Vanilla goes competitive with the WoW Classic Summer Bowl
WoW Classic is finally getting a Battleground competition after almost a year of constant player harassment. Player and community organized events were occasional enough to create a strong grassroots community willing to compete in this “dated” title. Although WoW has plenty of moxy with Retail competitions like the Mythic Dungeon Invitational or the Arena World Championship, the Vanilla lot didn’t get their sanctioned event until now. Blizzard finally budget and announces the WoW Classic Summer Bowl.
The Classic Summer Bowl setup
Envisioned as a Warsong Gulch tournament, the entire competition will happen during the summer months with the qualifiers starting in just a week, on June 17th. For three fun-filled weekends, North American and European teams will be in competition for a small prize pool. The American and European prize pools are of $4000 each, which is a surprise considering community driven events have had similar or higher prize pools then what Blizzard is offering.
Players who want to participate sign up in teams of ten – player characters have to be level 60 and can’t have any sort of bans or punishments on their accounts. Several match breaking actions that happen in regular play have also been forbidden.
“Players may not access “Safe Spots”. Safe Spots are defined as areas of the map accessed by performing a jump or series of jumps with an end point that could not be reached without the series of jumps. Generally, most known jumps that skip between 2 tiers that are otherwise reachable is acceptable. In case of doubt, reach out to an admin. Players deemed to be abusing Safe Spots are subject to disqualification from the match.”
Additionally, some creative quest consumables along with Magic Dust have been banned. This points us towards Blizzard actually following the community driven scene and adapting the rules accordingly.
The tournaments themselves will be split into two stages each – two sets of qualifiers and finals respectively. While signups for the qualifiers are open, the finals will only feature the top six teams of each of the two regions.
WoW classic esports has never had big prize pools, heck they never had an esports ecosystem really. Yet, that doesn’t make Classic PvP any less fun to play or watch or bet on! As a matter of fact, esports betting is actually quite big in WoW Esports events overall. Although not all esports betting sites offer esports odds on WoW Retail or Classic, you may just be able to find one that suits your needs.
The Finals & Meta
Only the top two teams in NA and Europe will split the two $4000 prize pools between them. First place gets $3000 and second $1000. Of course, the bragging rights for having won the inaugural WoW Classic Summer Bowl are what is important! Everyone can still sign up if they want to participate in the event – in fact there is still a fair bit not yet known about the event… and that includes the casters, and staff that will be helping host the event.
There is a somewhat clearly defined WSG meta with very little adjustments being made to it. Two+ priests and two mages are the default parts of every composition. The flag carrier is usually a druid or either one of the two mages. The remaining four slots on the team are usually reserved for Warlock, Warrior, Rogue, Hunter and Paladin/Shaman.
The match layout is pretty straightforward also. Two players on each team usually go for the enemy flag while the rest fights around the middle area of the Battleground. The goal for both teams is to safely transition their flag carriers across the mid point. Pretty straightforward right?
The interesting bits begin when a team decides to break the mold, and either spice up the default approach or the post “middle fight” stage. PvP in Retail and WoW Classic is extremely different. The Vanilla WoW is way more barebones in terms of abilities and utility. This opens up for very cheesy and one off strategies teams can come up with. All in all, we hope the most ingenious teams in EU and NA sign up for the event. So far, about 50 teams have signed up for the qualifiers in each of the two regions.
The reception for the event have been positive. Fans on Reddit generally responded quite positively, and with excitement for the event. Blizzard will hopefully see to it that things stay interesting – catch a game or two if you get a chance!