Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer has cited the Overwatch World Cup as a key method for top-tier players to make the final leap from playing in their national team, to competing in the League itself.
“Because we do the final at BlizzCon, it's maybe the best opportunity for players that maybe fans don't get to see a lot because they play in a region [that's hard for them to follow] to really get exposure”, he said in an interview published on the official Overwatch League site yesterday evening.
“The viewership that we have at BlizzCon is on par with a really good Overwatch League broadcast, and it's a huge opportunity for these players. What's awesome for me is to see players recognize that this is an opportunity and seize it.
“It fits really nicely as that spotlight moment at the end of the year where we start to think about the next season of the Overwatch League."
As for this year's Overwatch World Cup, Nanzer points to Guxue as an example of new talent that's demonstrated the potential to push through to playing in the game's biggest competition.
Nanzer also paid tributed to both South Korea's winning performance in the Overwatch World Cup, and Team UK's resilience during their nailbiting semifinal encounter with the three-time champions.
”The UK put up a heck of a fight. Korea, it’s always hard to tell. In 2016, I’m not sure they ever broke a sweat. Last year, they got taken to the edge by Team USA, so they’ve bled in this competition, but they’ve never lost.
”There were a couple times in that UK match, like on King’s Row, where you had a player like Carpe - they just have this gear that other players don’t seem to have. It’s like, “Oh, we’re going to win now".
"There’s basically nothing you can do about it. They step on the gas for this brief moment, and it’s just lights out for everybody."
Season 2 of Overwatch League kicks off in mid-February next year, and will see eight new teams join the roster.
All 20 teams will be separated into two Divisions, and the schedule is being spread out a little more evenly this year to give teams the chance to recover and promote themselves.
Take a look at our Overwatch League Season 2 2019 guide if you'd like to learn more about the format and schedule for next year's competitive season.