Two big tournaments in Dota 2 and Overwatch, The International 7 and Overwatch World Cup respectively, have had some details revealed about them recently.
The International 7 will take place on Aug. 7-12 in Seattle. Six teams have already been invited to participate in the tournament. The lucky sextet is OG, Virtus.pro, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming and Newbee. To fill the remaining 12 slots, Qualifiers will be held. Two spots are going to go to Europe, one to CIS, three to China, three to Southeast Asia, two to North America and one to South America. The Main Qualifiers will be held in the respective regions on Jun. 26-29.
The other thing we’d like to discuss is the Overwatch World Cup. The tournament will start with the group stage set to begin on July 13 with a tournament at Yun Space in Shanghai, China. China, Hong Kong, Norway and Romania will play there to get into the World Cup Finals. Group B will include Argentina, Denmark, Thailand and France. After that, the Group Stage will continue in The Star Events Centre in Sydney, Australia from Jul. 20 to 22. Group C will have Sweden, Australia, Italy and Portugal, while Group D will have Finland, Japan, Spain and Vietnam.
After that, the event will move to Katowice, Poland, where Group E will have South Korea, Netherlands, Poland and Austria and Group F will feature Canada, Russia, Singapore and Turkey. The Katowice tournament will be held on Aug. 04-06. The final leg of the Overwatch World Cup Group Stage will take place in Burbank, California on Aug. 11-13. Group G will have the United States of America, Taiwan, Brazil and New Zealand, while the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel and Belgium will fight in Group H.
While the goal of bringing the Overwatch World Cup live events to various parts of the world is definitely understandable, the system is quite complicated. The whole event will be held for approximately a whole month. Eight teams, one from each group, will make it into the Overwatch World Cup Finals event, which will be held from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14 at BlizzCon in Anaheim Convention Center. The event will only have a prize pool of $72,000. That seems like a lot of bother for a reasonably small reward, ignoring the matter of national pride, which isn’t that prevalent in the esports world in the first place.
The whole event seems to be more than it’s really worth, to be honest. Still, with Activision Blizzard’s vision of a global location-based Overwatch scene, modeled after traditional sports like basketball, the Overwatch World Cup does fit in the scaffold for the tournament scene that the developers seem to be shooting for. With location-based teams, regions will be more involved and some type of national pride might emerge. That is, of course, dependent on the Overwatch League being a huge success. If it turns out to be a total failure, none of this will matter. Sadly, information about the whole venture is still kind of scarce.