American WoW back to reality

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What has happened to the USA? Last year the Americans dominated World of Warcraft the way no other country has dominated an eSports game since Sweden in Counter-Strike back during the SK.swe/Team9 days. This weekend’s staggering destruction of the six American teams in Paris is proof of change. Besides SK.USA, no Americans even made noise at the event, going quietly outside the top 6 before the event even reached its zenith.

Pandemic drops the baton.

The mighty Pandemic of 2007 is in shambles. Pandemic won every single event in 2007 and basically crushed the rest of the world in WoW Arena from China, Toronto to Sweden. This year they have only managed five wins and six losses with MLG San Diego and WWI combined.

Obviously the losses of Knitt and Vhell as mainstays in the lineup hurt at some level but if that was the only indications of problems it would be a bigger story. The large trend is the destruction of the American WoW Arena scene.

Glory days?

American WoW Arena was a staggering 27-8 against worldwide teams in 2007. Think about that number for a second, 27-8, that’s 77%. It also wasn’t America’s best teams either. Fnatic EU sent its team to both WSVG Louisville and Dallas to see them go a combined 3-4 with all three wins in group stage and 0-4 in bracket play before even facing America’s top teams. SK Wardens then gave it a shot at WSVG Toronto where they managed a 4-4 mark only to lose to the new American Fnatic.Insurrection team.

The major victory came at Dreamhack where four American teams took on three European teams and a Canadian team. The Americans went a staggering 6-0 and swept the top four spots. Just to add insult to injury, it wasn’t even close matches as the Americans won 18-3 in maps played.

It seemed the World had taken notice to the American dominance. Both Fnatic and SK Gaming picked up American teams, banking that the new American success was a reality. Still it seemed all too perfect for the Stars and Stripes.

Downward spiral.

With America riding high it seems the only direction they could turn is down. The rest of the World took notice and coming into this year there were quite a few groups looking to bring order back to the World of Warcraft. So began 2008.

Nihilum fired the first salvo going 4-1 against American opponents at MLG San Diego. The biggest win was against Pandemic who they defeated 3-1. Their composition of Resto Druid, Disc Priest and Marks/BM Hunter didn’t seem like a setup that would work against American teams all to ready to play Double Melee and Healer teams. Still they excelled against the odds and placed a seed of doubt in the minds of the American teams.

Then WWI this weekend in Paris. The downfall of American teams became complete as the USA went 4-9 against Worldwide teams and watched as two Pandemic teams couldn’t even muster a top 6 finish. For 2008, the USA is 5-13 against International teams. That’s 28% compared to last year’s 77%.

The reality of the situation.

Can America rebound? There are four major events remaining on the schedule this year that have been officially announced for World of Warcraft. MLG Orlando (July 11th-13th), MLG Dallas (October 3rd-5th), ESL Extreme Masters (TBA) and Blizzcon Anaheim (October 10th-11th). Americans will have to rally in those events to reclaim the glory of 2007.

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