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The Overwatch World Cup (OWWC) is an Overwatch eSports tournament organized by Blizzard Entertainment, the video game's developer. The tournament is competed by international teams.
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, which released on May 24, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. Described as a "hero shooter", Overwatch assigns players into two teams of six, with each player selecting from a roster of nearly 30 characters, known as "heroes", each with a unique style of play whose roles are divided into three general categories that fit their role. Players on a team work together to secure and defend control points on a map or escort a payload across the map in a limited amount of time. Players gain cosmetic rewards that do not affect gameplay, such as character skins and victory poses, as they play the game. The game was initially launched with casual play, with a competitive ranked mode, various 'arcade' game modes, and a player-customizable server browser subsequently included following its release. Additionally, Blizzard has added new characters, maps, and game modes post-release, all free of charge, with the only additional cost to players being optional loot boxes to earn cosmetic items.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California, and is a subsidiary of the American company Activision Blizzard. The company was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company originally concentrated on the creation of game ports for other studios' games before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994 the company became Chaos Studios, Inc., then Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates.
The 2017 tournament involved an initial group stage in which 32 nations qualify; they are determined by the average skill rating of a nation's top 100 players qualify. Following this, the top two teams from each group advance to a single-elimination playoff bracket. The final eight teams continue the rest of the playoff bracket at Blizzard's BlizzCon event.
The Overwatch World Cup 2017 is an Overwatch eSports tournament, organized by Blizzard Entertainment, the game's developer. It features 32 represented nations from around the world, with the final tournament taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center from November 3–4, 2017.
BlizzCon is an annual gaming convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to promote its major franchises Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. The first BlizzCon was held in October 2005 and since then all of conventions have been held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, in the same metropolitan area as Blizzard's headquarters in Irvine. The convention features game-related announcements, previews of upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games and content, Q&A sessions and panels, costume contests and playable versions of various Blizzard games. The closing night has featured concerts by The Offspring, Tenacious D, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, Blink-182, Metallica, Linkin Park, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and Muse. A similar event was the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, held outside the U.S. from 2004–2008.
South Korea is the dominant nation being the only nation to have won the tournament.
According to game designer Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch was not developed with any dedication towards eSports. Dan Szymborski of ESPN stated that Overwatch was poised as the next big eSport for having a sufficiently different look and playstyle from established eSports titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty , enough variety in maps and characters, and strong support from Blizzard to maintain the game for a long time. 's progression into eSports was described by Rolling Stone as a "strategy [that] involved carefully rolling out the game in steps – first a closed beta, then open beta, then full release, then a competitive mode and finally a league."Bryant Francis writing for Gamasutra noted the speed and short match times of Overwatch make the game highly favorable for viewership, further supporting the title as an eSports title. Overwatch
Jeffrey Kaplan is an American video game designer who is vice president of Blizzard Entertainment. He designed elements of World of Warcraft and is the lead designer on Overwatch.
ESPN is a U.S.-based sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation. It is the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series and was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in August 2012, while the Linux version released in September 2014. Originally released as a retail product, Global Offensive became free to play in December 2018.
In June 2016, the eSports organizer ESL announced that they would host the first international Overwatch competition in August 2016, called Overwatch Atlantic Showdown.The competition used four open qualifiers beginning in June, followed by regional qualifiers and then a final online qualifier. Eight teams then competed for a six-figure prize in the finals to be held at Gamescom 2016 from August 20–21. Turner Broadcasting's ELeague announced the first Overwatch Open tournament, starting in July 2016, with a total prize pool of $300,000, with plans to broadcast the finals on Turner's cable channel TBS in September 2016.
ESL, formerly known as Electronic Sports League, is an esports organizer and production company that produces video game competitions worldwide. ESL is the world's largest esports company, and the oldest that is still operational. Based in Cologne, Germany, ESL has eleven offices and multiple international TV studios globally. ESL is the largest esports company to broadcast on Twitch.tv.
Gamescom is a trade fair for video games held annually at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Beginning in 2018, it is organised by game – Verband der deutschen Games-Branche; and before that, by the Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (BIU). Until 2008, it was held in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. Gamescom is used by many video game developers to exhibit upcoming games and game-related hardware.
TBS is an American multichannel television network that is owned by the Turner Broadcasting System, a namesake subsidiary operating as a unit of AT&T's WarnerMedia. It carries a variety of programming, with a focus on comedy, along with some sports events, including Major League Baseball and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. As of September 2018, TBS was received by approximately 90.391 million households that subscribe to a pay television service throughout the United States.
In August 2016, Blizzard announced their own Overwatch international tournament, allowing users to vote for teams to represent their nation or region.Over 3 million votes to decide national teams were cast. The inaugural Overwatch World Cup was watched by 100,000 people at BlizzCon 2016. The South Korean team won the tournament, defeating the Russian team 4–0 in the final round.
The Overwatch World Cup 2016 was the inaugural Overwatch World Cup, an annual Overwatch eSports tournament, organized by Blizzard Entertainment, the game's developer. It was the first of the series, and took place at BlizzCon at the Anaheim Convention Center from November 4–5, 2016.
In March 2017, Blizzard announced Overwatch World Cup 2017.The selection of national teams for the 2017 World Cup was different from 2016 in that participating nations were required to vote for an Overwatch World Cup National Committee. The National Committees were based upon nominations chosen by Blizzard; according to Blizzard, "analysts, coaches, statisticians, and other authorities" recommended rosters for all stages of the competition. Blizzard announced the 2017 World Cup participants in April. The 2017 World Cup experienced an issue with several players on the Chinese team being denied visas to enter the United States for the final round, causing four players on the team to be replaced by substitutes.
The 2017 format of the event involved finding the average skill rating of the top 100 players of a nation; the top 32 nations determined by this metric qualified to participate in the tournament's group stage.The 32 qualifying teams advance to a group stage, where 4 nations are placed into 8 different groups. The top 2 teams from each group advance to a single-elimination playoff bracket. After the first stage of the playoff bracket, the final 8 teams compete at BlizzCon.
The OWC is broadcast through live stream channels on the Twitch service.Official live stream broadcast channels were provided in English, Chinese, Korean, French, Russian, German, Japanese, and Thai. Other languages are broadcast through community–run channels on the official Overwatch World Cup team page. Prior to the third edition of the event, Disney and Blizzard Entertainment announced a multiyear deal for coverage of Overwatch esports, including 2018's Overwatch World Cup.
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An MVP award for the Final Round of the OWC has been awarded since the inaugural tournament in 2016. Gong "Miro" Jin-hyuk of the South Korean team won the award in 2016.In 2017, T-Mobile, one of the tournament's sponsors presented the MVP award. 2017 MvP award was awarded to Félix "xQc" Lengyel of the Canadian team.
Esports is a form of competition using video games. Most commonly, esports takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players and teams. Although organized online and offline competitions have long been a part of video game culture, these were largely between amateurs until the late 2000s, when participation by professional gamers and spectatorship in these events through live streaming saw a large surge in popularity. By the 2010s, esports was a significant factor in the video game industry, with many game developers actively designing toward a professional esports subculture.
Heroes of the Storm is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and macOS, which released on June 2, 2015. The game features heroes from Blizzard's franchises including Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, The Lost Vikings, and Overwatch. The game uses both free-to-play and freemium models and is supported by micropayments, which can be used to purchase heroes, visual alterations for the heroes in the game, and mounts. Blizzard does not call the game a "multiplayer online battle arena" or an "action real-time strategy" because they feel it is something different with a broader playstyle; they refer to it as an online "hero brawler". At the end of 2018, Blizzard announced that game was being transitioned to a long-term support plan, with some staff members moved to other projects and its official tournament circuit cancelled.
OpTic Gaming is a professional American esports organization, who have teams competing in Call of Duty,Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Gears of War, League of Legends, Overwatch and Fortnite Battle Royale. It was founded in 2006 by Ryan "OpTic J" Musselman and "OpTic KR3W". The company is owned by Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman and Hector "H3CZ" Rodriguez.
Team Envy is an American esports organization primarily based in Dallas, Texas. Founded in 2007 as a professional Call of Duty team, they have since gone to field rosters in Counter-Strike, FIFA, Fortnite, Gears of War, Halo, League of Legends, Overwatch, Paladins, PUBG, Rocket League, SMITE, StarCraft, and Street Fighter.
Jacob Lyon, better known as Jake, is an American professional Overwatch player who plays for the Houston Outlaws in the Overwatch League. Prior to joining the Outlaws, he played for the teams -bird noises-, Hammers Esports, and Luminosity Gaming Evil, and was the captain of the 2017 United States Overwatch World Cup team.
ELEAGUE, shortened as EL, is an esports league and American television show that aired on TBS. It was announced in September 2015 as a partnership between Turner Broadcasting and talent agency WME/IMG. The name "ELEAGUE" was officially unveiled later that year.
The Overwatch League (OWL) is a professional esports league for the video game Overwatch, produced by its developer Blizzard Entertainment. The Overwatch League follows the model of other traditional North American professional sporting leagues by using a set of permanent, city-based teams backed by separate ownership groups. In addition, the league plays in the regular season and playoffs format rather than the use of promotion and relegation used commonly in other esports leagues, with players on the roster being assured a minimum annual salary, benefits, and a portion of winnings and revenue-sharing based on how that team performs. The League was announced in 2016 with its inaugural season taking place in 2018, with a total prize pool of US$3.5 million given to teams that year.
Kim Se-yeon, better known as Geguri (게구리), is a South Korean professional Overwatch player for the Shanghai Dragons, a former member of EHOME Spear and Rox Orcas. Geguri received international attention for the precision of her computer mouse movements. Following an incident in 2016 in which other professional players accused her of using aim assist software, she proved her ability in a monitored studio and was signed to a professional team that ultimately disbanded without participation in the first-division APEX tournament. In 2017, upon her signing to ROX Orcas, she was expected to become the first female professional Overwatch player. In 2018, she joined the Shanghai Dragons, and became the first female player of the Overwatch League.
Dallas Fuel is an American professional Overwatch team based in Dallas, Texas. The team competes in the Overwatch League (OWL) as a member of the league's Pacific Division, and is one of its 12 founding organizations.
List of events in 2018 in esports.
Félix Lengyel, better known as xQc or xQcOW is a Canadian professional Overwatch player and Twitch streamer who played the main tank position for the Dallas Fuel in the Overwatch League for part of the inaugural season, before being released due to repeated controversy. He later joined Gladiators Legion, an Overwatch Contenders team affiliated with Overwatch League's Los Angeles Gladiators, as a substitute Main Tank. xQc has also played in the Overwatch World Cup as the main tank for Team Canada in 2017 and 2018.
Brandon Larned, better known as Seagull, is an American video game streamer and retired professional Overwatch player. Early in the game's history, Larned established himself as one of the most popular Overwatch streamers on Twitch. As an esports competitor, Larned represented Luminosity Gaming and then NRG Esports, before leaving the active roster of the latter to resume streaming full time. He returned to competitive play with Team EnVyUs shortly before its roster became the Dallas Fuel, one of the teams in the newly launched Overwatch League. At the end of the League's inaugural season, Larned once again announced that he would be stepping away from competitive play in favor of being a full-time streamer.
The Overwatch World Cup 2018 was an Overwatch esports tournament, organized by Blizzard Entertainment, the game's developer. It was the third Overwatch World Cup. It featured 24 represented nations from around the world, with the final tournament taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center from November 2–3, 2018.
The 2017 StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) is the 2017 edition of the StarCraft II World Championship Series, the highest level of esports competition for StarCraft II. The tournament series' Global Finals were won by South Korean professional player Lee "Rogue" Byung Ryul.
The 2016 StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) is the 2016 edition of the StarCraft II World Championship Series, the highest level of esports competition for StarCraft II. The tournament series' Global Finals were won by South Korean professional player Byun "ByuN" Hyun Woo.