Overwatch World Cup Champions – The Kings From the East
In an astonishingly exciting finish, South Korea sealed the Bo7 series against Canada 4-1. The last year’s Overwatch World Cup champions showed once again why APEX is still the best Overwatch league in the world. But first, let’s see what led up to this exciting matchup in the grand final.
Sweden vs. Canada – Overwatch World Cup Semifinals
Even though Sweden was objectively a favourite against Canada, it seems the home turf played a role in Canada’s extremely well played series. The home team struggled in the quarterfinals, continued to struggle in the semifinals too, but in both of those matchups, they emerged victorious after going the distance.
First map was Nepal. Canada immediately showed why they should not get taken lightly by cleanly 2-0-ing Sweden, controlling the point 100% in both rounds. Swedes weren’t even close to winning, finishing at mediocre 14% and 56%.
Second map was King’s Row. Despite Canada repeatedly showing preference for this map, they came up short against Sweden, same as against Australia yesterday, failing to push the cart past the second checkpoint. Swedes pushed it all the way to the end with 11 seconds left on the clock.
Hanamura was close though. Canadians managed to capture 75% of the first checkpoint and fought fiercely on defence, ultimately succumbing with just 4 seconds left on the clock.
Just as it looked like Swedes were on the brink of winning the match, Canadians pulled off a lightning quick assault on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, pushing the cart through all three checkpoints with almost 2 and a half minutes left on the clock. Swedes, clearly underestimating the Canadian team, managed only 2, with less than 80 meters of distance pushed.
The deciding fifth game was played on Oasis. Canada took the first round decisively, 100% to 0%. Sweden rebounded in the second round, capturing 100% themselves, while Canadians only managed to capture around 50%. Round 3 was the closest as it can get. Canada blew through 100%. Swedes got close though, stopping less than 10% south of 100. It was 2-1 game score and a 3-2 match score for Canada in the end.
France vs. South Korea – Overwatch World Cup Semifinals
The national team with an identical line-up as Team Rogue were up against an almost unwinnable challenge. The predictions proved to be largely true.
South Korea took Oasis 2-1. They didn’t look as unbeatable as last year, but clearly still way better than the rest of competition. Even in round 2, which they lost, they went above 90% on the capture progress.
Numbani was close though. Both teams pushed the cart to the end, but South Korea edged out a win in the extra time by successfully capturing the first tick on the checkpoint capture progress bar.
France finally took the first win on Hanamura, capturing just half of the first checkpoint, but completely nullifying South Korea on defense.
It was Watchpoint: Gibraltar where South Korea finally sealed the match, in a similar fashion to Canada’s swift blitz against Sweden on the same map. With over 2 minutes left on the clock, and after successfully stalling France for a while, preventing them from reaching the 3rd checkpoint, South Koreans took the game and match win, advancing to the grand finals against to face Canada.
Sweden vs. France – Overwatch World Cup Third Place Decider
The two teams from Europe both had a shot at redemption after failing to advance to the grand final.
France opened up with a close, but decisive 2-0 win on Nepal. Unfortunately, this is as far as they managed to go.
Swedes proceeded to grind out a 4-3 win on King’s Row with a minute and a half of extra time remaining. This victory was followed by a draw in Hanamura, where both teams ended up capturing 2 checkpoints with no extra time left.
Swedes stalled on Watchpoint: Gibraltar very successfully, denying France from reaching even the first checkpoint. Meanwhile, they surpassed the minimum required distance by pushing the cart very quickly on offense, clocking the win with 2 and half minutes of extra time still left.
The final showdown took place on Oasis. First round went to France, but Swedes fell just 1% short of 100%. Second round was a complete domination by Sweden, denying France a chance to even capture the control point. The French crew saw some success in the third round though, but at 55%, they weren’t even close to equalizing the match in the end.
It was a well deserved third place for Sweden.
Canada vs. South Korea – Overwatch World Cup Grand Final
The Koreans were heavy favourites to win against the team that, granted, pushed through all the obstacles up until this point, but struggled at each and every one of them.
Nevertheless, the Bo7 offered plenty of opportunities for Canadians to pull off an upset. They tried everything. From triple tank team compositions, to classic dives and a surprising switch from D. Va to Torbjörn on Numbani. South Koreans were truly put to the test.
In the end, Canadians only managed to win 1 game. However, it was far from a one sided beating.
On the first map, Oasis, Canadians decisively took the first round. This was followed by a classic South Korean turnaround and a win on the first map.
On King’s Row, Canadians got stopped a few meters away from the 2nd checkpoint. South Korea blitzed the cart through the Canadians’ 107 meters with well over 2 minutes of time remaining.
Hanamura was quite competitive though. South Korea eventually prevailed 5-4, but Canadians showed all the depth and variety of strategies at their disposal. Yet, it was all in vain in the end.
Junkertown saw the Canadians exploiting the popular Bastion + tank shields (Rein & Orisa) strategy to its fullest. They managed to win the map, preventing the South Korea from reaching the final checkpoint on defence.
Numbani was where the final showdown took place. From triple tank compositions, to the surprising D. Va switch to Torbjörn and the eventual desperation switch Soldier: 76 and Pharah to try and reach the cart before the overtime runs out, Canada used, abused and depleted every strategy available to try and turn the tide around in their favour. South Koreans were simply patient, calm and collected, adapting to the changing circumstances very well in most cases.
With almost 80 seconds remaining, South Korea finally managed to seal the deal on defence, finishing 4-5 for the win.
A fitting finish for the final two days of Overwatch World Cup, and our new old champions – South Korea!