Wolves in 2018 – A Year Recapped

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The Year 2018 is nearly over. Which means we take a look back at what happened in the last twelve months for Wolves eSports. We’ve had good and bad news, fantastic results and disappointing outcomes. This is Wolves in 2018 recapped.

In January, we introduced “The Howl” – our interview series where we sit down with our teams and players to ask questions about them, their esports career and whatever else we can think of. We published six Howls this year and have will continue to make them in 2019. Shortly after the first Howl came the DreamHack Leipzig 2018 from January 26th -28th. With three players from the recently closed sections FIFA and Hearthstone attending (2x Hearthstone, 1x FIFA) the DH Leipzig 2018 was the first big offline event for Wolves eSports.

Coming March and April we’ve seen some changes in teams – we had to say goodbye to our CSGO team as the rebuild did not go as planned. Another team we had to work on was the Vainglory team as we needed to ready up for the new 5v5 game mode and the upcoming Vainglory Premier League and the preseason. We were extremely excited for the VPL but in the end it did not turn out the way everyone involved was hoping for.

Our already successful Warcraft 3 team has seen some changes in May as we fielded two teams in the nWC3L, the biggest and most important team league in western Warcraft. For season 10, both teams played in Division 1 of the league.

June 2018 was a pretty busy month with lots of changes happening. The release of our back then DotA 2 and SMITE teams were the negative aspects of the month while the partnership with eXz-Hosting has been a positive change. The biggest and most important change in June however was our rebranding and the much needed update of our logo. Along with the updated look came our updated merchandise, designed and produced by our longterm partner Gamers Apparel.

In the early days of July our Warcraft 3 team claimed the throne in the nWC3L after winning 3 out of 4 1v1 matches which was already enough to secure the title. Later on in July, we welcomed two Swedish Quake Champions players and a Fortnite roster. In the last few days of the month we said farewell to Vainglory. Both to our team and the game. While we enjoyed our short ride with Vainglory, there have been issues outside of Wolves eSports that made it extremely hard to stay in within the scene. Last but not least, we welcomed our current Counterstrike: Global Offensive team that we’ll continue to work with in 2019.

Compared to June and July, the month of August has been a bit quieter when it comes to announcements and changes for Wolves eSports. We announced a new team in Overwatch, a new partner in SUMMACUM and CSGO’s participation at the Supreme Masters LAN in Switzerland from August 31st – September 2nd.

In October, Wolves eSports returned to DotA 2 and our Warcraft 3 player Ilya “Sonik” Malish qualified for the Warcraft 3 Gold League Winter 2018 in Shanghai, China. Shortly after Sonik, his team mate Artem “Cash” Shirobokov also qualified for the event that took place from November 28th – December 8th in which both of them unfortunately went out in the group stage after facing the Winner and 3rd place of event in their group. Even though the event in China did not go as we hoped for, our Warcraft 3 team still managed to defend their nWC3L title in Season 11, becoming back-to-back Champions, just like the Doc!

December is now nearly done and dusted as well and with the release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate and our recent changes to our team structure with a focus towards team games, there have been two more events that influence Wolves eSports in 2019. In the end, the year has been quite a ride and we have learned a lot during the last twelve months. We know which way we intend to go in 2019 and would like to thank all of our former and current players for their commitment and dedication towards our project in 2018. We know that without you, we wouldn’t be who we are.

Let us focus on 2019 and the tasks ahead! Let’s make 2019 another great year for Wolves eSports!
See you on the other side.

#KeepHowling

WGL Winter 2018 – Recap

By | WarCraft 3 | No Comments

The Warcraft 3 Gold League (short: WGL) has finished it’s Winter 2018 season earlier this month. With Ilya “Sonik” Malish and Artem “Cash” Shirobokov we have seen two Wolves in Shanghai, China after they qualified for the final event. An unlucky group stage draw later both of them have been drawn into the same group.

Overview of the WGL Winter 2018 Groups:

Group A
Foggy
TH000
Lyn
WFZ
Neytpoh
Chaemiko
Group B
Colorful
Sok
Fly100%
Lucifer
So.in
DanGer
Group C
Moon
Infi
Sonik
pcg_123
Cash
Zhou_Xixi
Group D
LawLiet
Sini
FoCuS
120
HawK
Hunter

During Day 1 of the event, Sonik lost his matches to Zhou_Xixi (1-2), Infi (0-2) and his fellow Wolves team mate Cash (1-2), putting him at 0-3 at the start. While Cash managed to win his games against Sonik and pcg_123 (2-1), he lost the match against Infi (1-2).

Going into Day 2, Sonik’s chances to make it out of groups has already vanished. He unfortunately lost his last two matches of the event to pcg_123 (1-2) and Moon (0-2) which put him at 0-5 after the group stage. Cash however, still had the chance to advance to the next round and went 1-1 in matches. He lost to Moon (0-2) and won against Zhou_Xixi (2-0) which sadly wasn’t enough as both Moon and Infi went on to the quarter finals. The head-to-head against Infi on Day 1 was the deciding factor.

The playoff bracket played out as following:

Group C was one of the tougher ones as Moon and Infi placed 1st and 3rd respectively in the end. However, we are extremely proud that two players from Wolves eSports managed to qualify for the event in China and were able to present themselves in Asia, the arguably strongest region there is in Warcraft 3.

With the announcement of Warcraft 3 Reforged and the recent performances of the whole Wolves eSports Warcraft 3 team, including a 1st and 3rd place finish in the nWC3L Season 11, we are more than excited to see what 2019 brings for our WC3 players and Wolves!

#KeepHowling

Changes to the team structure

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Due to recent developments we have to announce a few changes to Wolves eSports in regards to the team structure going into 2019.

With immediate effect, we are saying Farewell to two teams – FIFA & Hearthstone. We intended to announce this at the end of the year but decided it would be unfair to our players and moved the announcement to the earliest date possible to allow them to pursue other options. Throughout the years Wolves eSports and the players from these two teams have had decent success and attended several offline events in both FIFA and Hearthstone. Among those were the DreamHack Leipzig, the Win The Winter tournament by TaKeTV, and multiple HCT Tour Stops in different countries.

We’d like to thank our players for their commitment and the time we spent together while wishing them all the best for their future endeavours.

What does this mean for Wolves eSports? Going into 2019, we are concentrating on team games a lot more. This means we are keeping the teams we currently have and intend to add teams in games that do not have a 1vs1 focus. We will announce more about this at the end of the year and in early 2019.

#KeepHowling

Game release: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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The 7th of December 2018 – a day the whole Super Smash Bros scene has been waiting for as it marks the worldwide release of the highly anticipated Super Smash Bros Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch.

With titles such as Melee, Brawl and Super Smash Bros 4, the competitive scene for the game has been incredibly strong and can look forward to Ultimate to continue this trend. With release, there are over 70 fighters and over 100 stages. The Super Smash Bros franchise has been an important one for Wolves eSports since we first picked up a group of players in September 2016. With Benjamin “wusi” Baye, there is still one of these players around!

Going into Ultimate, we hope that our three German players “wusi”, “Eddy”, and “Frieddo” will be able to leave their mark on the national scene and maybe even Europe. All three will attend the AGON-Serie | The Council, one of the first German offline events for the new game on Dec 15 – Dec 16.

Going forward and into 2019, we strongly believe that our current roster is strong enough to be a relevant force in the German scene and it will be interesting to see which players stick to their former mains or pick up a new character.

#KeepHowling

Warcraft 3 Gold League Winter 2018

By | WarCraft 3 | No Comments

Big achievement for Wolves eSports and our Warcraft 3 players Ilya “Sonik” Malish and Artem “Cash” Shirobokov as they attend the Warcraft Gold League Winter 2018 Finals in Shanghai, China from November 28th – December 8th. Both of them have been able to qualify through the European Qualifiers.

The Warcraft Gold League Winter 2018 is the second part of the most important individual tournament of the year which also is the most prestigious event of the scene. The tournament is organised by Blizzard Entertainment’s Chinese partner NetEase. During the group stage the 24 players are divided into 4 groups of 6 players that will face each other in a single round-robin where the top 2 of each group advance to the single-elimination playoffs. The prize money of around $16500 USD will be split between all players with the winner taking home more than $5500 USD.

Group A
Foggy
TH000
Lyn
WFZ
Neytpoh
Chaemiko

Group B
Colorful
Sok
Fly100%
Lucifer
So.in
DanGer

Group C
Moon
Infi
Sonik
pcg_123
Cash
Zhou_Xixi
Group D
LawLiet
Sini
FoCuS
120
HawK
Hunter

Unfortunately, both Sonik and Cash were seeded into Group C and have to deal not only with incredible players, but also with each other. We’re hoping for amazing Warcraft 3 action during the tournament and that our players enjoy their time in China!

#KeepHowling

Game release: Battlefield V

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November 20th marks the day where Battlefield V is released for everyone worldwide!

After Battlefield 1, which was set in World War I, Battlefield V goes back the franchise roots and offers fans and players a new World War II experience! The game has a heightened focus on the lesser known battles of the war and aims to deliver immersive gameplay in either single or multiplayer. The player now has to physically open doors, enter vehicles, as well as picking up ammo or health.

With the introduction of The Company, players are able to customise all clothing, weapons and vehicles throughout the game. Those customisations do not affect the stats of the item or gameplay at all.

At launch, Battlefield V offers 8 maps, 37 weapons and 24 vehicles, the first four installments of War Stories, the storytelling single-player experience, as well as several multiplayer modes such as fan favourite Conquest, Team Deathmatch, Breakthrough, Frontlines, and Domination. The Operations from Battlefield 1 come back in an extended form called Grand Operations.

Post-launch, EA and DICE intend to release new maps, weapons and vehicles through the Tides of War, which replace the Premium Pass meaning that all future content is free for everyone. Coming in 2019, is Battlefield’s approach to the battle royale genre with game mode Firestorm.

The Howl #6 – Fortnite

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It’s time for another Howl!

For this episode, we’ve had our Fortnite players Tom “Destin” Mohr,  Laurin “x1PRIME” Gregorowius, Leon “Spicyacce” Schnur, and Jacob “Junction” Reed answer questions about the game, what Epic Games needs to change to allow Fortnite’s competitive scene to grow properly and what they do when they don’t build, scavange, glide, or shoot around in Fortnite.

Hello guys! Before we start this Howl up – please shortly introduce yourselves!
Destin:
Hi, my name is Tom, I’m 19 years old, been playing Fortnite for roughly a year now and study business administration.
x1PRIME:
My name is Laurin, I’m 16 years old and started playing Fortnite at the beginning of this year. Apart from that I’m doing my vocational diploma and a qualification in game design.
Junction: Hi, I’m Jacob, a 17 year old competitive fortnite player from the UK. I’m currently doing my last stage of education before I leave to University.
Spicyacce: Hi, I’m Leon and I’m 16 years old. I’ve played Fortnite for a year now and started playing competitively in season 3.

Thanks! Let us start with the questions now! There are plenty of other battle royale games out there – why did you choose Fortnite as your game?
Destin: Fortnite as a Free-to-Play battle royale offers more than most of the other pay-to-play games. For me, the mechanical aspects and the flow of the game are the reasons why I prefer Fortnite.
x1PRIME: It’s F2P and I enjoy faster paced games more. I also enjoy the mechanics involved such as the building, which no other battle royale game offers. It makes Fortnite something special.
Junction: Fortnite is a fast paced battle royale which has more layers to it than just rotations and aim. There is a large side of the game which involves the mechanics which have to be mastered first. This adds a good skill gap into competitive play, also making each play in these high level games completely different.
Spicyacce: I have played other battle royale games but Fortnite is fast and simple. The building is something new to the genre and the game itself was running pretty smooth right from the start.

Now that we know why you chose Fortnite, we’d like to know what the two things are you would change about the game and why?
Destin: The first change would be to listen to the pro community. Epic Games mostly listens to the content creators and not the professional players. Overall, Epic Games needs to take the community feedback into consideration a lot more.
x1PRIME: Epic Games should concentrate on the competitive scene a lot more, as well as putting a halt to making the game even easier for beginners. The explosives should deal less damage than they do now as it gets frustrating to see a rocket coming for you and knowing it’s over pretty soon.
Junction: I personally believe they should bring back glider redeploy into the game. It made rotations less RNG and gameplay even more fast paced. I would also make the ingame event system elo based. That way we can actually have a form of competitive play.
Spicyacce: I believe that glider redeploy should be brought back as it keeps the game fast and exciting. I agree with x1PRIME that the explosives such as the rocket launcher should be nerfed in terms of damage a bit. It’s no fun if your opponent destroys everything with a single rocket.

Okay! Let’s talk about something different. What do you guys do when you are not playing Fortnite?
Destin: I’m a full-time student. But I also do martial arts and like to go out with friends for a round of billiard or bowling.
x1PRIME: As I mentioned in the first question, I’m working on my education and my qualification in game design. I also like to hang out with friends or go to the cinema.
Junction: Studying and practising takes up a lot of my time as of now. However, I used play a lot of football in my spare time and still do when and where I can.
Spicyacce: I was in a tennis club for 3,5 years but quit last year as I hated to get up early on weekends for tournaments and such. I still play a bit of tennis here and there but mainly meet up with friends in my free time.

Seems like quite the sporty team we have here! Anyway, let’s continue. Destin, what do you think of the development of the competitive Fortnite scene?
Destin: Contrary to a lot of players I believe the development of  the competitive scene has been rather good so far. Fortnite has become an esport-worthy game when we take a look at the game and the mechanics itself. Epic Games did a decent job with their early push for esports as we’ve had time to test different formats and modes and it helped foster the competitive scene. However, lately it has gone in the wrong direction. Feedback from professional players is not being considered, some updates were not as good as they should have been. With the upcoming tournaments in mind, Fortnite still has a long way to go and needs to change.

What are the things Epic Games needs to do differently in your opinion?
Destin: Listen to the community, especially the pro scene. If that doesn’t happen, they risk their reputation as nobody wants to play a game that was known for listening to the community before, but doesn’t do that anymore. There’s a lot of great feedback from pro players out there but it seems like Epic Games doesn’t really care at the moment. Those are players that should have an input on gameplay and balancing changes. I’d suggest to have scheduled meetings between Epic Games and pro players once in a while where both sides can exchange ideas and talk about what’s planned and what they wish for. I’d also exclude content creators from these meetings as most of them haven’t participated in a lot of tournaments and might not see whats needed in terms of growing Fortnite as an esport title.

Fortnite as a game a lot of young and very young people play, gaining a reputation to be a game “for kids” and not taken seriously when it comes to esports. Do you think this is an issue for the game going forward?
Destin: No, not at all a problem. I even think it’s an advantage. The pro scene clearly is set apart from the minors playing the game as tournaments with prize money require you to be at least 16. The younger kids can watch their favorite teams and idols play. We’ve seen a lot of parents watch the tournaments with their kids at PAX West or at TwitchCon. The next group would be those aged 16+ who can watch the games and be inspired to join a competitive team. The last crowd is the esport crowd – watching their competitors play, learning from the pros and keeping updated on the meta. It’s a great mix of audiences.

Now that we talked about the game a lot and what you think about it in the current state, let’s talk about the team. Going into 2019, what are the goals of Wolves Fortnite?
Destin: The main goal is to qualify for the world championship in 2019 which will be open to all players. We’re playing a lot of scrims and are happy that there is something to play for the EU scene. We also spend time analysing, finding and testing new tactics and play styles in addition to improving our individual skills.

Well, we’re looking forward to see you compete in the remainder of 2018 and 2019! Thanks for taking the time guys, really appreciate it!

#KeepHowling

 

FIFA Roster Update for 2019

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As over a month has passed now since FIFA19 was released, we proudly present you our new FIFA roster. With four new players joining the team we also say farewell to three of our old players. We’d like to thank Christian “Darkstriker” Pätzold, Franz “Jose_Zlatan” Zech and Emre “EmreFIFA” Sen for their great effort and the great time!

We are happy to welcome the new reinforcements. This is the updated FIFA roster of Wolves eSports:

Wolves eSports FIFA:
Sebastian “Bastinho” Holsten
Alex “Alex17_f9t” Malolepszy
Emre “EmreTuzcuoglu” Tuzcuoglu
Gordon “Giganticskill” Bolt
Lukas “Maya” Meyer

Statement of Sebastian “Bastinho” Holsten:
“Looking forward to the next year and to a great time together with the other players!”

Statement of Alex “Alex17_f9t” Malolepszy:
“I’m happy that Wolves eSports gives me the opportunity to make my dreams come true and I will do everything to represent the team as good as possible.”

Statement of Emre “EmreTuzcuoglu” Tuzcuoglu:
“I can’t wait for this new chapter and will do the best to reach my goals. Thanks to Wolves eSports for giving me this opportunity to become better.”

Statement of Gordon “Giganticskill” Bolt:
“I’m happy to be a part of the FIFA team of Wolves eSports. I’m really motivated to score the best results and to represent the organisation worthily. Here’s to a good and long collaboration!”

Statement of Lukas “Maya” Meyer:
“I’m glad to accept the challenges with Wolves eSports for the upcoming year. I hope to improve and to perform on a high level constantly.”

#KeepHowling

The Howl #5 – Quake

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It’s time for another Howl! This time, we’ve got one of our Quake Champions players, Ola “Reknine” Magnusson, with us to talk about himself, the team but also about the state of the newest game of the legendary Quake franchise. Enjoy it!

Hello and welcome to The Howl! Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Ola Magnusson and I’m 34 years old. I’m living with my girlfriend and two daughters and currently playing Quake Champions for Wolves eSports.

You have played Quake for a very long time now. Tell us how it all began and why you decided to stick to the Quake franchise.
It began with QuakeWorld waaay back. It has hung with me ever since. Locally, we usually only LAN-played FPS games, some went the Counter-Strike route, others the Quake route. I guess I got hooked to the speed and movement of the game. There really were no other arena FPS at the time (still isn’t?).There also was a very strong and tight community for Quake 3 in Sweden – we arranged tons of scrims, tournaments and pickup games.

Besides of playing Quake, what else do you do in your free time?
I go to the gym 6-7 days a week. I’m having the intention to get on stage for the first time during 2019!

You and your teammate,  Mattias “Strydah” Ostrowski, know each other for a long time, too. How did you meet and when have you decided to play Quake competitively together?
I met Stry in 5th grade, I think. We have pretty much been in touch on and off since that. We played Quake 3 competitively right from the start. We had plenty of LANs together as well. Both of us are “in it to win it” most of the time. So it only came natural that we teamed up again for Quake Champions.

In August, Quake Champions became a free to play game. How did this affect the game experience? Do you think your competitors got stronger?
I haven’t thought of it that much. With a name like “Quake” attached to the product, I pretty much installed it right away. Coming in, I knew the game was going to be in early access for a pretty long time. It has been awesome to be a part of the game from the early stages. There have been a lot of errors and tweaks over the months but right now the game is in its best state yet – and it’s not finished yet! It has a lot of potential!

Sacrifice played a central role at the beginning of Quake Champions but with the rise of 2v2 and the popularity of Duel the 4v4 team mode disappeared from the spotlight. With iD Software announcing the well known mode Capture The Flag, what is your prediction on it’s popularity in the competitive scene and your personal opinion on the upcoming game mode addition?
I think CTF will be a huge magnet to draw more people into playing the game. Mainly casual players. Currently the player base is too low to estimate CTF’s success. Having 8 people on the same server, constantly, is going to be a challenge. A lot depends on how many players iD software are able to retain after the release of CTF.

The introduction of different champions with different hitbox models, movement and – especially – different special abilities make team modes a lot more interesting but at the same time duel players feel powerless when being overrun by DPS champions like B.J. or Death Knight. Do you consider the addition of different champions more as a blessing or a curse?
I consider the passive abilities to enhance the game A LOT! Though, most of the active abilities that do damage ruin the experience. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. During one of the latest Quake community streams, the developers announced that they are going to revamp/rebalance every ability. They now realize that it shouldn’t be a simple “win button” without thought.

Talking about champions: Who’s your favourite one and why? If you could ban one champion, who would it be?
Currently, I have no clear favourite. I’d love to play Slash more due to her speed and mobility – but the light champions are simply too risky to play currently. Death Knight, Ranger or B.J. are currently my bans most of the time. It kind of depends on the player and the mode as well.

Same question but this time for maps! Which is your favourite and which is your most disliked map?
My favourite map is Blood Covenant. Probably because it’s a remake of the old q3-DM6 map from Quake 3. It’s still so good and balanced. The worst map has to be Vale of Pnath. The layout is terrible for all modes. If you control the upper area, there isn’t much your opponent can do, unless they pull off a miracle.

If you could take one thing of the old Quake games to Quake Champions, what would it be? Maybe a certain map or even the grenade launcher? What is your biggest wish for the future of Quake Champions?
The old Duel format! Make it a time limit again! I’d also like to see them scrap the tribolt and introduce the grenade launcher again.. but that won’t happen. 🙂

Thank you very much for answering all the questions and taking part at this edition of The Howl! It’s your turn to say whatever you want to!
Thanks for the interview! I just hope that the developers manage to attract more players to play this game! They got something awesome to build on here. I’d just hate to see this as a missed opportunity! There really isn’t any other FPS like Quake at the moment. And, wish me luck in the Duel Tournament coming up – Dreamhack Winter 2018!

#KeepHowling

Blizzcon 2018

By | Others | No Comments

For many gamers it’s one of the most important events of the year, for many Blizzard fans it may be more important than the E3 and the Gamescom – We’re talking about the Blizzcon!

This years Blizzcon is the 12th edition which kicked off on October 25th with the group stages of the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC), the Starcraft 2 WorldChampionship Series (WCS), and the first rounds of the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship (AWC). Once the main event of the Blizzcon starts, the esports side of things continues with the HGC, WCS, and the Overwatch World Cup quarter finals. The WoW AWC continues and the Hearthstone Global Games will also be played during the event.

When it comes to the main event, you can expect to see all major announcements to be made during the Blizzcon opening ceremony which starts November 2nd, 19:00 CET. The opening ceremony is the only part of the event which you do not need the virtual ticket for to watch.

This year, the biggest and most important topic of Blizzcon seems to be Diablo. While it seems that no Diablo 4 will be announced, there should be a big announcement happening at the end of the opening ceremony. Apart from that you can expect more details about WoW: Classic and WoW: Battle for Azeroth. While Overwatch more than likely will not see a new map, it’s safe to assume a new hero and a new cinematic trailer will be shown.

Blizzard’s card game, Hearthstone, most likely will see an announcement for a new expansion and Heroes of the Storm fans might see new maps and heroes to be released soon.