The Arena World Championship (AWC) Grand Finals came to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday, September 26 as Method NA and Horizon secured their spots as the 2021 Regional Champions!
After two incredible seasons, AWC concluded 2021 with some of the most thrilling Arena matches we have seen in it’s storied fourteen-year history. Horizon secured the EU Regional title while Method NA retained the NA title, with each winning team taking home gold medals as well as $70,000 (USD) each out of the $300,000 global prize pool.
The 2021 Grand Finals represented the best of what AWC truly is. While on the surface, the Arena World Championship is a chance for top pvp teams to compete on a public stage, at its core AWC is a celebration of a highly skilled and nuanced element within World of Warcraft. David Hollings, Product Lead for WoW Esports, summed it up perfectly: “AWC is not only a competitive means for arena, but also a place where many can feel they belong.” This past weekend viewers experienced everything from anxiety to heartbreak to euphoria, all while watching it as a shared community.
In what was the second reverse-sweep of the day, Horizon claimed victory after defeating Method EU 4-3! Horizon went into the Grand Final seemingly invincible, having beat Skill Capped 3-0 in the Semifinal, shortly after their initial defeat over Method EU in the first round, 3-1.
As one of the favorites to win the whole tournament, to say Method EU went into the final match with a grudge to settle would be an understatement. Following their loss to Horizon, they started Day 2 facing Reload Esports in the Elimination match, in which they squeaked by with a 3-2 victory. Method EU seemed to be finished in the Semifinal when Skill Capped quickly took the first two games; however, they rallied and through increasingly tense games they pulled-off a reverse-sweep to finish with another 3-2. Going into the Grand Final, Method EU seemed to be on a role as they took Horizon to match point. In a shocking turn, Horizon rallied to finish the day with four straight games to claim the Regional title!
We asked Kasu how the team rallied in the face of near defeat at the hands of one of the strongest teams in AWC history:
“First of all, we had a very big problem with the fact that the Method team was incredibly good at cross-control of our entire team. After we lost 0-3, we decided to think about how to reduce the time of control on our team and how we can prevent them from controlling our entire team for such a long time, and surprisingly we decided to try to play a little differently in terms of the hunter's game. All I can say is that we didn't give up. It is better to communicate between each other and win, and fortunately we managed to win [in] this final arena versus Method EU. We want to convey from our entire team gratitude to all those who supported us all this way, many thanks to the people who really supported us and worried.”
Method NA, the powerhouse team that secured the title in Season 1, scored a yet another championship after defeating Golden Guardians 4-1 in the Grand Final match. Heading into the tournament, Method NA was seemingly unstoppable with a 20-5 record, best across both regions, in Season 2. This momentum showed no signs of slowing as they started the weekend with a 3-0 defeat of Golden Guardians, followed by a 3-1 victory over their Season 1 final rivals, Cloud9. The Grand Final saw them face off once more against Golden Guardians, winning 3-1 to claim yet another AWC championship!
While this marks the end of AWC’s 2021 competitions, WoW Esports still has a lot of action left to finish out the year. This weekend Mythic Dungeon International concludes its Season 2 regular season with the Last Stand Tournament, followed by the 2021 Global Finals October 29-31. We can’t wait to share what is in store for both AWC and MDI in 2022, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to YouTube to be the first to know!