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Overwatch World Cup returns in 2023 with 36 teams announced cover image

Overwatch World Cup returns in 2023 with 36 teams announced

#News

The worldwide classic returns for the first time since 2019, bringing the Overwatch World Cup in 2023 to Overwatch 2.

Missing in action since 2019, the Overwatch World Cup will return in 2023. This will be the first time the worldwide tournament will take place in Overwatch 2, with 36 vying for the title. Utilizing online trials and qualifiers, the LAN-based finals will see the top 16 teams battle for gold in June.
Will the United States repeat its storybook run from 2019? Is South Korea the frontrunner? What's China even going to be doing, given that Overwatch 2 isn't even currently available there?
Blizzard answered many of these questions, so let's take a look.

Overwatch World Cup 2023: 36 teams, six groups

<em>The 2019 OWWC United States championship team. Credit: <a href="https://mobile.twitter.com/usaowwc" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">@USAOWWC</a></em>
The 2019 OWWC United States championship team. Credit: @USAOWWC
Taking place over trial weekends in February and formed in April the 36 teams in Overwatch World Cup 2023 will be split into six regions. In June the teams will compete for the 16 slots at the grand finals.
The teams include:

Americas Conference (AMER):

AMER A
AMER B
Canada
Argentina
Costa Rica
Brazil
Guatemala
Chile
Mexico
Colombia
Puerto Rico
Ecuador
United States
Peru

Asia-Pacific Conference (APAC):

APAC A
APAC B
Chinese Taipei
Australia
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Malaysia
Japan
New Zealand
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Thailand

Europe and Middle East Conference (EMEC):

EMEC A
EMEC B
Belgium
Germany
France
Norway
Great Britain
Poland
Italy
Saudi Arabia
Netherlands
Sweden
Spain
Turkey

What about China?

<em>Seems like a metaphor. (Image via liliandcandy77 on Weixin) </em>
Seems like a metaphor. (Image via liliandcandy77 on Weixin)
Now, you may be wondering "What about China?" Given that recent disruptions to the Blizzard/Netease relationship essentially killed all Blizzard games in the region, the Overwatch World Cup has a special stipulation in place.

"Given the current dynamics in China, and that a team from China has always performed very well, including two second place finishes in the last two Overwatch World Cups, a Team from China will receive a direct invitation to the Group Stage. There will be no World Cup Trials in China, and the Team will not compete in the Online Qualifiers. The tryouts process in China will differ from that of other countries/regions. We will share more information with players in the China region regarding that process directly."

Blizzard, on China's inclusion in the OWWC
Blizzard notes that teams from countries not listed will have their shot in the double-elimination tournament. This will come in the form of a wild card challenge, to be announced Feb. 1. Prize details have yet to be revealed.
The different stories and angles at work for this return of the Overwatch World Cup in 2023 should be a sight to behold. If you're looking to get in on the action then check out all the details over on Blizzard's OWWC page.
Keep eyes on Esports.gg for more Overwatch World Cup 2023 information as it becomes available.
Will Harrison
Will Harrison
Editor | Twitter @Hammer_Barn
Will has over a decade of print and digital journalism experience, with bylines in Polygon, The Escapist, The Toledo Blade, The Austin American-Statesman, and more. He's also the host of the World of Warcraft lore podcast Essence of Azeroth, loves Murlocs just a bit too much, and owns too many cats.