When Netease decided to grant an entry to a second American representative, we had little doubt that Hunter would be one of the two. After LongWalk declined the invitation to participate in the final round, only OC seemed to be in position to challenge him. Currently ranked in the top 15 of the Netease Ladder, he will even participate in the Netease WGL October race.
Little did we know that those two would not even have to deal with one another.
47 players participated
Each season for me now, this is the most important data to consider for America. When we first obtained one specific ticket for this region, we aimed at proving that Warcraft was not dead there yet. With 47 players registered overall, this was the biggest tournament held on the ESL platform in the last six months!
Distribution per countries
Let's use the occasion to see where Warcraft III is mostly played nowadays in the Americas:
- USA : 15 participants
- Peru : 11
- Argentina : 5
- Chile : 4
- Venezuela : 3
- Canada : 2
- Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Guatemala : 1
Although the USA is still the most represented country, now Latin America accounts for 62% of the player pool.
Only negative note here is the absence of any Brazilian player. It seems like after MysT retired once again, WC3 died for good in this country.
If you counted only 44 players instead of the announced 47, you counted right. The American Qualifier has been opened to Australia (1) and New-Zealand (2).
SwordPuppy actually made it to the Final Round despite having to play at 4:00 AM local time. He took out legendary caster Lado in the process.
Fenix qualified quite easily as well, being another well known solid NE from Peru. AccCreate did as well and confirmed his progression after his ACS North American Qualifier victory last year. His final BO3 was the closest one against well rounded American player PriesT [2-1].
Finally, arch-favorite OC qualified easily.
They joined the "Peruvian gang of Ers" Hunter, Walter, DanGer plus Mackay to the final round.
After the list of invited players was made known, OC quite understandably felt that he should have been directly included in the Final Round. Doing so well on Netease, that should have been a given.
Honestly his rise at the top of the ladder occurred only a few days after the list was announced and I favored the recent tournament experiences of DanGer over the ladder results of OC who made this comment :
Why did they invite DanGer? I am like 10000000 vs 0 against him! I can beat him off-race(!) - OC
I am a big fan of OC's stream and his dry sense of humour. These comments were in line with his personality and perpetuated the American tradition of harsh language and borderline manners in game. We had feRfe's gamma issues and broken AC pauses, then MuscleMike lending his account to RaZZoRMaN. Now we have OC and even AccCreate sometimes speaking their mind without filters.
Of course, this little story is only funny if DanGer beats OC during the course of the tournament, which did happen in the WB Semi Final [2-1]. From beating FoCuS on ladder to losing to DanGer in an important tournament, OC was quite obviously tilted live on stream.
OC taps out without a gg
He later claimed to quit the game after being eliminated by Mackay the following round [2-0]. You can admire the Chilean nice surround to close the series. Unfortunately for Mackay he will once again finish the tournament in 4th place
Mackay surround the Keeper - OC so done with WC3!
Thanksfully OC reconsidered the next day and will be competing in the last of Netease's monthly tournaments starting Thursday for the Round of 32 (07:00 EST - 13:00 CEST).
Peru, easy as 1... 2... 3...
Hunter was unrivaled honestly, it felt like he could have played all night without losing a match. He still dropped a map to DanGer, who then came close to qualify.
The orc's decisive series would be against Walter and it was really one-sided. DanGer was seemingly condemned to repeat the same mistakes game after game, never adapting to the terrorizing KotG of his opponent. Grunts get picked up one after the other as now NEs have full map control early game in this matchup. I guess it does make it hard for Orcs nowadays.
As much as Walter dominated Mackay and DanGer, he was totally demolished by Hunter [3-0] in the Grand Finals. He will have to work on his NE mirror matchup as he confessed to me in an interview that we will publish later this week. We should see many NEs qualify this season. Remo was quite impressed on how creative Hunter was with his glaive throwers plays.
Ballistas on the high ground
Walter sandwiched between two groups of glaives
Still a very satisfying result for Walter who came back from being thrown down to the Loser Bracket right from the first round after a close loss to OC [1-2]. Taking down SwordPuppy, AccCreate, Mackay and DanGer [9-1] overall, he deserved his second place and his plane ticket to Shanghai.
He pulled out some great moves, like this very clever ambush on OC's army.
It's an ambush sir!
Walter is very popular in the Latin American community for running a WC3 group on facebook accounting for more than 3,000 members. Usually only posting WC3 memes, he had for once a real WC3 content to share to his audience! It was nice to see his celebration there. Well done Walter and good luck in Shanghai.
I do not want to congratulate Hunter however. This is only what was expected of him. We hope for more during WGL, with hopefully a victorious BO3 offline : this is the next step!