Aug 4 2016 - 8:01 pm

The Overwatch World Cup is coming to BlizzCon

Get ready, Overwatch fans
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

Get ready, Overwatch fans. The 2016 Overwatch World Cup is coming to BlizzCon this year, and you will decide who gets to play there.

This year's World Cup is an international exhibition match, with fans voting on the players that will represent each eligible nation at BlizzCon on Nov. 4 and 5.

Want to see what Brandon "Seagull" Larned can do playing alongside Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree? Want to know if pairing Kevyn "Tviq" Lindström and André "iddqd" Dahlström is as unstoppable as it sounds? This will be your chance to find out. 

Fans will vote on who will represent their nation from a pool built from a combination of pro gamers, talented community members, and local players ranked highly in the first season of Competitive Play. 

Of course, that could mean the American team ends up a combination of Larned and other top streamers like "ster" and "MOONMOON," but with great power comes great responsibility.

The pool of teams competing at the live portion of the World Cup will feature four from the Americas, six from Europe, and six from the Asia-Pacific region, with a complete list of eligible nations listed on the post.

Blizzard

The countries with asterisks, namely the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, South Korea, and Australia, will receive auto-berths to the main event due to a "variety of factors, including server locations, regional infrastructure and connectivity, and other geographical considerations." At least that means team streamer won't get knocked out before fans get to see them play.

In September, a single-elimination best-of-three online qualifier will whittle down each region’s entrants into the number that will compete in the World Cup itself at BlizzCon, a 16 team event with round-robin group stages and a best-of-five final. There is no prize pool for the exhibition event, though competing players will receive free travel to BlizzCon and an appearance bonus.

That’s not the big international championship many were expecting for Overwatch at BlizzCon this year, but the exhibition should produce an exciting diversion for fans and players alike. Most of the top teams in Overwatch are pulled from a variety of nationalities, with multiple squads mixing players from various European and American nations. The aptly named World Cup will do what soccer’s World Cup does and mix those talents based on country, with national pride on the line.

So get ready to vote for who you want representing your nation in the first Overwatch World Cup.

Today - 4:46 pm

Cloud9 recruits new player ahead of Overwatch APEX Season 2

Former NRG Esports player Daniel "Gods" Graeser will replace Kyle "KyKy" Souder.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Western Overwatch teams are arriving in South Korea just days before the OGN Overwatch APEX Season 2 tournament series is set to begin—and Cloud9 is just announcing a roster change.

Daniel "Gods" Graeser, a flex/DPS player who was released from NRG Esports in October, will replace Kyle "KyKy" Souder on Cloud9. KyKy will step down from the starting roster, though he'll stay in South Korea as a temporary coach for Cloud9 opponent Team EnVyUs.

Uncertainty in Overwatch's meta is likely the cause of Cloud9's roster shakeup: A new patch is in testing on Overwatch's public test realm and expected to hit the live server at any time. Gods, as a flex player, is like a safety net. With Lane "Surefour" Roberts and Lucas "Mendokusaii" Håkansson also on flex, they've got much of the hero pool covered.

"I'm very excited to be joining Cloud9," Gods said in a statement. "Becoming part of such an amazing organization is definitely a huge opportunity for my career, and I can't wait to see all that we can accomplish together."

Though a last minute roster change seems reckless, it's worked for invited OGN Overwatch APEX teams in the past. In season one, Team EnVyUs was forced to replace Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree after he quit the team days before EnVyUs was scheduled to fly to South Korea. The sudden switch up seemed to work for EnVyUs, who brought on Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod and won the whole tournament. With KyKy as coach, they're looking to do the same. The former Cloud9 player, however, is not signed to EnVyUs permanently: "[He's] here to help us as a tryout for a coaching position," Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka tweeted. "We're optimistic about his position."

EnVyUs will take on MVP Infinity when OGN Overwatch APEX season two begins on Jan. 17 at 5am ET (7pm KST). Cloud9 takes the stage Jan. 20 at 5am ET (7pm KST).

Jan 13 2017 - 11:56 pm

OGN Overwatch APEX Season 2 groups announced

Some groups are harder than others, of course.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Screengrab via OGN/YouTube

Just days from the start of OGN's Overwatch APEX Season 2 series, tournament organizers have announced who'll take on who in the competition's group stage.

In group A, North American Team EnVyUs will take on Korea's MVP Infinity, Meta Athena, and BK Stars. European Overwatch roster Misfits will be facing group B, what many are calling the group of death—Luxury Watch Blue, Lunatic-Hai, and Afreeca Freecs Red. North American organization Cloud9 will be pitted against CONBOX Spirit, KongDoo Uncia, and Afreeca Freecs Blue in group C, with group D placing North American team Fnatic with KongDoo Panthera, RunAway, and Flash Lux.

Misfits likely have the biggest hill to run up—LW Blue was previously the roster of Luxury Watch Red, and you'll know them as the winners of January's Intel Extreme Masters Season XI Overwatch tournament in Gyeonggi, South Korea. Lunatic-Hai is another big name in Korea, fielding many of the nation's Overwatch World Cup championship-winning roster. Misfits, however, is no slouch: Variations of the team earned first place trophies at both DreamHack Winter 2016 in November and the Overwatch Open in September.

Both KongDoo teams—Panthera and Uncia—recently saw some major reworks in their rosters, but both look dangerous. Panthera, for one, is still home to Koo "Evermore" Kyo Min, one of the nation's best Roadhog players. Fnatic, which will battle with KongDoo Panthera in group D on Jan. 20, is heading into the Overwatch APEX Season 2 with an officially signed Hafþór "Hafficool" Hákonarsonis, who's been on trial with the team since October.

MVP Infinity versus Team EnVyUs kicks things off at 5am ET (7pm KST) on Jan. 17, followed up LW Blue versus Misfits. Group play continues Jan. 20 with CONBOX Spirit versus Cloud9 and KongDoo Panthera versus Fnatic.

The round robin–style group stage will continue until eight teams remain. A double-elimination bracket will follow with best-of-five games until two teams remain for the best-of-seven $180,000 grand final. The tournament will be streamed on Twitch for those of us unable to make it over to South Korea.