What to Take Away from the World Tournament Series Cologne

The World Tournament Series (WTS) in Cologne was quite possibly the most exciting Guild Wars 2 tournament to date. Featuring the three best PvP teams in the world, it was a very tight race to the finish line. Today I am taking a look at what we can take away from this WTS and focus on the future with a quick recap of what went down.

The Abjured took down both European powerhouses after losing an intense first set to Orange Logo. That matchup was the most intense best of three I have seen in quite some time and if you missed it, you’d better go check it out! Finishing second after beating The Civilized Gentlemen (3rd), Orange Logo looked like an entirely different team in their last four matches against The Abjured, who finished 4-0 in their final two sets to come back from the lower bracket and take first place.

Celestial-sustain wins

Once again the celestial amulet prevails. While burst play is back in the meta more-so than it was a year ago, three celestial amulets on The Abjured showed just how powerful sustain can still be. I think with this being said, the meta is on a way to a shift in future patches but I don’t expect to see a change in the upcoming months. Unlike past tournaments, nothing was really ‘revealed’ by these top tier teams that wasn’t already known. Ultimately, this is going to keep the meta as is which revolves around mainly sustain and one to two burst builds. This is nothing new to Guild Wars 2 which worries me in that teams may leave due to a stale celestial meta.

No region has a complete dominance

Beijing went to North America. Boston went to Europe. Cologne went to North America after losing a set to Europe. Neither region seems to have that dominance that we see in League of Legends from Korea and China or in Starcraft from Korea. With that being said, any international tournament is up for grabs by anyone. We can go into a tournament seeing a favorite or two, but can’t rely on them to dominate from then on out. This is extremely good for the scene, keeping it from being stale on an international scale.

Leagues

Leagues in Heart of Thorns was a major announcement during the WTS stream and are definitely a benefit to the PvP scene. While not much information on them is currently known, we do have a short video from Curse shown below that details the current information. More information on this is to be revealed at a later date as well as being held in this Guild Wars 2 article.

Analyst desk

Bringing in an analyst desk for the first time in the WTS series was a great idea. I think the production side of it went well as they had some good transitions and analysis. If more preparation went into the analyst desk as a whole it might have had more success, but I applaud ArenaNet for bringing it to the table.

Production quality

The production quality of the World Tournament Series has outdone its predecessor time after time. Seemingly no issues this go around, aside from a couple of disconnects, this tournament went flawlessly in almost every aspect. Great transitions, limited downtime, and an excellent cast of crew members and leads on the project itself. I applaud ArenaNet this time for a job well done and can only hope for them to continue improving their events as they have been time after time.

The only issues that did arise were, as previously mentioned, a few disconnects and a few¬†awkward camera angles. I am unsure of how experienced the camera crew was and, while they did a great job of getting some good shots, there were a few…creepy shots that really gave most of us a good chuckle. However, ending this on a good note, we can only expect ArenaNet to improve their production quality and they definitely stepped their game up for this major event.

Viewership

A Saturday morning is a good time for a tournament. Unfortunately for those in the North America time zones, this one was not. Starting at 1 AM Pacific / 4 AM Eastern, the viewership for the start of the WTS was quite rough. Peaking at around 3,000 for the early games, the viewership finally started to rise to around 9,000 for the finals on Twitch. While the early numbers weren’t so great, hitting 9,000 is quite impressive due to the fact that our Chinese stream over on Douyu.tv hit over 5,000 viewers themselves! I think the overall viewership was quite a success given the time of day including the Chinese stream and the audience turnout that were there in person to watch the event.

The WTS in Cologne was definitely a memorable tournament and we can only hope for a future season of this sort. I think overall the WTS was a huge success overtime as each one seemed to be improved from the previous one. With that being said, no knowledge on a future major tournament is known as leagues seem to be the next main focus for the PvP community.

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Storm
Storm 68 posts

Storm is a commentator and writer in both the Overwatch and Guild Wars 2 professional scenes.

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