World of Warcraft, 05.12.2016

UC Irvine Wins The Great Collegiate Dungeon Race

UC Irvine has won the first Great Collegiate Dungeon Race and takes home $10.000 USD! Congratulations – here is our recap of the event.

A New Era for WoW eSports?

December 4th, 2016 was a big day for our beloved World of Warcraft. For the first time since in WoW’s history, there was a significant amount of money to be won in a PvE tournament! The Great Collegiate Dungeon Race held by TESPA had a $20.000 USD Prize Pool for the top four competing teams. We do not know Blizzard’s plans, but ever since seeing the

We do not know Blizzard’s plans, but ever since seeing the Dungeon Challenge at gamescom this summer, we’ve fallen in love with the idea of WoW PvE esports.

The Core Ingredients of an esports Tournament

The Great Collegiate Dungeon Race was a good prototype for such competitions: the teams ran Mythic Keystone dungeons, trying to beat each other in time with standardized gear. All the core ingredients for a good esports event were put on the table:

  • small teams, fast “games” on a limited map pool
  • enough room for individual strategic decisions (1 Tank, 4 DPS Halls of Valor anyone?)
  • equal conditions for every team with normalized gear and legendaries
  • content the audience can relate to: everyone runs Mythic + these days!
  • good caster talent

All this put together made it already quite fun to watch. We hope to see more like that in the future, maybe on the big stage like it happens at gamescom every year!


set sail for fail playing at the gamescom stage, August 2015

Mythic Keystone Dungeon Runs on an Event Realm

Student teams of five players from the U.S. and Canada were eligible to register for the tournament that was organized by TESPA, an organization focusing on college esports with Blizzard games.

Here are the rules in a nutshell:

  • All Dungeon Runs were played on an Event Realm with standardized artifacts (no trait #35!), gear (890 itemlevel) and a free choice of legendaries
  • Free choice of classes and specs for each run
  • During the preliminary round the teams got assigned to three specific mythic dungeons (Darkheart Thicket, Halls of Valor and Eye of Azshara) and had three days to run them as often as they wanted to. The fastest run for each team were used to create a leader board and seed the teams for playoffs
  • The first round of playoffs was played in a double elimination bracket, best of 1. The teams ran Mythic +8 dungeons with one (two later on in the tournament) Affixes.
  • The final round with only four teams left was played in single elimination, best of 3. The first dungeon was set for every round, second (and third) was loser’s choice. This time the teams had to deal with Mythic +10 and three Affixes, featuring combinations that can not occur on live, like Teeming, Tyrannical and Volcanic in the grand final.

You can read through all the rules over at the TESPA Tournament website.

TESPA made a short interview with the four final teams – go check it out on their website.

UC Irvine Takes The Victory

The final round was streamed and commented live by Josh “Lore” Allen and streamer / Serenity maintank Ted “Sloot” Bacinschi. UC Irvine took home the victory (taking home $10.000 USD), defeating Carleton University ($5.000 USD) with a 2-0 on Eye of Azshara and Halls of Valor. UNC Greensboro and Colorado School of Mines placed on a shared third place, taking home $2.500 USD.

Here’s the VoD:

Some interesting (?) facts:

  • UC Irvine won with a pretty classic setup playing Hunter, Rogue and Monk DPS, Druid Heal and Paladin Tank almost every game but:
  • During their semi-final against UNC Greensboro they pulled a 4 DPS combo, replacing their Heal Druid with an Enhancement Shaman on all three runs
  • Other teams varied on Death Knight and Demon Hunter Tank / DPS – but that’s it. No Priests and Warriors at all,
  • whenever a healer was on the team, it was a Druid.

We really enjoyed this one and hope for more in the future! What do you think it takes to make WoW esports a thing?