South Korea tops the 2018 Overwatch World Cup preliminaries

The preliminary round of the 2018 Overwatch World Cup are over and the Group Stage is set, with the top 24 countries set to do battle for a shot at the title at BlizzCon.   

The Group Stage breaks down into four groups of six, each competing under the auspices of a host nation: 

South Korea:

  • Russia
  • Finland
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Hong Kong

United States:

  • Canada
  • Austria 
  • US
  • Brazil
  • Switzerland
  • Norway


  • China
  • Australia
  • Sweden
  • Thailand
  • Spain
  • Denmark


  • UK
  • Poland
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • France

China was the top-ranking non-host nation in the preliminaries, with an average Skill Rating of 4485, one point behind top-ranked South Korea. The US was also very near the top of the heap at 4446, as was France at 4293, while Thailand was quite a distance back at 3959, an SR that would excluded it from the group stage if it was not a host nation. Canada, which I single out for mention because I live there, came on fourth place (excluding host nations) with an average SR of 4269.

The actual group stage action won't begin until August: First comes the Competition Committee creation process, which will see a general manager, coach, and community lead chosen to head up each nation's team. Applications for the coach and community lead roles are open to anyone (there's a link to apply on the Overwatch World Cup site), and players from qualified countries can vote for as many candidates as they want for each role. The GM selection process is a little more complicated: Applications must be emailed directly to Blizzard, which will select each nation's GM directly.

South Korea came out on top in the 2017 World Cup, but Canada kicked some ass too. Read all about it right here.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.