The second and final day of the Wargaming League Grand Finals 2016 kick off later today in Warsaw, Poland. Before we get into today’s feeds, let’s recap some of the action from last night:
World of Tanks’ biggest fanbase may be located right here in Warsaw, Poland, but you’d never know it. The first day of the WGL Grand Finals 2016 started out with an emotionless whimper instead of a bang.
For starters, Wargaming didn’t get the memo on the whole “stop doing pretty girls for pretty girls’ sake” thing. As the twelve competing teams were introduced, two rows of (admittedly, modestly attired) models stood at attention, grinning… and not doing much else. Humourless, blank-faced pro gamers filed past them, one team at a time, to stand at attention in the midst of an epic light show that threw out the exact opposite amount of energy that the teams themselves displayed.
Rookie casters, specifically a nervous fellow named Raven, looked down at their notes while handling introductions, flubbing lines and trying to hide the fact that they didn’t want to be on camera right at that exact second. The event’s main host, full of boundless energy, turned it way down when introducing last year’s champions, the Hellraisers. The introduction went down in the same way a “tribute to the dead” segment would at the Oscars. Luckily, the team arrived on stage unscathed.
Fans seated in Warsaw’s Torwar Hall didn’t know what to make of it all; neither did we press. The entire opening ceremony was met with confusion, nervous laughter and little applause. Thankfully, the gameplay on offer afterward wasn’t like this at all, offering up some crushing blowouts alongside some utter nail-biters.
Sadly, both seeded Asia Pacific teams — EL Gaming and Gold Bass — were eliminated from the competition after round robin play yesterday. Despite valiant efforts, Gold Bass only managed to win one game in both of their matches. Speaking to both teams ahead of play, EL and GB were confident they were prepared, getting in extra scrimmage time with European and North American teams to get used to their play styles and spending all of March playing and working in Polish time rather than local timezones. As Gold Bass conceded to interviewers yesterday, they unluckily drew the “division of death”, pitted against tournament favourites Hellraisers and Navi. The only remaining Asia Pacific team still in play is China’s YaTo, a wildcard entry. From their performance yesterday, they’re not expected to last long.
Last night’s action saw three shoutouts, with Gold Bass dropping a match 5-0 to Hellraisers, the UK’s Wombats on Tanks demolishing North America’s SIMP 5-0 and Not So Serious doing the same to China’s YaTo. No match went to a ninth game, though several matches concluded with tension-packed 5-3 results. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the format’s new ten minute match length meant teams primarily focused on destroying one another rather than trying to capture any map points. It will interesting to see if this trend continues on today.
In the end, Hellraisers, Navi and Wombats on Tanks arguably had the strongest performances of the day and each team can, at the very least, make it into semi-finals with continued aggressive play. Will they carry on those performances and finish strong? Only time will tell.
Here’s what’s playing, and where, today (winners are in bold).
Main Stage (English feed)
[twitch id=”wgleu” align=”center” mode=”normal” maxwidth=”800
- 8.00 pm AEST: Not So Serious vs SIMP
- 9.30 pm AEST: Navi vs Kazna Kru
- 11.15 pm AEST: Hellraisers vs Not So Serious
- 12.45 am AEST: Navi vs Wombats on Tanks
- 2.30 am AEST: World of Warships scrimmage
- 4.00 am AEST: The Finals — Hellraisers vs Navi
Secondary Stage (English):
[twitch id=”wglna” align=”center” mode=”normal” maxwidth=”800
- 8.30 pm AEST: Tornado.RoX vs Hellraisers
- 10.00 pm AEST: Wombats on Tanks vs YaTo Gaming
- 3.00 am AEST: Third place match — Not So Serious vs Wombats on Tanks
Other feeds and languages
- YouTube Gaming (English)
- Twitch (Japanese)
- Niconico (Day 1)
- Niconico (Day 2)
- Twitch (Chinese)
- Twitch (Korean)
Keep it locked to Stevivor for more coverage throughout the week.
Stevivor is attending the WGL Grand Finals 2016 in Warsaw, Poland courtesy Wargaming.net.
Photo credit: Jem Loh, Wargaming.