Red Bull Wololo: Legacy Age of Empires IV - June Finals
The first Age IV Qualifier for Heidelberg Castle is decided!
For those who missed it:
The third Red Bull Wololo: Legacy June qualifiers concluded, an event series hosted on EGCTV to determine two of the qualifiers for the massive $300,000 Red Bull Wololo: Legacy event coming up in October. The first event was won by Beastyqt two weeks ago week after an epic final against Demuslim, while the second one saw 1puppypaw come out on top. This week it was time for the first monthly finals, so instead of a big open stage, we saw all those who proved themselves in the first three events, fight it out to claim one of the available tickets to Heidelberg.
Round of 16
The first stage here was a Round of 16, starting directly with serious Best of 5 matches. Even the top seeds could not expect any "easy" fights right from the start as it was all players who had proven their ability to perform well in the previous weeks already. Though 1puppypaw demonstrated once more his determination, starting us off with another clean sweep against Brazilian Erik, continuing his crazy runs. Germany's ZertoN pulled through against the Chinese YUImetal, Australian HuT overtook Bee 3-2, Spanish Vortix 3-0'ed Knuschelbär, DeMusliM came out ahead 3-2 over RecoN. A surprise in this stage for some was another clean 3-0 of Wam01 against none other than Kasva. Everyone's favorite Greek farmer TheMista managed another one of the impressive 3-0s against his fellow Age of Mythology player IamMagic. Finally, LucifroN7 pushed forward into the Quarterfinals with his 3-1 victory over Argentina's Age of Empires legend Capoch.
Next up we saw the Quarterfinals starting with 1puppypaw meeting ZertoN in the first matchup. While ZertoN clean-swept his first-round opponent YUImetal 3-0, this time it was his turn to get rolled over by the seemingly still unstoppable 1puppypaw, who has an unprecedented amount of clean-sweep victories under his belt, only losing a few single maps in finals so far.
The match determining his opponent for the final fight over the first ticket was between HuT and VortiX. Here Vortix continued his top-form and pulled off a 3-0 victory as well, making the upcoming match against 1puppypaw all the more exciting.
The third match was between TheMista and LucifroN7. After LucifoN7 won the first game with Delhi against English on Arabia very quickly, defending successfully against an all-in Longbow rush TheMista quickly recovered, getting revenge on Four Lakes with Rus against Abbasid, going for all five Relics while playing a full gold-denial strategy with Cavalry Archers and a forward Keep. Now TheMista in turn took the Abbasid against Mongols on Lipany, defending well against the mandatory Outpost rush and due to killing the enemy forward units, managing to pull off a strong transition towards a Triple-TC boom and his second victory. In game four we saw TheMista again pick his opponent's previous civ, taking the Mongols against LucifroN7's French on High View. LucifroN7 went for a quick economy-heavy strategy, quickly gaining a decent Villager advantage, but using his Castle Age power spike well, TheMista sent his units in, raiding LucifroN7's exposed resources and showing there was no stopping the flood, forcing him to resign and granting TheMista a 3-1 victory and the opportunity to fight for the top prize.
Fighting over the chance to beat TheMista in the second final were DeMusliM and Wam01. Winning a Delhi mirror match first, Wam01 followed it up by an HRE victory in another mirror and looking very strong after sealing the game three already, utilizing a classic Mongol Outpost rush against Chinese on French Pass, giving us another 3-0 victory.
Now it was time for the top prize, the two tickets to Heidelberg. Since two were up for grabs, this event would end with two separate Best of Seven Semifinals. First up was 1puppypaw with Mongols against VortiX with Chinese. 1puppypaw went for another Outpost Rush, denying the enemies forward Berries and a back Woodline, killing the all-so-important Chinese official in the process, and deciding the first game for himself before the clock even got to eight minutes.
Next up 1puppypaw took Chinese himself against VortiX's Delhi on Altai, walling the sides with both Sacred Sites for himself and placing the Barbican on the central one. All this to go for an extra TC over his opponent, who felt forced to push early but ran into strong defense. A follow-up push yielded a lot more success, opening the game up for a lot of pressure, especially with the early tech advantage he got after going to Castle Age faster than the Chinese since 1puppypaw opted for the heavier boom. Eventually, 1puppypaw managed to slow down the push, countering a forward Castle with a defensive one of his own. With the help of multiple Trebuchets, VortiX managed to snipe almost all of his opponent's Landmarks though. With the resulting big economic lead, 1puppypaw eventually managed to push ahead to Imperial Age. VortiX in the meantime managed to catch up on economic numbers, but with Bombards and Handcannons entering the field, the Chinese Lategame eventually became unstoppable, deciding this amazing game and making it 2-0 for 1puppypaw.
The third game was VortiX picking French against 1puppypaw's Delhi, who went for a classic Delhi early Sacred Site play. Controlling the two outside sites while baiting fights in the center, he managed to bank up a lot of generated gold, giving him the option to go for Castle Age much faster. VortiX quickly pushed in before any meaningful tech advantage could manifest, but with the tight enemy base secured by defensive towers and military, the damage was minimal. Winning a big decisive fight just a few moments later, it looked like VortiX was well on to win his first game, but distracted by the battle, 1puppypaw had cavalry units slaughter his opponent's Woodline, crushing his twenty Villager eco lead into a deficit and once VortiX saw the massacre, he immediately resigned, the score now 3-0.
VortiX, now on the brink of elimination, chose the Abbasid on Four Lakes, while 1puppypaw opted for the French. The game was looking very good for VortiX early on, reaching Castle Age faster and rushing in while 1puppypaw was still going up. This raid granted him a decisive lead, allowing for a strong push with a forward Castle, granting him his first point of the match.
Game five was an English mirror on High View. VortiX went for a big Palisade in Castle Age to help with going up onto a third TC. With both players on full Knight-based armies, VortiX managed to engage favorably early on, keeping the enemy military advantage minimal, boomed ahead, and eventually won the game with a much better flood potential, even against his opponent's Imperial Age coming in earlier, making the score much closer with 2-3.
Now having won two games in a row himself, suddenly VortiX was fully back in the match, also winning with Mongols against Abbasid on Frisian Marshes, equalizing to 3-3 and going to game seven.
This deciding game was played on Danube River as an HRE mirror. Both players went for Knight Raids, harassing each other, until suddenly VortiX dropped ten Villagers, missing a single Landsknecht raiding a mill off to the side and ending the game early. This gave 1puppypaw the 4-3 victory and secured a ticket to Heidelberg.
The second ticket was to be fought over by TheMista and Wam01, trying to join his brother 1puppypaw. The match started off with TheMista's Chinese against Wam01's Delhi on Arabia. Controlling Sacred Sites and trading well, Wam01 managed to contain the Chinese boom. After a few successful raids, it was a pretty one-sided 1-0 for Wam01.
Game two featured a Mongol mirror on Frisian Marshes with its many little fishing ponds. Early raids quickly gave Wam01 a significant Villager lead, granting him another victory quite fast, moving the score to 2-0.
Wam01 picked the French against Delhi on High View next. Dropping a forward TC on the central Sacred Site in Feudal Age, hidden by a Stealth Forrest, Wam01 managed to catch his opponent off guard and pulled ahead in economy significantly while also comfortably denying the site to the Delhi. By minute fourteen, Wam01 was ahead by thirty Villagers already, giving him a massive advantage, even though he reached Castle Age a bit later. Without even a big fight, TheMista realized how far he was behind and resigned, granting Wam01 a so far very dominant 3-0 lead in this all-so-important match.
Now having to win all remaining games, TheMista went for an all-in fight in Castle Age instead of opting for Imperial first like his opponent. Crushing through with a constant stream of Knights, TheMista forced his opponents eco to idle inside his TCs, eventually winning his first game of the match in an exciting fashion, giving hope to his many fans.
Followed by another mirror right away, Abbasid on Lipany, Wam01 looked to gain an advantage by going for a third TC in Feudal Age. This went un-scouted for a while and on top of this TheMista took an un-favorable engagement in the center of the map. Getting behind in Camel Archer numbers, the only thing going well for him was the location of their fights, mostly happening in Wam01's base. Wam01 struggled to balance his eco though, heavily biased to gold that he couldn't put on the field and missing a big raid in the back of his base, suddenly TheMista took the lead, both economy- and military-wise, while also pushing to Castle Age much faster. Dropping a Keep right in Wam01's base when spotting his army out of place, TheMista won this all-so-important game and pushed the score to 2-3.
Now TheMista looked like he could make the reverse sweep possible and we saw the two players face off in the sixth game, English vs English on Altai, the third mirror of the match. Catching Wam01 building an early second TC, TheMista killed five Villagers before it went up. Immediately taking advantage of this momentum, TheMista rushed ahead to Castle Age, got Knights on the field and after a few minutes of skirmishes around Wam01's base, TheMista crushed through and secured himself the seventh and deciding game, 3-3.
This meant that he not only had a chance to win the match but coming off from a three-map victory series after almost being eliminated, he also had Rus left for the last map, Four Lakes against Chinese for Wam01. And while the Chinese are considered strong on it, many thought the Rus to be the best on this specific map. Wam01 went all-in immediately, rushing forward to drop his Barbican right in his opponent's base. TheMista expected this, scouting the map well and spotting the workers on the move. Immediately putting down blocking Palisade pieces around his forward gold, he tried to deny any space to drop this dangerous building, but Wam01 found the one space left, and even though he lost five of his seven builders, it went up. This denied TheMistas main gold spot and a big part of his base. TheMista kept his cool though and walled the side off to contain the damage. Having killed so many Villagers in the process, he wasn't out of the game by any means. His initial pond was denied and claimed by Wam01, but TheMista instead just took two others. Wam01 used his forward base to put on more pressure with a Trebuchet threatening the starting TC of TheMista, who in turn realized that the only significant military of Wam01 were a few ships and siege far away from their home. This allowed him to drop a very aggressive TC right on the front of Wam01's own base, claiming one of the enemies' gold mines for himself. Using this as a position to launch attacks into the enemy base with cavalry, he caught a Trebuchet off guard, raided a few Villagers, and bought himself a lot of time. Before he clicked up to Imperial Age he realized that there was a big opening instead though, and flooding military into the opponent's base, TheMista completed his reverse sweep, ultimately winning the match 4-3 and securing his own ticket to Heidelberg.
After another incredibly exciting event and with two more players qualified for Red Bull Wololo: Legacy, this event series once more produced great matches, glorious upsets, and promises amazing action for its coming July edition. Big congratulations to the winners 1puppypaw and TheMista and good luck to everyone else, who will have another chance at qualifying in July's edition. To watch all this live, head over to EGCTV's Twitch Channel on the weekend or go to EGCTV's YouTube and get caught up on any matches you missed out on.