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South Korea Wins First Overwatch World Cup
South Korea took it all home at the first Overwatch World Cup. Glixel6/6

South Korea Wins First Overwatch World Cup

South Korea's pro gamers were already enjoying A-list status back when most U.S. adults would hesitate to admit that they even played Starcraft. That said, it's still a little surprising that the South Korean team – which, like everyone else in the tournament, was assembled by community vote – so effortlessly dismantled the competition at the Overwatch World Cup. In spite of the country's fervor for esports, South Korea's pros have been slow to take to first-person shooters, preferring games like Starcraft and League of Legends. Only Overwatch could've changed this – it was Blizzard's Starcraft that made competitive gaming a mainstream cultural phenomenon in the country. Those ties run deep.

It came down to Russia and South Korea in the finals, and throughout the tournament, Russia was looking strong. In the matches leading up to the main event, the feared Genji player George "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha was effectively sleepwalking through team-kills, clinching Russia's dominance. This changed when they met South Korea in the finals. The final set was scheduled to run for two hours, but South Korea swept Russia with 45 minutes to spare. Russia couldn't steal a single match. It frankly felt like they were playing a completely different game, and if history is any indication, this will probably become a pattern.

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