For those of us who play Overwatch, Blizzcon can feel a lot like Christmas. Not only is a new hero likely to be unveiled this weekend, but eight teams from around the world will be going to head to head in the game’s second annual world cup.
After fangirling through the group stages this summer, here are my predictions:
UNITED KINGDOM vs SWEDEN
Prediction: 3-1 for United Kingdom
If Sweden has a chance at winning, it lies solely on the shoulders of its DPS player TviQ. TviQ is one of the best Overwatch players in the world, and certainly better than any one of the players on the UK’s team, but the fact of the matter is that Overwatch is a team game. The UK doesn’t have any one player you can point to as a ringer, but their superb team chemistry makes them far greater than the sum of their parts. They have the winning combination of skill and communication.
Barring a legendary team carry from TviQ, the UK will shouldn’t have any trouble out-flexing Sweden.
AUSTRALIA vs CANADA
Prediction: 4-0 for Canada
Mechanically speaking, there is nothing wrong with Australia’s play style. They play well together and hung on better than most expected them to with the dive meta this year, but there comes a point where hanging on just won’t cut it. Autralia is easily the weakest out of the eight teams, and with the new Mercy meta shaking things up yet again, it’s even more unlikely that they’ll make it past the first round.
With Mangachu, Agilities, and Surefour, Canada has a stacked front line. Australia won’t be a problem, but the question is how far they will get afterwards. The team has two weaknesses: straying too far from a comp they’re comfortable with, and xQc’s temper. Canada could have pulled off a 12-0 win in their group stage, but Roolf’s experimental Sombra play shows an importance for the team to stick to what they know. xQc is an outstanding Winston player, but has shown time and time again that one mistake will leave him frustrated and prone to making mistakes for the rest of the game… Worst case scenario, his toxicity may even affect the entire team’s gameplay. However, keep these two things in check, and Canada will have no trouble making it to the finals.
FRANCE vs CHINA
Prediction: 2-2 (overtime win) for China
France has a unique advantage coming into this tournament. They are the only country who called up its entire roster from a single professional league team. This means that while others in the tournament had to learn to synergize with whoever was drafted along side them, the Frenchmen have already had experience working as a unit with Rogue, to great success. It’s not something to be underestimated.
However, China’s out for blood, and being the number one ranked team in the world, won’t be happy leaving Blizzcon with anything less than a gold medal. They have a perfect record coming in, and have their sights set squarely on South Korea. It is possible that France will get in the way of their goal, but I’d give the edge to China given their track record so far. The real winners will be those at the Blizzcon stadium who get to watch this exciting game live. It’s going to be that close.
SOUTH KOREA vs USA
Prediction: 4-0 South Korea
Poor USA, not only is sinatraa most likely going to be forced by the meta to drop his signature Tracer, but the stars and stripes have the misfortune of facing off against the inevitable winners of the tournament.
If the entire South Korean team fell ill, forcing the coach to draft the next six best players from the country to compete… they would still probably win this tournament. They are the Micheal Phelps of Overwatch. They won last year, they will win this year, and they will win next year. The legacy of professional Overwatch will become synonymous with footage of them being handed trophies.
I would love to see a come from behind victory from team USA, if only to see the tournament become something more interesting than a race for second place, but even playing with the idea of a 3-1 victory for South Korea seems disingenuous.
If by some miracle USA can channel the hometown advantage into a win it will be the biggest upset in esports history, not to mention amazing press for the game… but let’s face it, there’s a better chance of Zarya getting a decent legendary skin.