Apex, Overwatch Premier Series gain new significance after World Cup ranking

Archive image: a character from Blizzard's 2016 release "Overwatch"

Ahead of the 2017 Overwatch World Cup, November 3-4, China and South Korea have been ranked the world's top two nations. Both countries have high-profile domestic tournaments starting April 28 and 29, at which some of their best players will perform.

Team action game "Overwatch" dominated much of 2016 after its release, its approach well suited to casual pick-up games and intense organized competition.

Debuting on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in May 2016, it became an uncontestable critical and commercial success, with 25 million players on board by January 2017.

As well as developing the game, Californian studio Blizzard Entertainment is supervising a raft of regional and worldwide tournaments.

While a global Overwatch League system is to be detailed mid-2017, China already has the Overwatch Premier Series (OWPS), and South Korea has the unofficial but well respected APEX tournaments.

Internationally, November's Overwatch World Cup Finals will call upon each nation's best players to perform on a world stage.

On April 25, Blizzard announced its official world ranking ahead of the World Cup, putting China in first place and South Korea not far behind in second.

With APEX Season 3 and the OWPS Spring series starting April 28 and 29 respectively, there's an immediate opportunity to watch some of the game's very best in action.

APEX, the more established tournament, features 16 teams. Fourteen are South Korean, with guest spots awarded to French side Rogue and international squad EnVyUS.

Local organizer for the six-week season is TV channel OnGameNet (ch.interest.me/ongamenet,) supplying tournament streams through twitch.tv/ognglobal (English) and twitch.tv/ogn_ow (Korean,) with match replays at youtube.com/user/TVOngamenet. APEX's official website is program.tving.com/ogn/apex.

For the OWPS, this year's competition takes place over of four main events.

The Overwatch Premier Series 2017 - Spring runs until June 11.

Supporting it with live broadcasts are zhanqi.tv, cc.163.com and panda.tv, with schedules and tournament information available through the official website chinaowps.cn.

A second season, OWPS 2017 - Summer, starts in July and concludes mid-October, after which the OWPS Grand Finals are set for the end of the same month.

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