by Sascha “Yiska” Heinisch
The first day of the WoW tournament at the Edmonton hall, the biggest hall in North America and the 4th biggest in the World, is about to kick off. As temperatures are said to be freezing cold outside, we hope to see some hot action inside. This tournament is not only incredibly hard to predict because of recent team changes or the lack of knowledge about the two unknown teams, but also because 3.3 hit the servers just a couple of days ago. While some comps surely are better now than they used to (RLS comes to my mind) it’s still questionable if teams are able to compitalize on their new gained advantage. Let’s take a look at the teams:
This newly formed team is really unpredictable. Looking at the names, you have probably got the most veteran players there are in North America. Glick had great times with his WLD in TBC, so did Kollektiv have with his RLS and Realz with his RMP. The question for me is, can Realz really compete with the top Rogues in the North American community at the moment? If he can, we got a team here that can win it all. With the recent changes to RLS the comp might be able to beat the comp that has always held them back: RMP.
Prediction: They will qualify for the world finals and will most likely land between 2-4.
EG and SK exhanged players and the well known Mage Pookz is now among the ranks of EG. They are playing a never to be seen comp at a tournament level MLS also known as Wizard cleave. If they are happy about 3.3? They probably don’t know themselves. Destruction Warlocks took a serious hit but at the same time Will of the Forsaken got nerfed which should be pretty huge for that team. Also it remains to be seen how well they can do against Beast cleave in Season 5 gear.
Prediction: Probably in the top 4 but I don’t see the comp going all the way.
The former epitome of a skilled RLS didn’t really impress in Anaheim and they even lost a mirror to Azael who played RLS with Smatin back then as well. Some people argued that Douja is just not on the level of Kollektiv or Tenderloin. They were also rumored to lack drive up to a point where they would even break up. Maybe with the new strength of RLS, they can trust in their ability again. Many pros argue that RLS might become the new RMP (a tournament winning comp) and these guys are among the best in the world with this comp. If they are able to motivate themselves and trained enough they can definitely make it to the ESL World Finals at Cebit, Hannover
Prediction: They seem pretty comfortable with the 4th place as they got it in Dallas which would also be enough to qualify for the next round.
This team is a living legend and as they invented their own comp which they are notorious for: Beast Cleave. This is not going to change in Edmonton as I fully expect the team to stick to their guns. The comp only changed slightly with 3.3 with Paladins new Divine Sacrifice but I doubt this will be a big of a deal. As they didn’t have a class being able to run Undead, the WotF nerf doesn’t concern them as well. One thing that could become scary for them though is RLS. On live servers most top RLS teams were already a threat to Beast Cleave and they came pretty close to beating them at MLG Anaheim. Now with the increased damage output of Warlocks with Haste Corruption which of course benefits from Heroism/Bloodlust and the changes to Rogues who can now run Evenom specc or even Hunger for Blood, RLS could be a real threat for this team. At the same time, I think that Check6 is fully aware of this weekness and might already have something up their sleeve.
Prediction: Top 4, everything between 1-4 is possible.
This team will be fighting their first offline tournament. Rgostic was the priest of Tenderloin at Regionals who decided to not show up despite all expenses being covered without telling his team anything. Therefore we can assume that there is still some bad mojo flowing between the two and their Game against EG will be exciting to watch and to listen to. RMP took a hit in 3.3, there is no question about it but I doubt it is up to a point where it’s not competitive anymore. Infact, the comp is still able to go all the way if played correctly. With Lan jitters and the psychological disadvantage of playing a nerfed comp it should be hard for these guys to get into the top 4. That said, they have really nothing to lose as nobody expects anything from them.
Prediction: Most likely directly behind the top teams 5th or 6th.
Unfortunately Sodah wasn’t able to attend the tournament because of finals coming up for him this weekend. As RMP is probably one of the comps most in need of practice, this is not a good situation to be in. Verty is said to be an outstanding Priest, but forcing the synergy in a couple of days of practice seems a tough challenge. The other two have played a ton on live servers and they should be prepared though. The appearance of Button Bashers at MLG Anaheim really seemed to motivate those guys and we can only hope for the best. It would be a disappointement to see the ESL World Finals with our very own team, but at the same time we understand that Sodah has to priortize school over the game. It would be scary if it was the other way around.
Prediction: Hopefully top 4 and if they can beat at least one of the RLS consistently it’s entirely possible.