France 1 - Russia 2
Map 1: Temple of Anubis (France)
Map 2: Eichenwalde (Russia)
Map 3: Lijiang Tower (Russia)
France managed to claim a surprise win on the Temple of Anubis. However, Russia, who proved dominant throughout the group stages asserted their status with a convincing win on Eichenwalde.
As the series proceeded to Lijiang Tower in the tiebreaker, France did put up a strong performance, taking one stage off Russia, but Russia regained their composure to beat the Europeans soundly, becoming the first team to advance to the next round.
Spain 1 - Finland 2
Map 1: King’s Row (Finland)
Map 2: Hanamura (Spain)
Map 3: Lijiang Tower (Finland)
For Hanamura, it was an easy win for the Southern Europeans. Finland were outmanoeuvred by the Spanish team, allowing the Spaniards to capture the first point very quickly, claiming a very quick win over the more favoured team. If Finland are to beat Russia, they certainly need to work on their decision-making.
For Lijiang Tower, both countries exchanged wins, with Finland claiming the first round, Spain the second, then Finland the third. It was a close round 4, where a final push from Finland enabled them to clinch the series and secure them a semi-final spot against Russia.
South Korea 2 - United States 0
Map 1: Temple of Anubis (South Korea)
Map 2: Eichenwalde (South Korea)
This is probably the most anticipated series of the tournament: the home team versus the unstoppable Koreans. For the first map, the U.S. opted for a triple offense line-up while attacking the first point, even opting for the long-range combination of Pharah-Mercy, however, South Korea’s excellent individual skill and teamwork proved too much for the Americans. South Korea’s turn on offense however, took an early kill and quickly snowballed into claiming the first point. Miro’s performance on his Winston, knowing precisely when to engage and disengage meant that he was a huge disrupting/zoning presence.
The second series was a really close one. The Americans’ performance definitely improved from the first map, but South Korea proved too hot to handle. They just seem to not make any mistakes. If we go on the assumption that all the players are highly skilled, what sets South Korea as a class apart is probably their near-perfect team coordination. A Dota 2 player might find this characteristic reminiscent of the Wings Gaming squad that won The International 2016.
China 0 - Sweden 2
Map 1: King’s Row (Sweden victory)
Map 2: Hanamura (Sweden victory)
It was a dominant performance from the Swedes, where they won both maps convincingly – definitely a marked improvement from their group stage showing. However, China was arguably the weakest team in the top 8. Their semi-final match against South Korea will pit the Europeans against the strongest team of the quarterfinals.
The top four of the Overwatch World Cup consists of two Nordic countries – Sweden and Finland, Russia, and South Korea. The semi-finals have just started, so if you are an Overwatch fan, there is an extra incentive to wake up early on a Saturday morning.
You can watch it live here on Twitch or on the BlizzCon website.