Everything You Need to Know About the WTS Cologne
The World Tournament Series, also known as the WTS, is the biggest series of competitive events in Guild Wars 2 PvP to date. I am going to brief you on what you need to know about the upcoming WTS Cologne tournament held this Saturday. With new people joining the Guild Wars 2 community everyday due to the Heart of Thorns expansion I am sure there are many faces that are a little more than confused about this subject, the meaning, and what is at stake.
The WTS is currently tagged as “WTS 2015” and has been a stretch of three of the largest Guild Wars 2 PvP tournaments totaling to a grand prize pool of 150,000 USD. Each WTS location has a qualifying tournament for teams from each region to battle it out and determine who will be participating in the finals. Each region: China, Europe, and North America, will host a tournament. The host region will bring two teams to the tournament while the remaining two regions will field one.
The prize pool split for each of the three tournaments goes as follows:
The first WTS qualifiers were held in late 2014 and the field of the eight qualifier teams were based upon to top eight in the Tournament of Glory, a tournament where any and all teams battled it out for in-game items. Not all teams were eligible to participate that placed in the top eight in the Tournament of Glory due to age restrictions, location, and other various rulings. These rulings have been carried through the rest of the tournament qualifiers, which were held through a different series of qualifiers. However, the first WTS was held in Beijing which allowed for two Chinese teams, one European team, and one North American team. These teams were Team PRIME (CN – 4th), Team SALA (CN – 3rd), The Civilized Gentlemen (EU – 2nd), and The Abjured (NA – 1st).
The second WTS qualifiers were held in February of 2015. Teams would battle for a spot through the weekly ESL cups held every Sunday afternoon. The top eight teams, were they able to field five eligible players, earned a spot in the qualifiers. Since this tournament was held in Boston, MA, for the PAX East gaming convention, North America was able to field two teams this time around in March of 2015. The teams were Team Heaven and Earth (CN – 4th), The Redacted (NA – 3rd), The Abjured (NA – 2nd), and Orange Logo (EU – 1st). With this second tournament going in favor of Europe, the third one has drawn a lot of attention as to who will be crowned king with both power house regions each earning a title.
The third and final WTS 2015 qualifier were held in May of 2015 and fielded eight teams per region in the same ESL qualifying format done in the previous tournament. With this final WTS being held in Cologne on August 8th at Gamescom, Europe will be the final region to field two of their own teams. The teams that will be battling it out are GLHF (CN), The Abjured (NA), The Civilized Gentlement (EU), and Orange Logo (EU).
Now that the basis of the tournament and its history as a whole have been laid out, let us a take a look at the history of the individual teams, what got them here, and how they will fair this Saturday.
The Chinese scene is a rather unknown to the majority of the public. Their tournament format isn’t advertised on the front page of the Guild Wars 2 website like NA and EU. However, we do know a few things about their qualifying team. GLHF, known as Original Sin in their qualifier, brings two former WTS participants into the field. These two participated in the WTS Beijing and placed third. Now back in action after defeating Heaven and Earth 2-1 in their qualifiers, they look to take revenge on the other regions. Take a look here to see what the the other WTS teams have to say about China.
I understand that their games aren’t the easiest to find which is why I have linked their qualifier finals below. These are some very intense matches and are definitely worth a watch if you wish to be familiar with them going into this Saturday’s tournament. Keep in mind Heaven and Earth also fielded players from the WTS in Boston.
The Abjured, the North American qualifying team led by Five Gauge, is the only team in all regions to have participated at all three WTS locations. With only one roster change throughout their entire run, they haven’t had the most difficult of runs to this WTS. Not dropping a single match on their march to victory in their qualifier, they are still looking like somewhat of an underdog this Saturday. We will have to see what they bring to the table as I am sure they have something up their sleeve for Europe. With North America not having a particularly intense battle for the top spot in all tournaments, unlike Europe, it was very difficult for most teams to have a serious chance at defeating them. The Abjured have been the face of the North American scene since the WTS China qualifiers.
The Civilized Gentlemen (TCG), led by Helseth, has been a stable roster for the past several months. Not having participated in WTS Boston (beat out by Orange Logo), they are on the move for some revenge against their weekly enemy, Orange Logo, and The Abjured, who beat them out in the WTS Beijing finals. Having lost the last four out of five ESL weekly meetings in some very heated matches against Orange Logo, they are one of the favorites this Saturday as they hold the number one overall seed.
Orange Logo, led by ROM, will be the number two seed in this final WTS. Although they have won the majority of recent matchups against the top seeded TCG, they were the second qualifying team in Europe putting them at a lower seed than The Civilized Gentlemen. Take a look here at what ROM has to say about the upcoming finals and how his team has been preparing for these tough matchups.
Taking a look at the bracket, which can be found here, the first set of matches include TCG (1) vs GLHF (4) and The Abjured (3) vs Orange Logo (2). I am unsure of how the seedings were figured out but must have had some relation to past results. Logically speaking, I see it as all NA and EU teams beat China in both WTS Beijing and WTS Boston, defaulting them to the fourth seed. The Abjured did beat TCG at WTS Beijing but lost to Orange Logo at WTS Boston. Orange Logo lost to TCG in their qualifiers for WTS Cologne which would put both teams ahead of The Abjured, ultimately making them the third seed and Orange Logo the second seed. While these past tournaments were months ago, I see no other valid explanation to both European teams being ahead of The Abjured other than being the host region (which wouldn’t make sense in that The Redacted were the third seed for WTS Boston and Orange Logo was the second seed).
Looking at TCG vs GLHF, Europe definitely has the upper hand. While we haven’t seen a Chinese team face any other region in months now and we are unsure of how they have adapted to the new patch, TCG is the overall number one seed and looking strong to take this set. Look for them to move into the winners bracket finals seeing as Helseth and company have clearly been preparing and won’t look to lose this first matchup.
Possibly the most highly anticipated matchup of the tournament, Orange Logo vs The Abjured will be a thrilling rematch of two powerhouse teams. For those of you that did not tune into the WTS Boston finals, The Abjured had several large leads in these games with Orange Logo overcoming these deficits in an exciting fashion. This is a tough pick for me, but I have to give The Abjured the win with the recent changes to the warrior. Perhaps ROM has a secret ranger build he’ll be bringing out. All jokes aside, this one is really a toss up. Orange Logo is very scary but not having seen them in this past week’s ESL weekly makes me wonder what they’re up to.
Since we are not 100% sure on any future matchup, I will briefly take a look at the remaining possible scenarios. GLHF vs Orange Logo would more than likely result in the same fashion as TCG vs GLHF. I think Orange Logo is too well trained of a team to lose in that matchup. Putting The Abjured up against GLHF might result in the same scenario, however, I think if GLHF are to claim victory over a team it will be over The Abjured due to the surprise factor that The Abjured seemed to have troubles with in previous WTS. They did not lose these matchups but the Chinese teams did put up a fair amount of points.
TCG vs The Abjured is another highly anticipated match and could bring some very exciting games. I think the coordination and burst potential that comes into play with TCG is maybe a little too much for The Abjured to handle, but this could definitely go either way seeing as both teams have some threats on their side.
Lastly, TCG vs Orange Logo is a matchup we see nearly every week and one I know the majority of Europe would love to see in this high-stake situation. I think Orange Logo would prevail as they have in the last three matchups against TCG. However, most of these sets have went to a game three and I wouldn’t put it past them to have the same promising matches once more. Look for this matchup to be a thriller this weekend.
Lastly, as a shoutcaster myself I have been asked numerous times who I think will win this bout. This is the toughest WTS we have seen yet just due to the knowledge of Europe having two of the top teams in the world and fielding them both, unlike China and North America. With that being said, we have a real field of three teams that could take it. While China might pull an upset (I’m rooting for it), I think these other three are the more realistic choice. Orange Logo’s recent domination over TCG has me swaying towards them while The Abjured are yet to show me how dominant they really are. This could be due to total domination on North American servers that has gotten a bit stale or just that they are yet to reveal a secret weapon. My bet is on Orange Logo but I would be just as thrilled for any of the other three to claim victory. I look forward to watching with you all this Saturday!
The WTS Cologne is quite possibly the most highly anticipated tournament Guild Wars 2 has ever had and will provide many exciting matches. Be sure to tune in and watch Kaelaris and Jebro commentate live this Saturday!
The tournament will be held this Saturday, August 8th, at 10 AM CEST / 1 AM PDT / 4 AM EDT.
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