The third day of the third 2017 Overwatch World Cup Qualifiers was a mixed bag of favorites living up to their tags, battle for survival, pride and ultimately earning the rights to be at Blizzcon 2017. The stakes are all laid out for all teams heading into their third matches with all the favourites of both groups -South Korea and Netherlands in Group E and Canada and Russia in Group F – starting in day three in Katowice, having won both of their earlier matches 4-0.
Head here for SPOUT 360’s previous recap of Katowice.
South Korea vs. Netherlands
In the first match of the day, South Korea gave the Netherlands team an Overwatch clinic as they bullied their way to win the set 4-0. The Koreans’ superior coordination and mechanical skills were so apparent as they simply out-muscled and outplayed the Netherlands whom many saw as their biggest threat in the group stages.
The opening map on King’s Row saw a surprise Orisa pick by Fl0w3R and the trend of the Korean catching their opponents by surprise and leaving them feeling powerless continued as the Koreans defied the current meta en route to crushing the second-best team in the group 4-0 without dropping a point.
The other Group E match saw the home team Poland salvaging some pride after overcoming the plucky Austrians 4-0. Home support proved to be the decisive factors as the Poles won each map by the skin of their teeth as the Austrians threw in everything to play spoilsport. The Katowice round also marks the first time that the hosts were unable to progress beyond the qualifying stages of the Overwatch World Cup.
Russians Sealed Fate By Losing to Canada
The stakes were higher for the teams at Group F as Canada and Russia battled for the prestigious right to NOT face South Korea in the playoffs. “The Battle for First” – as the commentators called it – was a see-saw affair as the teams traded rounds with Russia winning the opening skirmish followed with a two map reverse from Canada. However on Route 66, the combination of Surefour and Agilities were unable to push the Canadians to the final point allowing the Russians to tie the match at 2-2 forcing a tie-breaker round on Oasis.
Thanks to Mangachu’s clutch Pharah play combined with Roolf’s Mercy however, Canada swung the battle to their favour as he outplayed Shadowburn thus sealing the top spot of Group F. The most important win of the day ensured that the Canadians avoided South Korea in the playoff round, ensuring a much more favorable route against the Dutch.
The Battle For Respect
Meanwhile, Singapore and Turkey fought for their pride as both teams aim to come out of Poland with their heads help up high in the last group match of the day. Singapore rushed to a 2-1 lead after back-to-back wins on Lijiang and Horizon but ultimately had to settle for a draw after they were unable to stop the Turks’ payload on Route 66, ending the series tied 2-2.
Check out the best Death Blossom Reaper play of the match, courtesy of Singapore.
Placed in a tough group consisting of last year’s runner-ups and North American giants, the Singaporean team made sure they did Southeast Asia proud with a spirited performance and a can-do attitude when pitted against the very best in the world. This is not the end, folks.
In fact, here’s an inspiring post-mortem interview from the Overwatch Singapore committee member Afiz “SodaFiz” M. Noor.
The first playoff match was the repeat of the 2016 Overwatch World Cup Final and sadly, was an underwhelming affair – not due to the lack of quality tho. The Koreans showed how far they have gone by not surrendering even an inch to the Russians with a full hold on King’s Row and winning both maps on Lijiang Tower.
The Lunatic Hai trio of Tobi, Zunba and Ryujeheong powered their way in the third map to cap a win at Volskaya and stamping that ticket to Blizzcon in November. Some may lament not being able to see the likes of ShaDowBurn and Forsak3n at the World Cup, but their fate was pretty much sealed when they lost to Canada in the final match of the group stages.
The second playoff match was pretty much a run-of-the-mill match for the Canadians having virtually sealing their spot at Blizzcon by simply avoiding the Koreans. Three consecutive 2-1 wins on King’s Row, Nepal and Horizon ensured that we will be seeing Surefour and Agilities’ awesome DPS play once more as they further their 2017 Overwatch World Cup campaign.
After The Smoke Has Cleared…
South Korea and Canada now join the likes of China, France, Sweden and Australia who have confirmed their spots at the World Cup. The final stop for the 2017 Overwatch World Cup Qualifiers take place next week at Santa Monica to fill the final two spots; we will get to see the likes of US’s “sinatraa” and Germany’s “INTERNETHULK” duke it out for the final two rights to be among the best 8 teams in the world.
The only Asian team left in the competition will be Taiwan who are in the same group as the hosts and may be able to pull off a surprise or two in a group filled with dark horses. We will be covering it as usual so tune in to Spout 360 for your dose of the Overwatch World Cup 2017.