The summer season of the WoW Arena World Championship began this past weekend with the first European Cup, featuring the reigning champions from the spring session, Reformed. Despite being favored based on their previous success, Reformed wouldn’t be getting by on intimidation—and the double-elimination event offered plenty of surprises.
The Best Meet Early
With Method Black (Formerly Skill Capped Black) meeting Reformed in the fourth round of the winner’s bracket, the two best teams in the cup—possibly in the world—met early. Reformed stuck with the Jungle Cleave that saw them glide through every opponent and qualify for BlizzCon in the Spring Finals. Method Black answered Reformed strength for strength, going for a similar, high-pressure Melee Cleave that managed to hold Reformed down for a quick 3-0 win. Method Black continued to use Outlaw Rogue, which Oscar “Whaazz” Wulff continues to establish as one of the strongest melee picks available, with continuous crowd control and mobility.
Team Riviera Into the Winners Top Four
You might be forgiven for being unfamiliar with Team Riviera. They played during the spring season as Antonio Esports, finishing the season tied for 13th with 12 points. This season started very differently for Team Riviera, taking a tight 3-2 win over the remaining two players from the defending BlizzCon champions, Tempo Storm. Following the upset over Tempo Storm, Team Riviera took a game off a dominant Method Black before losing 3-1 to Reformed in the lower bracket final. The third-place finish for Team Riviera means they already sit on 80 points this season and look to be one of the new contenders in the AWC.
XRB to the Moon Starting Slow
XRB to the Moon were thought to be the second-best team in Europe last season, and are certainly one of the teams who have given Method Black trouble in the past. A slow start in the summer season with a Round 3 loss to Tempo Storm was followed by a 3-1 elimination at the hands of Reformed, after getting by Best Students due to disqualification. A tied-for-5th finish may not be bad for most teams, but for the squad that finished the spring season in second place with 340 points, XRB to the Moon will be looking to improve.
Method Black vs The World
When the Spring Finals came around, nearly everyone expected Skill Capped Black (now Method Black) to qualify for BlizzCon—but two losses to The Rejects saw their hopes dashed and a trip back to Europe to regroup. Method Black came into the first European Cup of the summer with a chip on their shoulders and rolled the competition. They dropped two games throughout the entire tournament, one to a surging Team Riviera and one to WWDK Nation, who showed an ability to beat anyone last season. Facing Reformed for a rematch in the cup final, Method Black swept them again, going 4-0 and taking a 7-0 record versus the best team from Spring.
The summer season continues with AWC North America Cup #1 on May 19 and 20, with Method Orange looking to prove their Spring Finals performance was just a fluke, while The Rejects look to prove the opposite.