For day 2 of the playoffs, I was busy all night at a farewell party. I tried to watch as many VOD and kept track with the scores.
It appeared that it would be a straight up game for the Chief. He has an overwhelming positive record against European Undeads. Wan was the only non invited player in the remaining 8 (which btw showed that WCA invited the right players). But to get there, he had to get rid of top Seeded Rudan, another Night Elves. He stated that this was his best matchup.
Game 1 : DH out of mana from too much harassing!
All started well for Rich on Last Refuge. Despite decent efforts from Wan who cancelled his Huntress Hall Rich ended up victorious with a nice last battle where he split his army : bears in front, dryads flanking to get to the wagons. Wan had nowhere to retreat.
Game 2 : Surrounds on point
On EI, Wan put the pressure early on and equalized pulling an amazing number of surrounds.
Game 3 : fantastisch sappers!
Nomad Isles was the determining map, Wan kept the pressure on with some nice move like stealing the troll priest from the merc camp that Rich was creeping, then last hitting the main creep with it. He noticed the seemingly bad positioning of Rich's moonwells, took them all down with a sappers and ghouls. Rich was taken by surprise, with no available healing and food blocked.
Note from the author, the next two chapters had to be written twice due to an annoying W3arena logging dysfunction. Bummers!
Dota skills spoke on Cechi's end during this serie. It would have been quite the earthsquake to see the two Night Elves favorites being kicked out right away. Cechi had strong early games with much pressure and a micro on point. In the first one on EI he gets a Panda kill and forces a tp after an engagement. In the next one there were absolutely no creeping and Foggy was always under pressure.
But two missteps costed him the games. In the first he gets into a bad battle without a TP with nowhere to retreat. In the second, he gets expectedly creepjacked trying to get the ogre red camp on LR. His DK gets split from his army, only to be caught up by Foggy's sneaky Naga.
I wrote heavily about forfeits in a former article to get rid of the subject for this one. If you are interested to know my opinion, just go there - I'm just gonna forfeit that game.
Foggy got a defwin to go straight to the third round. As much as I like him, I wanted a more fair conclusion to this day of Warcraft. I lobbied so we can get a mini tournament between Foggy, Wan and Hawk, the winner being qualified for the LB Final. It would have been the same amount of games overall.
Time was short and I did not have much hope. As we managed to change the format once (playoff were planned in an akward BO1 format at first...) I gave it a shot. But I was just fighting windmills there. And as my Swiss friend Raphael pointed out, there were a huge potential for a 3 ways draw if all ended with 1W 1L on the same score.
Game 1 : Cat and mouse game
Funny moments in that game with no big engagement. Hawk forces a TP, hiding his MK behind tree to bolt the DK. Then, Wan tries to destroy Hawk's castle before tanks attack his own main but eventually fails.
Game 2 : Wan breaks through
Game 2 on Nomad Isles, Wan manages to destroy Hawk's expansion and gets a third game.
Game 3 : The Emperor defeats The Uninvited
Like against Shadai twice in the group stages, Hawk finally wins 2-1 against an Undead. Wan tried to Zeppelin drop / harass Hawk's main but too late to make much of a difference.
Fear moved in with Wan on day 2. The only non invited player to break through the group stage, taking out Rudan no less, Wan had a deep run and showed so much skill. No doubt that with more time to dedicate to the game, he could become a World Class Undead. I know he does not have that much time available to exploit his full potential unfortunately.
One of the hilarious moment of the broadcast was when Neo nicknamed Wan "WanTwoZero" in reference of the famous Chinese Undead player. It was a nice pun, and also Remo only noticed it after several mention by Neo, much to his despair. When Remo caught it, Neo was like "AH OK FINALLY!". Hilarious discussion ensues.
I like to call him the Uninvited : he is Undead after all! Thank you Sir for such a great show.
This game was highly anticipated, and one of goodgame.ru fans published this funny promotion poster.
It's not really so much that Foggy won this serie 2-0 than Hawk lost it. While Foggy's play was flawless, Hawk multiplied the mistakes and was completely demolished. He could not reproduce the quality of the games he pulled of in round 1. Something was definitely wrong.
For the first time in WCA history, Hawk would not represent Europe in Yinchuan. A player with a 66% winning rate on Netease, ranked in the top 15 of the Chinese ladder. The only one who would have beaten Foggy in this tournament. Much regrets for Hawk, especially about the dramatic game 3 against Sonik in the WB Semi Finals. But with only two representatives this season, there were to be casualties. Like in China and Korea, Hawk was one of them and Europe was leaving one of his best men behind...
This is the end of my WCA Europe deep coverage. Mr White will take care of the last article about the finals (I missed most of the games, was too tired - especially for the grand finals). I expect must discussions about the KOTG play from Sonik, which I've found amazing. I hope you enjoyed my publications! Do not hesitate to drop a comment.
Check my former article about the 1st day of the playoff here : Clashes of Titans, Harry Potter threatened, Phenomenal Warcraft.
I would love to have a few more following on my twitter channel as well : twitter.com/playffa