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Overwatch World Cup: The quarterfinal matchups

Blizzcon 2018

The Overwatch World Cup group stage qualifiers have come to a close. France versus the United Kingdom was the final match, and now Overwatch fans will have to wait until Nov. 2 to see these teams compete again. The eight teams headed to Blizzcon 2018 are Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. Let’s go ahead and break down the quarterfinal matchups that will be played this November.

France Versus Canada

Team Canada:
Courtesy of Dot Esports
  • Liam “Mangachu” Campbell
  • William “Crimzo” Hernandez
  • Felix “xQc” Lengyel
  • Lane “Surefour” Roberts
  • Brady “Agilities” Girardi
  • Lucas “NotE” Meissner
  • Chris “Bani” Benell

Team Canada went 4-1 with a 17-3 map score. Team Canada’s roster also includes former Overwatch League player xQc as well as two strong Contenders players in Mangachu and Crimzo. Other members include Surefour of the Los Angeles Gladiators, Agilities of the Los Angeles Valiant, NotE of the Boston Uprising and Bani of the Houston Outlaws. Canada lost their only maps to the United States, who ended up 5-0 in their qualifiers. Canada will be looking to make the final step to being the number one team in the world. Last year at Blizzcon, they made it to the finals, only to lose to the dominant South Korea. This year they have a taller order in facing France in the first round.

Team France:
  • Terence “SoOn” Tarlier
  • Dylan “aKm” Bignet
  • Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson
  • Gael “Poko” Gouzerch
  • Nicolas “NiCO” Moret
  • Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait
  • Michaël “winz” Bignet

Team France looked unstoppable in their qualifiers. They were 5-0 with a 19-2 map score. Their roster includes four Overwatch League players, SoOn of the LA Valiant, aKm and uNKOE of the Dallas Fuel and Poko of the Philadelphia Fusion. The other three members of their team includes NiCO, who plays for Eagle Gaming in Contenders, BenBest and winz. France made quick work of the United Kingdom in their game, taking all four maps. France will be looking to push for a place in the finals, after falling to South Korea in the semifinals last year. If they are able to play at the same level that they did during their qualifiers, look for them to come out strong for Blizzcon 2018. Especially if their fans show up with the same level of passion and support.

This is probably the best of the quarterfinal matchups. Both rosters boast a solid amount of Overwatch League talent, and had very good records in their group stages. Look to this game if you want to see high level play from the beginning. Expect the winner of this series to advance to the finals of Blizzcon 2018.

China Versus Finland

Team China
Blizzcon 2018
Courtesy of Liquipedia
  • Xu “guxue” Qiulin
  • Cai “Krystal” Shilong
  • Zheng “Shy” Yangjie
  • Huang “leave” Xin
  • Ma “Lateyoung” Tianbin
  • He “Sky” Junjian
  • Li “Yveltal” Xianyao

Team China impressed at the Bangkok qualifiers by going 5-0 with a map score of 16-7. These qualifiers were widely considered the group with the most similar skill levels. Three teams went 3-2 in this group. China only had one 4-0 map, but had one of the breakout stars of the qualifier in guxue. His tank play impressed so much that it is reported the Hangzhou expansion team is looking to add him to their roster for their first season in the Overwatch League. China had various visa problems for last years Blizzcon, and had to replace four of their players. This year they have made sure that every player has their visa in order. They may have the skill to take down Finland.

Team Finland
  • Timo “Taimou” Kettunen
  • Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin
  • Tuomo “Davin” Leppänen
  • Joonas “zappis” Alakurtti
  • Joona “Fragi” Laine
  • Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni
  • Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara

Team Finland consists of six Overwatch League players, including the LA Gladiators support duo of BigGoose and Shaz. While they finished second in their group, it was to South Korea. They finished 4-1 with a 16-4 map score. Not many people are talking about how strong this Finnish team truly is. They dropped three maps to South Korea and one to Russia, showing that they can truly fight with the best of them.

This matchup is widely considered the closest of the series, and rightfully so. China dropped a few maps against their opponents, while Finland was not able to overcome the powerhouse that is South Korea. If any second seed were to upset a first seed, look for it to be in this match. The winner of this stage will go on to face the winner of France versus Canada.

USA Versus UK

Team USA:
Blizzcon 2018
Courtesy of USA Today
  • Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles
  • Jay “sinatraa” Won
  • Grant “moth” Espe
  • Indy “SPACE” Halpern
  • Austin “Muma” Wilmot
  • Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty
  •  Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo

Team USA looks to be on fire headed into Blizzcon 2018. They came out swinging in their qualifiers, and swept 5-0, with a map score of 18-2. They boast an extremely strong lineup who never really seemed challenged until they played against Canada, where they still won 3-1. Their roster consists of six Overwatch League players, along with ZachaREEE, who plays on Fusion University, the Contenders academy affiliate to the Philadelphia Fusion.

The United States has lost to South Korea in the quarterfinals the past two Blizzcons, and must feel relieved that they are not playing them this first round. They will feel confident going into this series, and must carry that confidence for their semifinal against their likely opponents, South Korea. If the US can hold their own and beat South Korea, which they have been aiming to do for years, many believe that they can win the entire tournament.

Team UK
  • Isaac “Boombox” Charles
  • Finley “Kyb” Adisi
  • Michael “MikeyA” Adams
  • Kai “KSP” Collins
  • Eoghan “Smex” O’Neill
  • Harrison “Kruise” Pond
  • Christopher “ChrisTFer” Graham

Team UK came into the final Overwatch World Cup group stage confident in their abilities. Players bantered that they would 4-0 France, but in reality they went 4-1, with a 15-5 map score. They lost 4-0 to France in the final battle of the group stages. They had a solid roster, with one Overwatch League player in Boombox, of the Philadelphia Fusion. The rest of their roster includes Kyb and MikeyA from the British Hurricane, the academy team for the London Spitfire. KSP plays for Young and Beautiful, Smex plays for NRG Esports, and Kruise plays for Toronto Esports, the Contenders partner of the Boston Uprising. At last years Blizzcon, they lost their quarterfinal game against Sweden.

All things considered, this should be a walk in the park for the United States. They come into this series with confidence, skill and experience. Although the UK will fight hard, and hopefully have a good time, their Blizzcon 2018 will most likely be short lived. Expect a quick round for this one.

South Korea Versus Australia

Team South Korea:
Blizzcon 2018
Courtesy of USA Today
  • Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park
  • Hae-seong “Libero” Kim
  • ae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee
  • Tae-hong “MekO” Kim
  • Pan-seung “Fate” Koo
  • Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang
  • Yeon-joon “ArK” Hong

South Korea. The two time defending Overwatch World Cup champions. They will be looking to three-peat, and look poised to do so. Though many argue that this years South Korean team looks weaker than in previous years, others argue that the synergy set by an entirely Overwatch League roster, especially when five of the seven players all play for the same team, the New York Excelsior. They went 5-0, with a 19-2 map score. They lost those two maps in their five map series against Finland.

Team Australia:
  • Huseyin “Hus” Sahin
  • James “Yuki” Stanton
  • Felix “Ckm” Murray
  • eyton “Punk” Gilchrist
  • Ashley “Trill” Powell
  • Dario “Akraken” Falcao-Rassokha
  • Scott “Custa” Kennedy

Australia made it to Blizzcon 2018 in the tightest fashion of all the teams. They were one of three teams that finished 3-2 in the Bangkok qualifiers, alongside Denmark and Sweden. With a map score of 14-7, they made it as the second seed for Blizzcon. They boast one Overwatch League talent, Custa. With a rowdy support system in the Australian fans, they will be hoping to put on a fun showing, as well as put up a fight for the Overwatch League and Contenders scouts that will be in attendance at Blizzcon 2018.

Though fans of many teams will be rooting for Australia, the powerhouse that is South Korea will be looking to make an easy next step towards the semifinals. Expect them to play tight, composed and tactical. Will Australia be able to take a map? Or will the kings of Overwatch be crowned once again?

Need More?

Follow me on Twitter @awheatondude I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Engaget

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