No subject got me to scratch my head so much on how to handle it. Should I treat the forfeits that occured during WCA Europe in an article? Yes definetly, this was a major element of the tournament. But how?
I came to this conclusion : if I treat the subject in the tournament coverage, it will overshadow the rest of it. 3 more articles will be posted during the weekend to talk about the exploits of Foggy, Orcworker, Sonik, Wan and others!
I do not intend to offend any of the forfeiters fanbase here. I will try to be humorous! But facts are facts, the first one being :
Well done Europe! From a starting rooster of 16 players, we counted 4 forfeits. Except in Sheik's case, those got me worried. What happened? There are a few valid reasons to drop this way from the major event of the year : family drama, car accident or being eaten alive by a giant worm are the only one I can think of.
I've read some offended comments about WCA 2015, when Replays.net called our 5 representants "tourists". This was not written in a harsh way I think but still, Europe is full of amateurs players (meaning not living profesionnally from esport) and China overlooked them, especially Warchief and obviously Yaws.
To be considered by professionals, you need to behave as one. How many Chinese players dropped from S1 and S2 qualifiers? How many Koreans? None. Europe should reach this level of dedication when involved in international events. I hope we will get there, with the likes of Foggy, Orcworker, Hawk and many others, we certainly will.
Now I'd like to throw a few puns. I hope we can laugh about it.
I was thinking right after Yaws left us hanging : what if Gamescom took place a few days before? We could have had Arabrams in the last 8! He lost during the last round of the open qualifiers to Cash. I did not quite follow Cash's excuse to drop out, maybe something serious happened? Just like that Cash was out..why did you try to qualify then? We were excited to see Cash vs Foggy.
After heavily losing to Foggy and Yaws, Sheik and Arabrams were to meet in Group D loser's bracket. But Sheik just gave up, thinking that whatever happened in that game, the winner would lose to Yaws in the next round. That is probably true : who cares??
What did Sheik tried to qualify for? Yes WCA 2016. And there are the best European players there. You have been invited at their table, just enjoy the moment! Look at Shadai, taking two maps out of Hawk : that is awesome Warcraft. Nobody would blame you for losing, but not even trying?
This way, Arabrams played Yaws in Group D loser's bracket final. And If Yaws had forfeited then, what the hell would have happened next? Maybe Arabrams is a sorcerer of dark magic, forcing his opponents into resignation? Anyway Arabrams, much respect to you for stepping up.
Happy was THE sensation of the 8 invitations announcement. We could guess the other 7 but seeing Happy there man, it was just so exciting. My Chinese Wc3 friend group was all hyped about seeing Happy compete again. I was very curious too : was Happy finally decided to get back into full competition mode? He has been streaming a lot "Grubby's style" (large audience, many ladder games) but also played in the weekly Gera Cups. So this was a defining moment.
When I heard he renounced I thought "well, maybe he did not feel completely ready". Then I read that it was because he could not use his own stream during the competition and I just facepalmed myself.
Just allowing official streams during competitions at high level is normal. Sponsors are there and the organizers want to control the quality of the broadcast. It's not because you're Happy that they are going to change the rules. Infi and friends follow the same rules. But because you are Happy, you should have just entertained your very large audience of Wc3 nostalgics and aficionados.
That was disappointing but at least it did not disturb the whole grid since Happy did not play a single game. Cechi stepped in and played well, end of story. I still believe that your audience would have loved to watch you on Havoline or B2W channels. And your successes would have made your own channel grow as a consequences.
Yaws sudden withdrawal from LB round 2 is more serious and controversial on all levels. When he made his run during WCA 2015 up to the grand finals no less, I was on my 1 year Warcraft break. So I did not follow it live. But I was in Shanghai when Foggy was beating Lyn in May, listening to Neo simultaneously. The passion was so high that I nearly cried, so did Neo. And Neo said the only time he felt so much emotion casting was during Yaws' run at WCA that he called "the Cinderella Story" with reasons.
I emphasize this so you guys understand the emotion that this game can create, just like in any other sport. And the disappointment when you feel let down.
Since WCA 2015 Yaws went to explore others games and opportunities, and that is just fair. His return to WCA was also very anticipated even if he was not considered a favorite. He played very well, then just left due to contractual obligations to another game that he did not disclose prior to enlisting into WCA Europe. I do not know what was the plan behind his decision to commit to two simultaneous events. He will probably explain himself after Gamescom.
This decision was a big blow into the organization, to the fans, the casters and to a tournament that helped him shine to international recognition. Basically it was just sad and must have been frustrating for WarchiefRich who got sent to the Lower Bracket in a very close serie, by somebody who just dropped the next round.
I guess overall my message with this article would be this one : be reliable and responsible when you commit to an event, especially in an International one. In Asia you rarely get to not respect an engagement, this is too embarassing. During GCS Fall prequalifiers, 16 players qualified, including 2 Europeans Foggy and Anima. But Anima dropped out instantly, because he was not available to play during the group stages the following days. He knew it before registering and was the only one to drop out : you see my point?
I will now move onto more exciting subjects, ie the coverage of the full grid.
With Much Love,