Overwatch World Cup 2023: Schedule, group stage & how to watch

Overwatch World Cup 2023Blizzard

The Overwatch World Cup is back for 2023, and here’s all you need to know on the schedule, teams, and how to watch it.

It has been three long years since we have seen the last Overwatch World Cup in 2019, and it is finally back. A lot has changed between 2019 and now, with former champions and competitors retired, a huge meta shift with the release of Overwatch 2, and new faces ready to take the trophy. 

The tournament is traditionally held at BlizzCon, a gaming convention held by Blizzard, in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Convention Center. 2023’s World Cup was not confirmed to be held at Blizzcon, but we expect it to follow tradition.

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Here are all the details you need to know about the Overwatch World Cup this time around, including the schedule, group stages, and where to watch online.

Contents

South Korea at Overwatch World Cup 2017Blizzard
South Korea at the 2017 Overwatch World Cup event.

Overwatch World Cup 2023: Where to watch 

In previous years, the World Cup has been streamed on the Overwatch League’s Twitch channel, but ever since Activision Blizzard’s deal with YouYube Gaming in 2020, the games will most likely be streaming on the Overwatch League’s YouYube channel. 

As always, there’s a good chance we see various co-streams along the way too, so fans can likely tune into their favorite OW personalities.

We will embed the broadcast here for your convenience when action gets underway.

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Overwatch World Cup 2023: Schedule & Format

Before the main playoff event, there will be two programs to determine who gets to play on LAN. There will be the World Cup Trials, to determine what team will represent their country. And then the online qualifier, where countries will go head to head in their groups to determine who will make it to the Lan Finals.

In February, the applications for each selected country’s competition committee will begin. The committee consists of three roles. The General Manager, who is responsible for team operations and communication with Blizzard, the Coach, who is responsible for the tryouts, player selection, and competitive aspects of the team, and the Social Lead, who is responsible for the team’s social media and content relating to it. 

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The LA Gladiators in a team huddleRobert Paul/Blizzard
The LA Gladiators in a team huddle.

Right after the applications, Trials will commence in each country over three weekends. The dates are: February 10 – 12, February 17-19, and February 24-26.

Once the committee has been appointed, they will be responsible for organizing any additional tryouts in March, and finalizing a team of seven players in April.

In June all 36 selected countries will play in an online qualifier group stage to earn one of 15 spots in the Lan Finals. 

No dates have been given as to when the World cup will start, but it has traditionally started around late October to early November. We’ll update you here once exact dates are announced.

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Overwatch World Cup 2023: Online Qualifier

Before going into the playoffs, there will be online qualifiers for three different regions. 5 spots each for the Americas Conference (AMER), Europe and Middle East Conference (EMEC), and the Asia-Pacific Conference (APAC). 

Each country was chosen based on the game’s player population data. But countries not represented will have a chance to qualify through the Wild Card Challenge.

Each conference will be segmented into two different groups, A and B. The A group will have 3 qualifying spots and the B group will have 2 qualifying spots. 

AMER AAMER B
CanadaArgentina
Costa RicaBrazil
GuatemalaChile
MexicoColombia
Puerto RicoEcuador
United StatesPeru
EMEC AEMEC B
BelgiumGermany
FranceNorway
Great BritainPoland
ItalySaudi Arabia
NetherlandsSweden
SpainTurkey
APAC AAPAC B
Chinese TaipeiAustralia
Hong KongIndia
IndonesiaMalaysia
JapanNew Zealand
PhilippinesSingapore
South KoreaThailand

Overwatch World Cup 2023: LAN Group Stage 

There will be a total of 20 teams participating in the LAN Group Stage. 15 from the Online Qualifier, 4 from the Wild Card Challenge, and one spot for a Chinese team.

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Due to the shutdown of Overwatch’s servers in China, and that the country has historically performed well at the World Cups, they have been given a spot in the Group Stage. The 4 spots from the Wild Card Challenge are for countries that are not represented in the Online Qualifier. 

The group stage has not been drawn of yet, but we’ll update you here once that stage comes into focus.

Overwatch World Cup 2023: Teams & Players

As it’s still early days yet, with team committees not yet formed, exact rosters are yet to be locked in. As a result, there’s no telling who we might see on stage when the finals come around later this year.

From popular Overwatch streamers to top-level OWL talent, anyone is capable of making it to the big stage. Be sure to check back over the coming weeks and months for further details as they emerge.

Overwatch World Cup 2023: Skins and cosmetics

Starting on 7 February, players can earn an exclusive charm celebrating the start of the Overwatch World Cup 2023. All players will have to do to obtain it is log in and play a game. 

Picture of the OWWC2023 weapon charmBlizzard

And Blizzard is also running a challenge exclusively for the participating teams. 

Out of the 36 selected teams for the World Cup, one will be able to win a custom in-game cosmetic. The winning team will be involved in the design process of the cosmetic item, making it exclusive to just the team. 

And for a team to win, players from their respective country will need to play any game mode from February 7-21. Every time a game is played it will give the team a point and put them up on the leaderboard.

But in the end, whichever team is on the top of the leaderboard will get the custom in-gam cosmetic.