Overwatch World Cup to end 3-year hiatus with valiant return in 2023

Thirty-six countries will vie for a world championship over the course of 2023.

Some of competitive Overwatchs brightest stars rose to glory by fighting their way through the Overwatch World Cup, a global competition that demands both talent and tenacity. Due to COVID-19, the tournament has been dormant for three years and many in the scene considered it a lost cause thanks to the ever-shifting global climate. 

In a surprise announcement after the Legends Battle tournament, which took place in South Korea over the past few days, developers and community leaders revealed that the Overwatch World Cup will return in 2023. An included trailer advertised the tournament as a chance for countries to become the first World Cup champions of Overwatch 2

Thirty-six countries will participate in the next World Cup. These countries will be revealed in January 2023, according to a blog post about the event. After trials and tryouts taking place throughout the year, the 36 teams will compete in World Cup qualifiers in June 2023. Sixteen teams then move on to a group stage LAN event, where a final eight teams will qualify for the World Cup finals.

Activision Blizzard has yet to announce if BlizzCon, the companys yearly celebration of its games and fans that is often held around Halloween, will return this year. The timeline set forth by the Overwatch World Cup hints at its revival in 2023, though. Previous World Cup finals were always held during BlizzCon. 

The last Overwatch World Cup was held in 2019, with Team United States taking its first victory after four years of competition. Team South Korea held the title for the first three years of the World Cup and is expected to be the favorite heading into 2023. Though the list of participating countries has yet to be announced, fans can likely expect appearances from favorites like Team Sweden, Team Canada, and Team Brazil. 

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