Battle for Azeroth is well and truly underway, and so is the Fall Season of the Arena World Championship! An ever-evolving meta has led to one of the most interesting tournaments of the year and has locked in our North American and European BlizzCon representatives, finalizing the 12 global participants.
Jungle and RPS Are Back
RPS (Rogue/Shadow Priest/Restoration Shaman) and Jungle (Hunter/Feral Druid/Healer) compositions, which had been strong before the launch of BfA, are now back. The Gosu Crew provided a masterclass on RPS in North America, and the top three of Europe had strong Jungle representation. While Europe seemed to gravitate towards joining in the Jungle, North America spent the whole tournament searching up and down for an answer to RPS. Whether it was new Azerite traits, stacking different classes or finding different healers, no-one could find the answers.
Method Black Stumble Early
Method Black didn’t seem to play up to their past potential, losing to both Reformed and Tempo Storm, both of which have also already qualified for BlizzCon. While this seems like a dip in form for Method Black, they could be holding their real cards close to their chest for BlizzCon. With Method Black out of the way, a certain lunar team took the European throne with a dominant Turbo Cleave (Arms Warrior/Enhancement Shaman).
XRB go into Turbo at the Perfect Time
In an aggressive Jungle Cleave-filled tournament, XRB to the Moon decided the answer was to turn the aggression up a notch. With an extraordinarily strong Turbo Cleave looking even better than it did in the longer games last week, XRB showed their pedigree. They showed impressive 3–1 wins over Tempo Storm and Reformed before taking down the Deleters. In the Grand Final, XRB came out 4–1 winners over Jungle-based Skill Capped Red. Whether this counter is useful worldwide, or reliant on having a skilled Warrior like Maroš "Blizo" Molčan, remains to be seen. With an international silver medal under their belts, XRB are looking to be coming into form at the perfect time with BlizzCon little over a month away.
North American Upsets Show New Contenders
Neat is not a team name you were likely to know before Fall Cup #2, but you probably know them now. Neat had an incredible run, taking down Super Rejects, The Rejects, and pushing Super Frogs to five games. While they couldn’t complete the upset, an extremely unusual Balance Druid/Rogue composition saw a unique take on the top four. While Kaska’s Angels and Super Rejects struggled, two teams took the opportunity to move away from the rest of the pack at the top. Method Orange and The Gosu Crew are the two top teams in North America, and they made that very clear this week.
Method Orange had a low-performing tournament by their lofty standards, which are nothing to scoff at. With a new-look composition which moved away from their Walking Dead (Windwalker Monk/Death Knight/Healer) melee cleave, Method Orange took down Neat 3-1 and eased past Kaska’s Angels. In fact, they only tried to change their composition four times all tournament—each time looking for an answer to the enigma that is The Gosu Crew’s RPS.
The Gosu Crew Bring RPS Back and Keep the Streak
The Gosu Crew have had an incredibly impressive Summer and Fall session, finishing among the top two of the last five North American cups. With the meta changing since Fall Cup #1, The Gosu Crew could play RPS again, and this tournament showed everyone why their RPS is considered one of the best in the world. Conner “WizK” Torrence was back on his Shadow Priest main with a vengeance and it showed: a 3-2 over Super Frogs followed by seven straight wins over Method Orange saw The Gosu Crew take the title and a firm hold on the North American point standings.
The Gosu Crew’s RPS was a terror in North America during Legion and seems to be equally intimidating in BfA, as teams threw everything at it including the kitchen sink. Method Orange brought a double Demon Hunter composition, as well as a Havoc/Balance druid composition. SHORE! tried to play a DRM(Druid/Rogue/Mage) and found success only once—The Gosu Crew were simply untouchable.
One More, Then BlizzCon
The 12 teams for BlizzCon are now locked in, as regional tournaments around the world have wrapped up.
Asia-Pacific: Mad Dogs
China: Cohesion Dream, Pen and Paper
Europe: Making a Movie, Method Black, Reformed, Tempo Storm, XRB to the Moon
Latin America: Unitas Red
North America: The Gosu Crew, Method Orange, Super Frogs
The AWC Fall Season concludes this weekend with NA/EU Cup #3. For the schedule, check out the Fall Season announcement blog, and be sure to follow us on Twitch and Twitter to stay up to date with all things AWC.