World Cup Qualifiers Round-Up
South Korea dominated while Australia upset Japan to take their place in the Top 8.
The top 8 teams battled it out over the past month and a half to figure out who would be punching their tickets to Anaheim, California for the Overwatch World Cup Top 8 matches in BlizzCon. Miss anything? We've got you covered in the recaps below:
China and France advance
China put on a show in front of its home crowd in Shanghai, failing to drop a single map in the Group Stages before once again sweeping their opponent, Thailand, in the playoffs, earning them the first spot in the Top 8. The team, made up of four LGD Gaming players, one Invictus Gaming player and a final free agent, were able to decidedly handle whoever they were up against, thanks in part to uNdeAd and Eileen's DPS play.
France - made up entirely of Rogue - clearly established themselves as the best of the best in their group, dominating most other teams. The teamwork that France has under the Rogue banner was very apparant, with the team's coordination being able to out-play whatever any other team threw their way, save for two map wins from Thailand and Denmark. Norway failed to be a big problem for France in the Playoffs, with France sweeping them in the best-of-five.
Sweden and Australia advance
Sweden's mostly-Misfits lineup had some issues against Portugal, tying the match thanks to Portugal taking Lijang and Volskaya, making them one of three teams that qualified for BlizzCon while not going 3:0 overall in their group. Despite that minor hiccup, however, Sweden was able to overpower Spain's roster and take their spot in the Top 8.
Group D willl have no representation in the Top 8 thanks to the home team being able to edge out the Japanese squad in a best-of-five that went the distance. Blank Esport's entire roster came to play for Australia, with Kiki's D.va play leading the way and grabbing those clutch support kills necessary to keep Japan down. The final blow came from Oasis, where Japan failed to get a full point on the board and Australia having the honor of upsetting a high-seeded team for the first time in the tournament.
South Korea and Canada advance
South Korea has a stacked roster, with three members of Lunatic-Hai - aka the APEX Seasons 2 and 3 champions - two LW Blue team members and the final hailing from Afreeca-Freecs Blue. Though they played well together, it was more about who could mechanically dominate the other team, to which South Korea seemingly held no contest. Ryujehong's legendary support came in handy in their playoff match against Russia, keeping his players alive and well throughout the entire match to earn the team a chance at repeating their dominate performance from last year at BlizzCon.
The most dramatic group of the qualifiers, Group F saw a tie for first between Russia and Canada after the two teams went 2:0 against the other teams in the group and then tied 2:2 against each other. The score was settled on Oasis, where Russia failed to take a point against the Canadians. With that settled, Canada had smooth sailing against the Netherlands in the Playoffs phase, with Agilities and Surefour taking most of the credit by out-performing the latter and sweeping the Netherlands in a 3:0 scoreline.
United States and United Kingdom advance
The United States held their own against their fellow Group G teams, only dropping a map to to Taiwan the entire day. When push came to shove, Jake's Soldier: 76 came up huge with multiple killstreaks and ultimates that paid off big. When Germany was the last team in their way, Jake once again was the nail in the coffin, holding the highground despite pesky Genji's trying to keep him away. It was exactly what USA needed to put Germany away.
United Kingdom proved that their team was better than the rest with a sweep in their Group Stage as well as highlighted the importance of good support heroes. EUnited's Boombox once again proved to be as deadly of a DPS as he was good at healing, consistently getting kills normal Zenyattas couldn't accomplish. A quick quad-kill as Soldier: 76 against Israel outstanding, the support player's fantastic Zenyatta play stole the show in most fights, allowing the UK to take down anyone in their path. Boombox's heals were only complimented by Smex's D.Va and Kruise's Genji play when up against Chinese Taipei in their Playoff match, with the UK sweeping the former to become the final team in the Top 8.
With the final eight locked in, the last stop for the Overwatch World Cup is at Blizzcon on November 3-4 for the title of Overwatch World Cup 2017 champions and the honor of having their team's name etched onto the new Overwatch World Cup trophy for years to come. The bracketing for those matches will be chosen at random and will be streamed on August 28.
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