World Cup begins in Korea

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The Overwatch World Cup has started in Incheon, Korea, with Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan all competing for their chance to go to the playoffs at BlizzCon in November. The top two teams will move on, and after the first day, it seems that Russia, South Korea, and Finland all have a good chance at taking the prize.

There are still two days of games left, and the World Cup website has the estimated times of each match. Note that unlike the Overwatch League, the starting times are only estimates, and one-sided games can make the event go a bit faster. Keep that in mind so that if your team is playing, tune in early!

The first day of the World Cup was plagued with a handful of problems, such as microphone audio being too quiet or too loud, incorrect graphics displayed, and during the Finland vs. South Korea match-up, the LAN connection for the players disconnected, forcing the map to be start over once it was working again.

On the plus side, it turns out that Jake from the Houston Outlaws is a pretty good analyst, and can even poke fun at himself and a commerial he was in. Here is the original commercial for context. A huge thank you to redditors for those links.

RunAway wins Korean Contenders Season 2

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Last weekend the finals for the Korean Contenders were held in Seoul where RunAway and KongDoo Panthera faced off.

Taking it to 8 maps, RunAway defeated KongDoo Panthera 4-3. In fact, RunAway essentially pulled a reverse sweep because, after winning the first map, KongDoo won the next three, with a tie in there for good measure.

Both of these teams had come close to success in the past. Winning Contenders Season 2 was a huge moment for RunAway after they took second during both APEX Seasons 2 and 4. KongDoo Panthera themselves reached second back in APEX Season 3. APEX was the precursor tournament to Contenders. A handful of players on those teams later found themselves in the Overwatch League, such as Fissure and Mono.

Kaplan hits the forums.

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Jeff Kaplan seemed to have taken a summer break from responding or commenting on the Overwatch forums, but this week he had a few things to say.

Responding to a thread about players feeling Rialto favors the defenders too much, he came in with the numbers saying Attackers in 42.88% of the time. They try to balance around a 50-50 win rate, and don’t feel 43% is out of line, but may make some small tweaks to even it out a bit.

Asked about country flags in-game, he said they try to include as many as they legally can, and would love to have every flag represented, but that isn’t possible. Some countries are more protective of their flag’s use than others. Poland’s flag was recently removed for legal reasons.

Lastly, when asked if a 4v4 version of Lucioball would ever come out, he said they tried a lot of different team sizes and field sizes, and ultimately decided 3v3 felt right. It seems that in other words, “No.”

Notable News

  • In an interview with GameSpot, Diablo 3 Senior Producer Pete Stilwell said that Overwatch on the Nintendo Switch is a possibility, but don’t count on it. Diablo 3 is coming to the Switch later this year.

  • The third wave of BlizzCon Tickets go on sale on Saturday, August 18! Go to their site for more info.

  • Team Canada coach and Dallas Fuel Assistant Coach Jayne is holding a Widowmaker tournament on Saturday, August 18, with a prize pool of $1000.

  • The Open Division begins this weekend. The regular season is 5 weeks long, and those who reach the playoffs will participate in a sixth week. The top four Open Division teams will get a chance to fight for Contenders positions, if any are available, in Contenders Trials.

  • Overwatch League caster Hexagrams did a Reddit AMA where he talked about how the season went, getting the call that ZP wouldn’t be in OWL, and provided lots of great advice about those wanting to be in the business.

  • Toronto is rumored to be getting its own OWL team, owned by Splyce.

  • The Philadelphia Fusion and Fusion University are holding open tryouts! Those who have had a career high SR of 4300 or higher may fill out a form to be considered for the tryouts.