With the announcement of Blizzcon and not a peep about the Overwatch World Cup, fans are wondering if it will happen. What the Overwatch World Cup brings to the community is not only a nationalistic team cheering experience, but also the opportunity to see players who aren’t on the same team play together or reunite old favorite pairings. The problem is that these matches are high stress and eats into the break for the Overwatch League pros. Last year there were many Korean players who turned down the invitation to play for the South Korean Overwatch League team because they wanted to rest.
There is only a limited amount of spots on an Overwatch World Cup team and many fans are sad when their favorite players don’t get picked. Here is a proposal for a fun, low stress, alternative to the Overwatch World Cup.
As this wouldn’t be a league like the Overwatch League or APEX, it wouldn’t follow those rules. The World Cup is even larger than this proposed tournament, so a group stage may not make sense. A double elimination would conceptually seem to be the right fit.
For the actual matches it would be a best of 5, with the loser picking the next match. The matches would always start on King of the Hill maps. There would be no hero pools or 2/2/2 lock, but instead would have the pick ban system that the Lunatic-Hai vs Runaway matches tried out. This would give a good variety of heroes and comps. As well fans would still get to see their favorite players play their signature heroes, but also flex.
Another complaint of the Overwatch World Cup is that it is just all Pro Overwatch League players. A rule would be implemented in this tournament that a team must include at least 2 T2 players or streamers. There would be seven players on a roster max, which would ensure new talent would be introduced to the community. There could also be a number cap of how many players on the same Overwatch League team could be on a team.
For the teams there could be many different options. The obvious one would be to have it be a fan voted event. The top X number of voted players would become the captains. It could then spiral to a draft pick, as the Korean Overwatch Broadcast has done in the past, or it could just be captain team assembly in their own time.
Another route could be that all of the Overwatch League MVP candidates would automatically be captains. The same process of either a draft or individual crafting of teams could be done. This way would automatically create 10 teams, which might be too many for the format.
The last option could be talent picked captains. The broadcast team could communally pick the players they think would succeed as a captain. This could throw in the aspect of mystery as fans would be surprised as the picks. It could allow for great social media content to be created. These teams could make up their own name, a logo; socials that could interact with the community during these down months from the Overwatch League.
The broadcast would be on Twitch. Some of the community might ask how is that possible when the Overwatch League is on YouTube? In the Lunatic-Hai versus Runaway show match they were able to produce and broadcast it on Twitch. This aspect is very important as it goes into the prize pool.
OGN has always been a front runner in broadcasting esports. Many of the PD involved have known these players since APEX. It would be great to see how OGN has evolved since the beginning in broadcasting Overwatch.
The initial prize pool would be given by Blizzard Korea. But this initial amount would just be a starting point. It would be crowd funded by the fans. Any of the reveal streams or games the fans would be able to donate bits/money towards a certain team. Think about it as the Overwatch League bit leaders in previous seasons or like Harry Potter House Points. The Korean fans have always done tiered prizes for players’ birthdays or anniversary subway signs or gift drops. Each team (or the tournament organizers) could set up tier incentives. If a team reached X amount of dollars they will do a fan meet and greet or play with fans online or do a karaoke stream.
This could have some kind of buy in for the teams as well. Such as the top team who has the most donations gets something as a reward.
There could be, if on Twitch, a buy in player POVs like the Overwatch League did in Season 1 and 2. These 10 dollars would then go towards the pool as well. If Korea was open enough to have it in a venue with an audience some of the revenue for seating tickets could also go towards the prize pool.
Alternative to the OWWC?
There is so much that goes into organizing a tournament. Surely there would be some players who would just want to rest. But if this tournament didn’t require traveling to other countries, was less stress as they wouldn’t be representing their country like the World Cup, and was a fun way to interact with their friends, maybe less players would turn this opportunity down.
This could be good scouting events for League teams to see the up and coming Korean t2 talent as well as how players interact with each other. This article of course doesn’t cover everything, but it does spark the question what tournaments could be done in place of the World Cup that would garner the same interest and harm the players less.
*This was only constructed for a Korean tournament setting, but could be replicated in NA/EU with a couple alterations in the design.
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