As was the case last year, Blizzard outsourced some of the team selection for the Overwatch World Cup. It didn't work out so well last time, and Australia got properly flogged. But this year we're in with slightly more of a chance.
Announced via press release this morning, the entirety of the Australian team hails from the roster of Blank Esports, the same team that's currently second in the Overwatch Pacific Championship right now. They've booked themselves a spot in the semi-finals of the tournament, and even if they come third their performance will still secure them just over $43,000, which isn't a bad result given the biggest Overwatch tournaments of the year haven't started yet.
If you're going to play Overwatch even semi-professionally, you might as well have fun while you do it.
Having a team with established chemistry and teamwork is a godsend, considering Australia's group. While Blank might be able to play in front of a homecrowd when their group matches kick off on July 21-23 - the group matches are being played at Sydney's The Star casino - they'll also have to contend with Sweden, who finished third at last year's Overwatch World Cup finals. Italy and Portugal didn't feature in last year's main event, but Italy would have made it there if it wasn't for the Swedes.
It should make for an interesting group stage, nonetheless: a home crowd, a grudge match between the Europeans, and a whole lot of Overwatch not far away from the sports bar. It'll be a public event as well, albeit a ticketed one. Matches start from Friday morning, and you'll be able to watch Group D (featuring Vietnam, Spain, Japan and Finland) square off as well. More info about that, and the rest of the Overwatch World Cup, can be found on the official Blizzard website.