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Overwatch World Cup 2018 announced

Qualifying matches start right now

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Overwatch World Cup competition returns for 2018 and qualifying matches for the annual worldwide tournament start today.

Blizzard Entertainment announced today that it will start tracking the skill rating (SR) of each country’s top 150 players through the end of season nine of competitive play, which runs until April 28. At the end of Overwatch’s current competitive season, the top 20 countries will be invited to take part in the 2018 Overwatch World Cup. Four countries — France, South Korea, Thailand and the United States — will automatically qualify for and serve as hosts for the Group Stage portion of the World Cup.

Here’s the schedule for the 2018 Overwatch World Cup:

  • March-April: Country qualifiers (season nine of competitive play)
  • May: Qualifying countries form their National Competition Committee. Blizzard will select a general manager for each qualifying country’s committee, while the top 150 players in each country will select a team coach and all players in that country will vote for a team community lead.
  • June-July: Player tryouts
  • August-October: Group Stages
  • November: Overwatch World Cup Top 8 competition and finals at BlizzCon 2018

Last year’s World Cup saw Australia, Canada, China, France, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States in the top eight finalists, with South Korea besting Canada to win the cup.

More details on this year’s Overwatch World Cup are available at Blizzard’s website.