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.
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.
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.
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.