After a three-year hiatus, the Overwatch World Cup will return in 2023, Blizzard Entertainment announced over the weekend.
The last Overwatch World Cup took place at BlizzCon 2019, an event in which the United States took home the gold and Overwatch 2 was announced. Four years later, it appears Overwatch 2 is set to have its first World Cup.
"Attention, world," Blizzard's blog post reads, "after three years away, we’re thrilled to announce that the Overwatch World Cup is returning for 2023, and the competition will be bigger than ever: new game, new players, and new ways of spotlighting your country and region on a global scale."
Per Blizzard, the 36 countries and regions competing in the 2023 Overwatch World Cup will be revealed in January, which is also when competition committee applications will open.
As has been the case in years past, each competition committee will be responsible for organizing tryouts for their country and region under Blizzard guidelines. Players will be able to sign up for regular tryouts taking place in March, which have a Competitive Rank requirement of Diamond and above.
Alongside the regular tryouts system, however, Blizzard is also planning to introduce a new avenue for players to secure their opportunities to compete for a spot on their team — an open-tournament format World Cup Trials. In February, the World Cup Trials competition will earn winning players a reservation in the March tryouts for their team.
In June, after team rosters are finalized, the Overwatch World Cup 2023 qualifiers are planned to take place through regional online competition, narrowing down 36 teams to 16 for the next phase of the tournament. Those 16 teams will then battle it out in a LAN environment in the fall of 2023 to determine Overwatch's first World Cup champion since 2019.
Further announcements, including details about each stage of the 2023 Overwatch World Cup, viewer information and more, are said to be coming soon.