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WGL Europe - Sonik out of the Shadows

30.09.18 | UgriWC3 1871

Introduction

This season, Europe will send four - maybe five - representatives for WGL to China.

The first two tickets were awarded this weekend with a quite exciting list of contestants! There were those used to go to Shanghai Foggy and  HawK, the challengers that always felt short Sonik and  Cash, returning pros with superstar ToD, NightEnD, and Neytpoh.

 Starshaped looked like the underdog, but still hold his own.

When dust finally settled, few people could actually have predicted how the games would turn out.

ToD the centerpiece of day 1

 

Yoan Merlo is in a semi-final of a big tournament in 2018, who would have thought! ~Neo

Last time ToD took part in an offline tournament in Asia it was for IEF 2010 in Wuhan! Fun fact, it was the city I used to live in, 2 months ago. Irrelevant I know.

Eight years later, we see ToD back into the fray. He actually tried to qualify for the former edition of WGL but felt short in the Wild Card qualifier by ag3nt. ToD was only starting to stream WC3 intensively back then and was not yet ready. This time around, he was.

 

Sportsmanship not paying off

First round of qualifiers were always a little dull, the four invited usually doing quick work of the qualified. The only real exceptions I've found was when Rudan lost to ThomasG for the Summer edition of 2017.

ToD made a quick work of one of the best registered challengers Cash 2-0 and went on to face arch-favorite  Foggy. The Ukrainian has earned the respect of the whole Warcraft 3 scene after his incredible performances in China.

However, one should not count ToD out too quickly. Despite a patch that many claim hurt Humans the most and his lack of high level competition, ToD lost [1-2] with the honors and more. He granted Foggy a regame on the first map so he could fix a sound problem ~ while he also had the game pretty much lost by losing his AOW to creeps. Then it was just a very close series that you can watch on Back2Warcraft.


Two European generations clashing
 
Thrown back in the Loser Bracket, ToD then granted a regame and a reschedule to NighEnd who was exhausted and disconnected while in the lead because of his dog messing with his router. The match was back on on the next day at [0-0] with ToD suggesting to give NightEnD a [1-0] lead (!). A request we denied.
Eventually ToD eliminated the Romanian Undead [2-1] before falling to Cash in the next round. He still had some nice tricks up his sleeve though, check it out :

The trap on the Blademaster
 
ToD intensive training did pay off and he will be back next Qualifier most likely, playing from Las Vegas.
 

HawK and Neytpoh disappoint 

I do not want to sound too tough on   Neytpoh, he did play well and his BO3 against  Cash was one of the most exciting series of the tournament. Kudos to Blizzard since they get criticized so much these days, they made chances that metamorphosed a boring matchup into something thrilling.

The hype was high around Neytpoh after his Rusbrain Cup qualification and his victory over LawLiet in the AceD Challenge. Goodgame.ru shared the excitement and published his interview on day prior to the tournament. He was eliminated [2-0] by Cash, but will be invited back for the Second Qualifier.


OvN finally exciting

Sadly that will not be the case for HawK who went out of a qualifier with two consecutive defeats for the first time! Losing to Neytpoh then to NightEnD, he will have to qualify through the next Open Qualifier. HawK seems more focused on WoW nowadays and shares the overall feeling in the Human community that the last patch was too tough on their race. An article about this sensitive question will be published next week.

 

And the best Ukrainian NE is...

Patch 1.30 buffed the night elves strength and ability to vary their play. The Keeper of the Grove is obviously their big game changer.
With four NE in the final round we expected to see quite a few NE mirrors. Who would come on top? Who adapted better to 1.30? The majority thought it would be Foggy, some wanted to bet on the oldschool phenomenon Neytpoh.
Sonik would actually be crowned the King of 1.30, throwing Neytpoh to the Loser Bracket then eliminating Cash [3-2] in the decisive match for the second ticket. Cash falls once again short, one step away from China. His micro was on point, but that was still not enough to qualify. He will be invited for the second European Qualifier on October 20th.
 

Perfect surround from Cash
 
Back in the Grand Final series to face his comrade Foggy for the title, Sonik became unstoppable. Now playing without pressure and only for a bigger prize, he obtained a well deserved clean sheet victory [3-0]. Foggy will certainly have to work on his NE mirror as we can expect quite a few NE to qualify for WGL!
It was pleasant to see Sonik coming back to China for the first time since WCA 2015, that one time when yAwS nearly won the title. Placed then in a group with 3 humans, he came back home empty ended with three defeats. Now that Human is perhaps weaker, there is no telling what Sonik will do this time!
Sonik's celebrations were quite demonstrative. My favorite is this one, just when he eliminated Cash and qualified for WGL. Do not turn down the sound, it takes away from the enjoyment! Good luck in Shanghai Sonik!
 
 

Miscellaneous 

  • Sonik and Foggy are the first players qualified for WGL Winter 2018 in Shanghai.
  • If Foggy qualifies once again through the Netease Qualifier, next European Qualifier will grant 3 slots.
  • The next open Qualifier will happen on a Wednesday, October 17th. Register here.
  • We have to do it on a Wednesday  to conclude the last Qualifier the same weekend (October 20th-21st)
  • Cash, Neytpoh, ToD, NightEnD are already invited for the final round.
  • Four more slots are granted during the Open Qualifier.
  • Tournament powered by ESL 
  • Watch all VODs on Back2Warcraft's Youtube channel
 

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