After three straight heartbreaking losses against American team Selective Queuers, Worldwide Invitational champions Council of Mages bowed out from the tournament today leaving only three teams to battle it out for the prestigious -- and kingly -- prize of $75,000. The Korean team of Hyoga, Snowstorm, and Student, considered by many to be the best RMP in the world, was the last Asian team in the tournament. They were also the last non-WLD (Warrior, Warlock, Druid) team to be eliminated, as the top three -- Europe's Nihilum Plasma, and the United States' Selective Queuers and Fnatic Orz all predominantly ran WLD throughout the competition.
Selective Queuers ran a soft counter comp to Council of Mages' RMP by swapping in Rogue for Warrior, but otherwise performed as expected as RMP do not handle WLDs (or RLDs in this case) very well. Although the matches that managed to get streamed were fine examples of professional Arena play, the dominance of WLD teams showed just how strong the comp is in the 3v3 format. Despite brilliant play from Council of Mages, they simply couldn't get over the hump of a well-played WLD team.
Props must be given to Glick of Fnatic Orz, back-to-back winners of the MLG series, who played a Retribution Paladin in a double melee comp during one match against Made in Taiwan... and won. Hunters will also be pleased to know that Made in Taiwan skillfully fielded a Hunter against Fnatic Orz, splitting those matches 2-2. The remaining matches of the tournament will be played tomorrow, with the winner of the upper bracket match between Fnatic Orz and Nihilum Plasma heading straight to the Grand Finals. The loser of that matchup will face Selective Queuers in the semi-finals. With any luck, the matches will be streamed without hiccups on Blizzard's BlizzCon tournament coverage and maybe we'll see if Fnatic Orz truly is the best team in the world.
[UPDATE: Nihilum Plasma beat Fnatic Orz in the upper bracket finals, sending Nihilum to await the winner of the match between Fnatic Orz and Selective Queuers in the semis. This guarantees a Finals match versus Europe and the United States. Should be exciting to watch.]