The Overwatch World Cup is set to make a return in 2023 after a three-year hiatus in esports scene, Blizzard Entertainment announced. In the announcement, the developer also revealed the timeline of events starting January, with the tournament set to be “bigger than ever” following the recent release of Overwatch 2.
“After three years away, we’re thrilled to announce that the Overwatch World Cup is returning for 2023,” reads the announcement. “The competition will be bigger than ever: new game, new players, and new ways of spotlighting your country and region on a global scale.” A total of 36 countries and regions will be announced in January, alongside the opening of the committee applications. More esports games news and updates here!
Players interested to join the tryouts, which will open in March, or compete in the World Cup Trial in February will need to at least be in Diamond rank to go through. The World Cup Trial is a new format for aspiring players to get a chance to be part of their national team. The winners of this format will clinch a direct spot in the tryouts for their team.
Following the completion of rosters in June, the Overwatch World Cup qualifiers will take place. A series of regional online competitions will also be held in the same month to narrow down the initial 36 teams down to 16. The final 16 teams will then contest in the main event – a LAN tournament in the fall of 2023 to determine the first World Cup champion since 2019.
More details of the tournament, including the venue for the main event, will be revealed soon. There will also be challenges and rewards to be given to Overwatch 2 players as part of celebration of the return of the Overwatch World Cup in 2023. In 2016, the first-ever World Cup was held in the U.S. as part of the game’s anniversary celebration.
South Korea won the inaugural tournament, as well as the following two editions before the U.S ended their reign in 2019. Following the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, the Overwatch World Cup was halted, along with other esports events. The tournament remained in hiatus as the game experienced a decline in popularity in recent years until Overwatch 2 was released in October this year.
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