The top 50 "Overwatch"-playing nations have been announced, with the top 32 qualifying for the 2017 Overwatch World Cup in November: China heads the ranking, and South Korea, the US, Sweden and Canada round out the five best-ranked countries.
By monitoring the skill ratings of the top 100 players from every country around the world, "Overwatch" developer and tournament organizer Blizzard Entertainment has determined the top 50 countries when it comes to ranked competitive play.
The team action game was released in May 2016 across Windows PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and came to dominate the year's gaming landscape.
Its highly polished nature proved well suited to casual pick-up matches and professional competition alike, and Blizzard has referenced traditional sports in organizing a series of leagues and cups worldwide.
Much like the FIFA soccer World Cup, Rugby World Cup, tennis's Davis Cup and so on, the Overwatch World Cup is based on national representation rather than club teams.
The top 32 was determined by averaging the skill ratings of each country's top 100 players. Three local experts from each country will be involved in picking rosters for the rest of the competition.
Four live group events are now to take place in North America, Europe and Asia. Each will feature eight national teams competing over a the course of a week-long tournament; the top two finishers from each will then go forward to the World Cup finals at November's BlizzCon in Anaheim, California.
Blizzard has been heavily involved in eSports thanks to the significance of its real-time strategy franchise "StarCraft," and the foundational role that "WarCraft 3" played emergence of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre.
The MOBA genre has produced the world's most lucrative eSports tournament in annual "Dota 2" championship The International, and the world's most-played video game "League of Legends."
Overwatch World Cup 2017 Top 32 Nations
2. South Korea
3. United States
6. United Kingdom
13. Chinese Taipei
18. Hong Kong
32. New Zealand