WGL Winter 2018 kicked off with the group stages on Wednesday.
The beginning of the competition was marked by an epidemic of various illnesses and injuries that weakened our western players from the get go.
Foggy, Neytpoh, and DanGer represented Europe and America in Group A and B.
Fever, food poisoning, and thrombosis
The first alert came from Cash who arrived in China already feverishly and did not feel better after a few days. He had to stay in bed on day 1 but now seems to feel better. He should be able to compete normally against Infi tomorrow in Group C.
Foggy woke up the same day with digestive problems related to food poisoning. Right before facing TH000 in his inaugural game in Group A, he was actually seeking treatment at the local pharmacy.
Thankfully it was nothing too serious unlike what happened to Hunter.
The best American player appeared to be limping on the eve of the competition. He had to check in the hospital in the afternoon because of an unbearable pain in his right leg. He seems to suffer from some sort of thrombosis after travelling from Peru and practicing too much for WGL after his arrival. It is hard to get a clear diagnosis here in Shanghai.
He obviously still wants to play and is taking medication. A wheelchair is ready for him if his condition allows him to compete tomorrow against FoCuS for his first match.
Group A: TH000 out of the way
Composition : Foggy, TH000, Lyn, WFZ, Neytpoh, Chaemiko
Neytpoh "I have special tactics for Lyn"
Placed in the group of death, chances of qualification seemed limited for the KotG specialist. Unexpectedly, he was quite satisfied about his fate and felt he had good chances against Lyn for his first match on stage.
I think I am actually a 60% favorite against Lyn. I prepared special tactics. I feel confident. ~Neytpoh
Most likely these special tactics did not include forgetting rally points and having 4 huntresses staying idle in his main. Neytpoh was obviously nervous for his first appearance on the big stage - against the Orc King.
Neytpoh likes to joke and banter, so it's hard to say if his shown confidence was real or not. He did perform at a higher level later and clinched a nice victory for Team Europe [2-1] over Chaemiko then took a map out of WFZ [1-2].
This was indeed the first non Foggiest European victory in a Golden League tournament, well done Neytpoh!
Neytpoh interviewed by Remo
Foggy and Lyn dominating
It seemed like the matter was settled after two rounds. TH000 losing to both Foggy and Lyn in a row sealed the fate of the running champion. Disappointingly enough, none of those match took place on the main stage.
HI2Chaco was the guest of honor to stream Foggy's crucial victory.
Undefeated after four matches, Foggy and Lyn had to fight for the top seed in their group. Lyn came out on top [2-1] with both players obviously holding on their strength for the next round.
With such a performance, Foggy should attract the interest of teams looking to recruit the best line up possible for next year. His future is bright!
TH000 made a disappointing exit, even forfeiting his match against Chaemiko. We will have a new WGL champion this season, this is a certainty!
Group B - Colorful and Fly as predicted
Composition : Colorful, Fly, Lucifer, Sok, So.in, DanGer
For once I've gotten my predictions right! The two favorites qualified with Colorful reigning (nearly) supreme, only losing one match to Lucifer [1-2].
His match up against UD is still his weak point. If he can go deep in the tournament, he will need to hope that someone else eliminates 120.
DanGer scores for Peru
This was the first map won by an American player at WGL. Last minute replacement DanGer was only defeated [1-2] to Colorful in the first round before losing the rest of his matches [0-2].
This map win, a close encounter with Fly100%, and one match on stage, DanGer can be satisfied with his performance here in Shanghai. Unknown in China before the tournament, he made a name for himself.
Sok the showman
Another WGL rookie made an even stronger impression : Sok. Not only he was one game away from making it to the playoffs, he also had the most epic entrance in a Warcraft III tournament ever! Just take a look.
First appearance for Sok at WGL : it was worth the wait!
- Group C and D kick off tomorrow. Favorites Moon, Infi, 120, LawLiet, and FoCuS on the menu.
- Sonik, Cash, HawK, and hopefully Hunter will represent Europe and America.
- I will keep you guys informed about Hunter's health on Twitter.
- All matches to be streamed in English on Back2Warcraft, Hi2Chaco, and Khaldor.