Hope your pachimari plush is fluffed and your Dragonblade is whetted, because the second annual Overwatch World Cup is right around the corner, with the group qualifying stages kicking off just next month!
Here, the top 32 national teams, split amongst 4 different regional groups across the globe, will go head-to-head to secure their spot in the playoffs, culminating later this year at BlizzCon in California.
Like last year, Australia will be hosting their region’s group qualifiers, at Sydney’s Star Event Centre on the 21st to 23rd of July. Excitingly enough, general admission tickets have just gone on sale as of this week, and judging by the buzz around pre-sale registration, “Blizzard is expecting this to be a sell-out premier esports event for the ANZ region.”
The group stages of 2017’s World Cup will begin as round robins. Once two winners from each group are decided, said teams then face off to determine who goes to Cali.
As part of group C, Australia (currently ranking 13th in the Cup’s pool) is due to duke it out against Sweden (4th), Italy (20th) & Portugal (29th) for the final spot. Attendants of Sydney’s group stage will also be able to spectate group D’s clashes, consisting of Finland (5th), Japan (12th) Spain (21st) & Vietnam (28th).
Along with Sydney’s general admission tickets, Blizzard also recently announced the teams that have been carefully chosen by each country, including Australia’s own representatives: Blank Esports, hand-picked by Australia’s national fan committee.
Coached by Jason ‘SereNity’ Wang, the Aussie six-man boasts a slew of ‘fan favourite’ players, including Ajay ‘Aetar’ Umasankar as Blank’s primary DPS, tank-main Marcus ‘Kiki’ Jacob, and Jordan ‘Gunba’ Ghaham & Andrew ‘rqt’ Haws in support roles, with Ashley ‘Trill’ Powell & Jason ‘ieatuup’ Ho as the flex.
Coming off the back of a fairly rocky inaugural season, Australia is looking poised to make a lot bigger a competitive dent than last year; Blank is a well-established Australian Overwatch team with notable synergy, who are currently placing 2nd in the Overwatch Pacific Championships in Taiwan.
Along with huge international teams, Sydney’s group stage will play host to some terrific, globally renowned commentators, including Doa and Montecristo, ensuring rigorously competitive, world-class commentary typical of any international sporting event.
And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also be able to check out a bunch of exclusive Overwatch and Blizzard merch, previously unavailable to the ANZ region, featuring loot from a multitude of Blizzard franchises; specially designed Funko Pops, figurines, stickers, and apparel, including one hell of a D.Va-inspired bomber jacket:
For 60 bucks plus booking fee, event-goers will get to enjoy all three days of the tournament, and for those who maybe can’t fork it out or simply can’t make it to Sydney, Twitch streams will no doubt be abuzz with activity when it all kicks off July 21st.