are a part of the “Houston Inlaws” roster.
They’ll likely go head to head with current DPS Dante “Danteh” Cruz and former Outlaw Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang, who have joined up with Overwatch Contenders players to form “Danteh Sucks.”
North American Swiss rounds begin at 6pm CT on Jan. 22 and one round will occur each hour until 9pm CT. On Jan. 23, rounds begin at 2pm CT and last until 6pm CT. EMEA matches begin at 10am CT on Jan. 22 and 6am CT on Jan. 23.
Matches won’t be professionally broadcast on these two days, but individual players will likely stream their gameplay on their personal channels. Fans can follow the brackets for both North America and EMEA by checking the Gamebattles tournament site.
The EMEA semifinals begin at 5am CT on Jan. 24 and the grand finals should start at 7am CT. North America’s semifinals kick off at 1pm CT on Jan. 24 with the grand finals scheduled to start at 3pm CT. Single-elimination matches will be broadcast on the official Overwatch League YouTube channel.