Blizzard have posted match dates, venues, groups and participant country lineups for the upcoming Overwatch World Cup on their official website. The cup itself will be held across four different countries on three different continents.
Well, that's one feat FIFA never managed to pull off as their World Cups are normally held in up to two different countries and even then on the same continent. Well, such are the perks of having "e" in front of the sport.
The four host countries will be USA, France, Korea and Thailand for group stage which will culminate with playoffs in Anaheim, California. Group stage will go on from 17 August to 23 September 2018, with each group unfolding across a three day period.
Russia, Finland, Chinese Taipei, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong will duke it out in Incheon, Korea from 17 to 19 August 2018. Following them will be the group in Los Angeles, USA, consisting of Canada, Austria, USA, Brazil, Switzerland and Norway. This bout will run from 07 to 09 September 2018.
The third group will compete in Bangkok, Thailand from 14 to 16 September 2018. Participants in this group will be China, Australia, Sweden, Thailand, Spain and Denmark. Unlike other groups, the remaining one that will be held in Paris, France, is composed entirely of European teams - United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands and France. They will compete for the play off spots from 21 to 23 September 2018.
As previously mentioned, playoffs and finals will happen in Anaheim, CA, USA, during BlizzCon 2018. The playoffs will take place during 02 and 03 November 2018, where fans will be able to witness the second Kaplan-approved world champion, following Korea's triumph in 2017.
One might anticipate Koreans to win again though, as they have proven in the past that they are a dominant region when it comes to esports. For example, they have been ruling the League of Legends professional scene for five years, so who's to say they won't pull something similar in Overwatch? Time will tell.