In less than a week, we Americans will have the opportunity to elect the next American president, and determine our destiny as a country together. It’s a beautiful thing, if a bit marred by the grim knowledge that a significant portion of our fellow voters want to put into power a narcissistic, amoral con artist who looks increasingly likely to be at least one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. But hey, that’s The Great Experiment, right? Democracy is wonderful.
In the case of Overwatch‘s World Cup, which began its Group Stage last weekend, democracy may have shit the bed again. The sixteen teams, each representing a country, were chosen by a combination of popular vote and captain’s pick. It turns out that a popularity contest might not always produce a particularly formidable team, as evidenced by the Australian team and their hapless Youtuber captain, Muselk.
Image via Youtube
Team Russia and Team USA started things off by sweeping aside Germany and Chile to battle it out with one another for the top spot in their group. Team USA’s captain, Seagull, seemed to meet his match in Shadowburn’s incredible Genji, and no amount of Dark Side powers from Actual Sith Lord Gods could keep Russia from taking the number one seed.
Thailand captured our hearts and minds with their goofy “I’m-on-TV!” faces, their obvious affection for one another, and their pre-game dabs, but were inevitably eliminated in a crazy three-way tiebreaker with France and China. France, for that matter, were punching above their weight class for most of the tournament. They were also the only team to include a woman in their roster, Kitty, whose clutch sleep darts as Ana often made the difference between success and failure.
South Korea has finally made their Overwatch debut
Canada got destroyed early in their group, since Overwatch isn’t played on ice. Possibly the biggest upset of the Group stage so far was Spain’s defeat of Sweden, one of the favorites to win the tournament. Bromas was instrumental in finding picks over the course of the game, but without the talents of Harryhook, maybe the most versatile player in the game right now, I feel like this would have been impossible.
Finally, South Korea has finally made their Overwatch debut, absolutely annihilating the other teams. If you follow League of Legends or Starcraft, you’re probably not too surprised by this news, especially with Overwatch‘s rising popularity in the PC bangs of South Korea. Traditionally, though, esports in the FPS category have been dominated by American and European teams, so this is newer ground for Korea’s professional gaming scene. They’ll be going up against Team USA in the semi finals, which will be as good a test as any.
Semi finals for the World Cup begin this Friday at Blizzcon. For more information about who’s playing who, check here.