The Overwatch World Cup Sydney Qualifier, where 8 teams from Group C and D will compete against each other, will be happening soon in Sydney, Australia. As many Overwatch fans expected, China and France made it to the playoffs in the Shanghai Qualifier. Despite these expectations however, the efforts put forth by Thailand and Norway were certainly nothing to scoff at.
Sweden, Australia, Italy, and Portugal are in Group C, with Finland, Japan, Spain, and Vietnam in Group D. In the Sydney Qualifier, each team will compete against the others for three days. Sweden, who was placed 3rd in last year’s World Cup, is in Group C, and Finland, which was placed 4th, is in Group D, and both are seen as the likely winning candidate. While they may be the favorites of the lineup, their victory is not assured, and some the other countries may yet defeat them and head to the playoffs.
Which two out of these teams will make it to BlizzCon? Here’s an analysis on the 8 national teams playing in the Sydney Qualifier.
■ Group C
▶ Sweden - Europe’s leading team, mostly represented by ‘Misfits’
Sweden is the favored winning candidate in Group C for the Sydney Qualifier as well as the World Cup Finals. Sweden was placed 4th in average skill rating of their top 100 players. They were also placed 3rd, following South Korea and Russia, in the Overwatch World Cup 2016. Sweden is expected to be a powerful team since TviQ, Zebbosai, and Chipshajen, who played in the 2016 World Cup, will be playing in the team this year as well.
Sweden also has many pro gamers from Misfits playing for the team- they actually went through a team rebuild; they swapped French players from Misfits for Swedish players from Rogue, and both teams had players with the same nationalities.
We can safely say that this team has both popularity and skill in abundance, as it is made up of pro gamers from famous teams that almost every Overwatch fan has heard of. The most notable of these team members are TviQ, who is said to have the widest DPS pool, and Chipshajen, the main healer for Team EnVyUs, an exception pro team.
▶ Australia - Has home advantage, will it be different for them this year?
Australia was placed 13th in average skill rating with 4,184 points, which places them in middle of the ranking. The team was in Group C for the Group Stage, and was eliminated by South Korea and Finland last year. This year, they are looking forward to making it to the playoffs, as they have replaced all of their members with new ones.
Just like France is made up of players all from Rogue, Australia’s players are all from Blank Esports. Having players from the same pro team to play in the national team will likely be more favorable since they will have better team plays and no need for separate time to work on teamwork. This seems to show how much Australia craves a spot in the playoffs.
Not only that, Australia will have home advantage this year, and this something that can’t be overlooked, as China made it to the playoffs with perfect victories in the Shanghai Qualifier. It won’t be easy for them to defeat Sweden, the giant in Group C, but it will be entertaining to see how Australia will perform as they strive to get closer to the playoffs.
▶ Italy - Avenge last year’s defeat against Sweden!
Italy was placed 20th in average skill rating with 4,068 points, and 3rd place in Group C. In last year’s World Cup, they made it to the European Qualifier playoffs, but lost to Sweden by 3-0, and failed to proceed to the World Cup playoffs. In this year’s World Cup, they were placed in the same group as Sweden, so many are eager to see whether they will be able to avenge last year’s defeat or not.
It seems that Italy has almost the same capacity as last year since carnifex, link, fighteR, and Nisa, who all played in last year’s World Cup, will be playing this year again. The only difference would be that these 4 players are no longer playing for ‘ExAequo’ since it was disbanded, and they joined new teams. Overall, Italy’s national team is made up of players from both Epok and UB.
It is notable that players seeking for revenge against Sweden have once again came together as one, but will their revenge succeed? We’re also looking forward to what Bimbz and Cerys, the new national players, will show us.
▶ Portugal - Team led by 2 pros from Laser Kittenz
Portugal was placed 29th in average skill rating with 3,930 points, putting them at the bottom of Group C. They failed to make it to the playoffs by 1-3 in Group C for the European Qualifier last year.
It seems that this year, mowzassa will be the core of the team, as he played in last year’s World Cup and is in this year’s Competition Committee. mowzassa and Greyy are from Laser Kittenz, a rising team that has been actively recruiting players from several different countries, including claris and Munchkin from South Korea. Other than these two, Portugal also has pro gamers from k1ck eSports Club and For The Win esports.
Fun Fact: Sweden, Australia, Italy, Portugal in Group C all are completely made up of pro gamers, and have 1 tank, 2 flex, 1 DPS, 2 support playing in the team.
■ Group D
▶ Finland - Taimou, the best DPS in the world, and the descendants of NIP = A dream team
Finland was placed the 5th in average skill rating with 4,295 points, and 1st in Group D. They were placed 4th when they lost by 1-2 in the match against Sweden in last year’s finals. This year, Finland’s national team has several competent players including Taimou, so many Overwatch fans are expecting Finland to proceed to the playoffs and also consider the team to be one of the winning candidates for this year.
If we were to pick one player who helped Finland become more powerful from last year to this year, that would be Taimou- Taimou, the DPS from Team EnVyUs, has extraordinary aim, and his McCree and Widowmaker is said to be world class. Nowadays he has been seen playing Soldier: 76, Sombra, and Reaper since the recent metas revolving around D.VA and Winston make it hard for Taimou to play his main heroes.
Other than Taimou, Finland also has 5 players from RIP, a new team created after NIP was disbanded. Among them are zappis and LiNkzr, who played in last year’s World Cup with Taimou; this year’s Finland team seems similar to last year’s, with Taimou being the main player of the team, although RIP pro gamers are also skilled players.
▶ Japan - All pro this year!
Japan was placed 12th in average skill rating with 4,184 points. They were placed 3rd in the Asian region, after China and Korea, although there is a 400 point gap.
Last year, they were unsuccessful in proceeding to the playoffs by scoring 1 win and 1 loss in the Asia-Pacific Qualifiers. Since Overwatch-related eSports weren’t firmly rooted in Japan when the 2016 Overwatch World Cup Group Stage was going on, Japan’s national team was comprised of non-pro gamers. However, Japan has pro gamers playing in the team this year, so hopefully they will fare better than last year.
Unlike the teams mentioned above, this team will have 1 tank / 1 flex / 2 DPS / 2 support; Jasper, their flex player, will play both the sub tank and DPS.
▶ Spain - Returned to claim vengeance on Finland!
Spain has been placed 21st in average skill rating, and 3rd in Group D. It may seem like their abilities are lacking based on their skill rating, but this is not true, as spain is actually one of the more powerful teams. Spain was placed 1st in Group A by defeating Sweden, a winning candidate, in last year’s Overwatch World Cup Group Stage. Later, they lost against Finland in the quarterfinals, although they managed to leave a strong impression in the minds of the Overwatch fans.
BromaS and neptuNo, two DPS, especially shined throughout the matches; BromaS displayed god-like aim in every single match and was selected as the MVP for the match against Finland. In addition to this, Winghaven, a main tank who used to play for Reunited, and HarryHook, a healer from Team EnVyUs, will be playing in the national team- these four players came together to lead Spain once more to the playoffs.
Many fans are looking forward to whether Spain will be able to avenge their defeat from last year’s World Cup this year or not. Looking back, it was just one set that decided the fate of these two teams last year; this year’s Sydney Qualifier will be a good chance to find out which team is better.
▶ Vietnam - Unsure of victory against Finland and Spain
Vietnam was placed 28th in average skill rating, and 4th in Group D. Last year, they were eliminated in the Asia-Pacific Qualifier, and failed to make it to the playoffs. This year, they are sending all 6 pro gamers from Cyzone VN to play in the national team, though it is still doubtful that they will overcome Finland and Spain and make it to the playoffs.
VirusS, from last year’s Competition Committee, was again chosen this year, and Kjerry, who played in last year’s World Cup, will be playing the main tank for his team again, thus we expect their team plays to revolve around Kjerry.
By the way, for those who didn't know yet- you can get FREE Blizzard Balance by joining our Free Blizzard Balance Giftcard Event! Click here for more details!
Sort comment by :