Over 27,000 people gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center this past weekend for Blizzard's 5th annual Blizzcon. Among those thousands were people from all over the world, various vendors, and of course some of the best World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and Warcraft III players out there. Over the weekend we saw some great panels, vendor booths, artwork, cosplayers and game demos, but perhaps the most interesting and exciting parts of the entire weekend were the intense tournament matches. Thousands of eager gamers rushed the chairs, lined the floors, and crowded around the stages to watch their favorite gamers compete.
Starcraft II Tournament:
Probably the most popular tournament of the weekend, the Starcraft II tournament featured 16 of the top Starcraft II players in the world. Blizzard also had two special guests compete in an exhibition match. The world famous Emperor of Starcraft, BoxeR, and the first champion of GSL, Fruitdealer, played an exciting and crowd thrilling match. Although it was a close match filled with very skilled micro and macro from both players, Fruitdealer won the match with an impressive 2-0. One of the notable moments of the match that had the crowd going wild was during the first match. Both players kept thousands of viewers on the edge of their seats during the last battle as Boxer skillfully micro'd his marines to dodge and kill Fruitdealer's banelings, however to Boxer's dismay Fruitdealer dropped more banelings bombing and destroying the bulk of Boxer's army. This battle was followed by a quick GG from Boxer.
The SC2 excitement continued on to the second day where Korea's 'Nexgenius' and China's 'Loner' played two best of three matches for the championship. The crowds were especially excited for this match because Loner had beaten Nexgenius earlier on in the tournament. Because the tournament was double elimination, Nexgenius still had a shot at the championship title and beat Ukraine's 'Ra' for another chance to defeat Loner in the finals. Undaunted by his earlier loss, Nexgenius came back and beat Loner in two best of three matches landing him the title of the first champion of Blizzcon's SC2 Invitational. Both players used great tactics and masterful micromanagement making each game an exciting one, keeping the huge crowd constantly entertained. With each tactic, skill, and unit attack made by the players, the crowd roared and cheered in excitement. If you haven't watched the matches already, be sure to download the replays from www.blizzcon.com so you can see for yourself.
World of Warcraft Arena Tournament:
The World of Warcraft tournament at Blizzcon was a very special one for both professional WoW players and fans because of the possibility that it may be one of the last big WoW tournaments. Over the last few months, the number of professional players/teams has dropped and MLG announced that WoW won't be a part of their Dallas tournament. In addition, the new World of Warcraft expansion is coming out in December so there won't be any new tournaments for a while. Regardless of the decline and upcoming expansion, the WoW tournament was just as exciting and thrilling as the Starcraft II tournament. Eight 3v3 teams from the World of Warcraft 2010 Arena Tournament, came together to fight for the first place prize of $75,000. Unfortunately, the most notable and memorable moment of the tournament was the controversial championship victory of the French team aAa, against All authority.
The team went undefeated throughout the whole tournament and had already beaten their competitor for the finals, compLexity Red, 3-0.
In the final match, the American team compLexity Red, made an incredible comeback in the first of two best of five sets. Since they were coming from the consolation bracket, they had to win two out of three sets while aAa only had to win one. While everyone thought aAa was goin to win with their 2-1 lead, Complexity came back and won the first set 3-2. In the second match, Complexity kept the momentum and had a promising 2-1 lead, making them one victory away from winning the grand prize. Throughout the entire two sets, the crowd went wild every time one of the teams made a coordinated tactic or got a player low on health.
In the end, the crowd was biting their fingernails in anticipation as Complexity did everything they could to win that last game. Finally, they went all out and barely killed aAa's warlock, 'Jamesbond'. The crowd cheered and screamed as Complexity was about to be crowned the champion; however, the team leader of aAa asked Blizzard referees to review the match. After some time with the audience anxiously waiting, the refs revealed that the match barely went over the time limit of 20 minutes. Official rules state that after 20 minutes whoever deals the most damage, in this case aAa, is the winner. The infuriated Complexity returned to their seats to play one final match to decide the 2-2 tie. The final match was incredibly tense with great plays from both teams. The audience definitely wasn't thrilled with aAa's defensive play style, but in the end their defensive tactics won them the game and $75,000.
Warcraft III Tournament:
Although the Warcraft III tournament wasn't as popular as the other two, it was still very entertaining and exciting for the diehard wc3 fans. Unfortunately for one of the players, Happy had his flight delayed and was unable to make his match. Happy is a skilled undead player and a favorite of many Blizzcon attendees. The champion of the wc3 tournament and a favorite to win, Remind, went undefeated and skillfully beat all of his opponents. He was the champion of WCG and is considered the best wc3 player in the world. The second place winner, Infi, lost in the second round to the 2008 Blizzcon champion, Moon. Later on in the semi-finals, Infi played Moon again and won for another shot at the championship. In the grand finale, Remind beat Infi 2-1 and took home the $25,000 1st place prize.