More details have surfaced following the earlier announcement of a $100,000 Overwatch tournament at IEM Gyeonggi. We now know the teams, tournament format and a rough schedule.
- Afreeca Freecs Blue
- Kongdoo Panthera
- LuxuryWatch Red
Today's press release sets the stage well:
"Korean team Afreeca Freecs Blue were finalists in the Intel Overwatch APEX League, falling to EnVyUs after a 4-0 sweep. The Overwatch IEM Gyeonggi Invitational will be their second chance to defend Korea's Overwatch honor as they battle on home soil at the Goyang Sports Complex.
Lunatic.Hai and Kongdoo Panthera were also both a part of the Overwatch APEX League, with Kongdoo Panthera failing to make it out of the group stages, and Lunatic.Hai falling short in the quarterfinals. Lunatic.Hai gained popularity with their $30,000 win in the APAC Premier in Shanghai, China, placing second behind European team Rogue.
LuxuryWatch Red have had their fair share of wins, but have yet to claim a spot in an ongoing league or any major prize money. As the fourth Korean team at the Overwatch IEM Gyeonggi Invitational, they have the most to gain.
After major roster swaps in the European Overwatch scene, Misfits are now a lineup made up of Swedish stars, including former Rogue members TviQ and Reinforce. IEM Gyeonggi will be a test of their new lineup as they face some of the world's best teams.
SoOn and Skipjack of former Misfits fame joined the mostly French roster of Rogue and will be the second team representing Europe at the Overwatch IEM Gyeonggi Invitational. The two teams may have a chance not only to battle Korea's best, but also to face each other in what could be the spark of a twisted rivalry."
Tournament Format & Schedule
The Overwatch tournament will be played as a straight up single elimination bracket, but will only feature two quarterfinals with just six teams in attendance. It is currently unknown which two teams will get a bye to the semifinals, but one might expect to see the European teams at least seeded on opposite sides of the bracket to drive the east versus west narrative.
Friday 16th December 2x Quarterfinals
Saturday 17th December 2x Semifinals
Sunday 18th December Grand Final
All fixtures will be played as best-of-five series. Details of the map draft system are unknown but with the production being handled by OGN we might see something similar to APEX Season 1 where each game in the series was tied to a particular game mode.
"OGN, South Korea’s premier esports broadcaster, will be the official production partner for the final Intel® Extreme Masters stop of 2016. OGN specializes in broadcasting video game-related content and esports matches, and will produce both the global and Korean broadcasts for IEM Gyeonggi. The event will feature the country’s most popular gaming titles, including competitions in StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Overwatch. With this partnership, ESL hopes to convey the unique history and tone of Korean competitive gaming for IEM’s return to the home of esports."
The Overwatch IEM Gyeonggi Invitational is being pitched as the "world’s first stadium event for Overwatch" and with many of South Korea's best teams in attendance, the first showing from Europe's new super powers, OGN's track record for delivering high quality events and a cool $100,000 on the line it seems like they might just have a winning formula.