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BlizzCon 2017 Arena World Championship Recap
09.11.2017 um 09:24
The 10th Arena World Championship was held at BlizzCon once again this year. Four teams from Europe, four teams from North America, one team from Latin America, one team from Asia Pacific and two teams from China earned their place to compete at the tournament. The Group Stage began during Opening Week, which was held at Blizzard Arena. The remainder of the Group Stage and the Finals were held on the dedicated World of Warcraft esports stage at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California. The bracket for this tournament (including team compositions and map selections) can be found
. Further information on the teams and players can also be found on the
World of Warcraft Liquipedia site
(Blizo, Fabss, Swapxy, Boetar) won the European Championship Finals, favouring a Restoration Druid, Arms Warrior, Unholy Death Knight composition. Boetar, Swapxy and Fabss have won the past two Arena World Championships in a row, a feat that no other team has achieved. Fabss has also won more Arena World Championships than anyone in history, at three.
(Asgarath, Cara, Alec, Niksi) placed second in the European Championship Finals, bringing out an array of compositions. The team is best known for their Rogue, Mage, Druid composition, with Alec being one of the best known Mages in Europe.
(Cervantes, Lyanne, Nerdrage, Jaime) placed third in the European Championship Finals and were another team who utilised the Restoration Druid, Arms Warrior, Unholy Death Knight composition. They competed under the name Emo before being signed by Rockets Esports after their success at their regional tournament.
(Voltariux, Aritros, Jimjim, Volkovitch) placed fourth in the European Championship Finals after coming into the tournament as the 12th seed. They found success with a Holy Paladin, Windwalker Monk and Death Knight composition, falling only to Method Triforce and Rockets: Eclipse during the tournament.
(Kolo, Trill, Maldiva, Mes) won the North American Championship Finals as the second seeded team, relying on melee-centred compositions including the controversial double Demon Hunter.
(Jellybeans, Rubcub, Wallabare, Rositajones) placed second in the North American Championship Finals after winning their group, changing their composition frequently.
(Novo, Vellido, Chunli, Thugonomics) placed third in the North American Championship Finals, utilising a Restoration Shaman, Windwalker Monk, Unholy Death Knight composition.
(Ssds, Syfoxy, Aveng, Amne) placed fourth in the North American Championship Finals, playing Discipline Priest, Retribution Paladin and Marksmanship Hunter in most of their matches.
Pen and Paper
(Danisinner, Sagiy, Dou, Ppcat) won the Chinese Championship Finals, favouring a Restoration Druid, Arms Warrior, Unholy Death Knight composition. Three members of the team competed at BlizzCon in 2016 and for Panda Gaming(Sagiy, Ppcat and Dou), with their fourth player from last year (Darkarchonyo) now playing for the other Chinese team, Imagine PvP.
(Darkarchonyo, Jiexpvp, Alastorlol, Zeyond) placed second in the Chinese Championship Finals, utilising a wide range of compositions that mostly centred around melee DPS.
(Aiden, Hozitojones, Rynd, Shapis) gave a very dominant performance in the Copa America Closing Season, winning the tournament without losing a single match. Their favoured composition for their regional championship was Restoration Druid, Demonology Warlock, Arms Warrior. They are the first Latin American team to reach the Arena World Championship.
(Streaming, Yunex, Primez, Rook) competed under the name Team Rock during the Asia Pacific Championship Finals, where they played Holy Paladin, Windwalker Monk and Frost Death Knight for all their matches. They are the first Australia and New Zealand team to reach the Arena World Championship.
Arena World Championship Finals
Panda Global vs Rockets Eclipse
Rockets: Eclipse's Thunder Cleave* seemed to be an even match for Panda Global's Restoration Shaman, Marksmanship Hunter and Frost Death Knight. In the first match, Rubcub (Panda Global) ran out of mana to heal with and Rositajones (Panda Global) fell. Lyanne (Rockets: Eclipse) fell quickly in Match 2 and 3, as did Rubcub in Match 4, keeping Rockets' hopes alive. Although risky, Panda Global's aggressive playstyle paid off in the end, allowing them to win the series 3-2 after a close match on Dalaran Sewers.
*Elemental Shaman, Arms Warrior, Healer.
Watch Rockets: Eclipse vs. Panda Global|WoW Arena World Championship|Quarterfinals 1 from Warcraft on www.twitch.tv
ABC vs Splyce
ABC began their domination of the Finals bracket against Splyce playing their main classes, Rogue, Mage and Druid. Asgarath's (ABC) low mana toward the end of Match 1 didn't seem to deter his team as they took down Thugonomics (Splyce) at 6% dampening. ABC's positioning found them a kill on Novo (Splyce) in Match 2 and Thugonomics (Splyce) in Match 3, eliminating Splyce 3-0.
Watch Splyce vs. ABC|WoW Arena World Championship|Quarterfinals 2 from Warcraft on www.twitch.tv
Method Triforce vs Panda Global
Up until this series, Method Triforce had not lost a match, let alone a series, at this year's BlizzCon. Panda Global took down Blizo (Method) in Match 1 despite some close calls with Rositajones (Panda Global) and Jellybeans (Panda Global). Three time world champion Fabss (Method) was brought into the game in Match 2, aiding them in their victory. Match 3 was a much different story however, with Fabss falling within seconds. Still believing in the double caster dream, Fabss brought out his Warlock in Match 4, but he was taken down again. Panda Global took the series from three of the reigning two-time champions 3-1.
Watch Method: Triforce vs. Panda Global|WoW Arena World Championship|Semifinal 1 from Warcraft on www.twitch.tv
Method Synergy vs ABC
Method Synergy had a much closer series than their European counterparts. Niksi (ABC) fell to Method after being caught out of position on his warrior, leading the team to switch back to their main RMD composition for the remainder of the series. Niksi almost fell in the second match also, but stuck to his pursuit of Kolo (Method) and was able to land the kill. Kolo fell again in Match 2, with Alec's (ABC) kiting saving him from some close calls. His kiting could not save him in Match 4 however. With his Ice Block being forced early, Alec fell within a minute. Asgarath (ABC) was able to keep his team aggressive in Match 5, with the team taking down Kolo and eliminating the North American Champions 3-2.
Watch ABC vs. Method: Synergy|WoW Arena World Championship|Semifinal 2 from Warcraft on www.twitch.tv
ABC vs Panda Global
For the second year in a row, the Grand Final series came down to an NA vs EU showdown. Panda Global's early aggression in the first match hindered them as it went into dampening. Both healers were out of mana, but Rubcub (Panda Global) did not have the cooldowns left to keep his team alive. The second match was much faster, with Alec and Niksi (ABC) hunting down Rubcub again. Match 3 ended even faster, with Jellybeans (Panda Global) falling on Ruins of Lordaeron. Early aggression hurt Panda Global again in Match 4, with Rubcub unable to heal Wallabare (Panda Global) enough to survive. ABC took the Grand Final convincingly with a 4-0 victory.
Watch Panda Global vs. ABC|WoW Arena World Championship|Finals from Warcraft on www.twitch.tv
Spotlight: North America vs Europe
In honour of yet another classic NA vs EU Grand Final, let's take a look at the differences between what North America and Europe brought to BlizzCon.
The two regions seemed to favour very different specialisations in this tournament. Europe was the only region to bring a Rogue and a Mage, and North America was the only region to play Demon Hunter and Feral Druid. The prevalence of Elemental Shaman being played by European teams was likely due in part to the fact that two of their teams in the Top 6 had very strong Shamans on their roster (Swapxy for Method Triforce and Jaime for Rockets: Eclipse). A similar explanation could be offered for the popularity of Windwalker Monk (Trill, Method Synergy) and Marksmanship Hunter (Jellybeans, Panda Global). As always, the metas in each region have a large impact on the popularity of the team compositions. For example, while Rubcub of Panda Global is a renowned Holy Paladin, he played Restoration Shaman in almost every match. North America seemed to favour melee-based compositions whereas Europe relied on more ranged compositions.
Arena World Championship - Opening Week and Finals
There was a bias towards melee DPS specialisations during the tournament, although perhaps not as much as expected. Elemental Shamans were not seen much during the Arena Cup season but are currently performing well, so their prevalence is not unanticipated. Unholy Death Knights were a strong feature of many of the tournaments throughout the year however none were played at the AWC, with Frost now being the preferred specialisation. Restoration Druid was overwhelmingly the most popular healing specialisation, as many predicted. Unlike last year, we did not see any tank specialisations in the Arena World Championship.
World of Warcraft Esports in 2017
This year, we saw an overhaul of the Road to BlizzCon with many more tournaments and four more spots for teams at the Arena World Championship. It has been an intense year for players and spectators alike, reinvigorating the World of Warcraft esports scene and hopefully extending its lifespan. Thank you to everyone involved in WoW esports who made this year possible. See you all in 2018!
At BlizzCon, I had the opportunity to interview Alec after ABC's Arena World Championship victory. Keep an eye out for the transcript!
About the Author:
My name is Dderserei, I'm a Warrior main and I'm also the main contributor to the
World of Warcraft Liquipedia site
. I will be bringing you recaps of World of Warcraft Arena tournaments, with plenty of statistics and a summary of the action.
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