by Sascha “Yiska” Heinsich
As some of you might know only the top 4 teams of the MLG points list get an invite to the MLG Finals. The points gathered by participating at the other three events in Columbus, Dallas and Anaheim belong to the players which played in that team at that time. It’s really not all that common for teams to stay together as long as our’s have. Therefore, this system surely is necessary.
By now you might have thought of the many ways to exploit the system. For example, if a team that wasn’t in the top 4 wanted, they could just invite a teamless player who has a lot of points to join their team and make it to the finals. Luckily, to stop this player-swapping at the end of the MLG “season,” the admins devised a rule, making it illegal to swap players after Anaheim.
Funny enough, that’s exactly is what happened, only with a significant difference. Let’s take a look at the points of each team before the player swapping began.
coL.Black – Flexx, Twixz, Toez 7650pts
SK.US – Realz, Enforcer, Pookz 7350pts
coL.Red – Venruki, Sodah, Reckful 6250pts
BB – Orangemarma, Numberone, Hiren 4950pts
Fnatic – Yog, Douja, Woundman 4850pts
SK.EU – Inflame, Another, Engimz 3000pts
EG – Azael, Smatin, Tenderloin 2750pts
The problem with the SK.USA team is that they don’t play together anymore. The rosters have changed to the following:
Evil Geniuses – Pookz, Tenderloin, Azael 4500pts
SK.US – Realz, Glickz, Kollektiv 2450+ (not enough to get above Fnatic)
Both Glickz and Kollektiv have both played in the MLG tournament this season, though. Now here is were the extravagant usage of the rules start. SK, as an organisation, morally achieved the second spot with their SK.US squad. Now, of course there is still the rule that only teams that played in Anaheim together can attend the MLG Finals. The solution:
SK.EG – Kollektiv, Realz, Azael, Pookz
And with this not only do they have the required points, but also both organisations are represented. That leaves us with coL.Black, SK.EG, coL.Red and Button Bashers attending the finals and Fnatic missing the cut by a mere 50 points, which is the difference between a 7th and 8th place.
With this knowledge, we can now proceed to make the magic happen and fortell the future!
As this is still World of Warcraft and in a tournament setting like this, it would be foolish to proclaim one team as the absolute favorite but with one third, one second place and one first place finish the notorious Beastcleave is really close. Not only that, but they also recently won the ESL Championship North American finals and proved once again that there aren’t many teams in the US capable of beating them. Problem? One of the only teams to ever beat coL.Black when it actually mattered is also at the tournament, namely Button Bashers. Twixz said after the matches they had at Anaheim that this was one of the most fun matches he had and that he wants to come back for more. As their comp is still designed as an RMP counter and with two RMPs at the tournament they surely are in a good position.
The first time we saw them in their current lineup with their new Rogue Hiren at Anaheim they completely blew us away and inspired thousands. They proved that WoW is more than just countercombing as they had incredible coordination, individual skill and heart in their play. Being the only non American team is a blessing as much as it is a disadvantage. Different continents have different play styles and whoever can adapt the fastest will come out on top. This is extremely relevant when you take into consideration that SK.EG will most likely run a comp that the Koreans aren’t used to such as Wizardcleave. When all is said and done, they are still Koreans which means they will practice around 6 hours or more a day. Many matches in Anaheim were close for them as the majority of their matches ended 3-2 in their favour, which means that if they catch a bad day it can all turn out differently.
This teams performance is really hard to predict. Keep in mind, at MLG Anaheim Pookz and Realz synergy was far from good as Pookz turned off party chat when Realz tried to talk tactics there. Also Azael and Kollektiv were said to have problems with eachother as Azael replaced Kollektiv with Tenderloin a while ago. In conclusion, while this team with 4 members surely is the most flexible comp wise, it can easily be the most stale team synergy-wise. Rumours have it that this team didn‘t practice much at all yet and with newyears eve and travel there is not much time left till the 6th January. Azael is confident against RMP with his normal Shaman and it’s really up to Kollektiv fitting in. On the other hand you have Realz and Kollektiv who beat coL.Black in group-play in Edmonton and it’s up to Azael to replace Glickz. It can all work out just as much as it can go wrong. I believe that if they lose their first match, this team will have a hard time in Orlando
It’s true, not making the top 4 for the ESL Championship Finals and missing the qualifying spots for Cebit is upsetting. Granted, Sodah wasn’t at the tournament because of finals but that doesn’t mean the team isn’t aware that they have to perform well to prove that they are one of the best teams in the world. Their series against Button Bashers at Anaheim was really close and RMP mirrors are generally a matchup our guys feel comfortable in. The make or break point at this tournament will surely be the game against coL.Black and it remains to be seen if the team has an answer. It’s surely not an impossible task as BB showed in Anaheim. Most players I have talked to expect our team to counter comb them as they lost trust in RMP. We’ll see.
Despite the tournament, which will be held on Sunday, MLG got quite creative and introduced a new type of tournament. Healers will function as team captains and they will be able to pick from all of the DPS classes from other teams. They are only permitted from taking their own team members. Now of course, this will not only make up for some fun comps, but you also have to consider that only Orangemarmalade is able to speak English on his team, so playing with both Numberone and Hiren on your team will be a real challenge. This is not only for the fun though, as the winning team will win $1000 which is quite the prize for a “fun” event.
The combinations I can think of are quite amazing:
– Numberone, Venruki, Realz
– Sodah, Pookz, Hiren
– Toez, Azael, Reckful
Of course, there are many, many more possibilities. From what the MLG officials have said, every match will be streamed and an HD stream for paying users will be available again. We are in for an amazing weekend!
I wish all of the radicoLs a German “guten Rutsch” and don’t get too wasted!