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Wargaming.net League (WoT)

Wargaming.net League (WoT)

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The Wargaming.net League was the Professional eSports League for World of Tanks in NA, EU, CIS, and APAC or Asia-Pacific (China, Korea, and whole Asia Servers all together) regions. It was based on a ladder system and consisted of the Open, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Leagues. There were small differences in regional configurations. Also this league tournament was sponsored by Electronic Sports League

General League Information (NA)

Silver Series

The Silver Series was the qualifying League for the Gold League, and second highest in North America. The August 2016 season had 20 teams to begin. After a playoff, the 1st place team was automatically promoted to the gold league, otherwise silver series receives no financial stipends, due to Ruukil's fedoras costing too much. Currently open to new teams registering, this may change in the near future.


Gold League

WGLNA Gold league was the top league in North America, with 10 teams. Finals give the opportunity for each team to compete for cash prizes and access to international matches. Teams in Gold League come from previous seasons, qualifying from silver series, or from winning one of two tightly contested qualifiers prior to the season beginning.


Rules

Rules in WGLNA:

  • Game mode: Assault with two Base Capture Circles
  • 68 Tier Points
  • 7 Players per team
  • Maximum Tier is 10
  • No usage of ANY game modifications (vanilla client)
  • Battles are 10 minutes.
  • Battles are first to five wins out of nine.

Maps

Maps played are:

  • Himmelsdorf
  • Ghost Town
  • Ruinberg
  • Prokhorovka
  • Mines
  • Steppes
  • Cliff
  • Murovanka

General League Information (EU)

The Wargaming.net League started out in 2013 in the EU region with three Seasons closing very successfully and with offline finals at the Gamescom in Cologne and DreamHack 2013 as well as an event planned by the ESL to finish the third season.


Bronze League

The Bronze League was set to be the starting League for everyone. No-one can create a team and join this League. This League was the basic requirement to join the Silver League. The best 5 Teams of the Bronze League join the Silver League. The Top 16 Teams in the bronze series got a small amount of Gold each week(maximum 10 Players from each Team can receive gold) Prize distibution:

  1. 1,250 Gold/ player
  2. 1,250 Gold/ player
  3. 1,250 Gold/ player
  4. 1,250 Gold/ player
  5. 750 Gold / player
  6. 750 Gold / player
  7. 750 Gold / player
  8. 750 Gold / player
  9. 500 Gold / player
  10. 500 Gold / player
  11. 500 Gold / player
  12. 500 Gold / player
  13. 500 Gold / player
  14. 500 Gold / player
  15. 500 Gold / player
  16. 500 Gold / player

Go4WoT

Go4WoT was a weekly Tournament held by the ESL. Teams can earn Ingame Gold and money by participating. Prices[1] are given out as following:

  • 1st 250€

Silver League

The Silver League was the qualifying League to the Gold League. There were 30 teams in this League. The last 6 teams were kicked into the Bronze League as there were 6 Teams from the Bronze League ascending to Silver every week. At the end of each Season Place 1 was automatically get promoted to gold series, while Place 2-5 had to play relegation. The teams participating in the Silver League received a small amount of money per week[2] which is distributed as follows:

1st 	250$	
2nd 	200$	
3rd 	180$	
4th 	160$	
5th 	150$	
6th 	130$	
7th 	130$	
8th 	125$	
9th 	125$	
10th 	125$	
11th 	100$	
12th 	80$	
13th 	80$	
14th 	80$	
15th 	75$	
16th 	75$	
17th 	70$	
18th 	70$	
19th 	70$	
20-25th 	2,000 Gold / player (maximum 10 players)
26-30th 	1,500 Gold / player (maximum 10 players)

Gold League

This roster consisted of the 12 best Teams. They played one Season which had a duration of about 2-3 months in which they faced each team once per Season. In the end the 4 best teams got to play at the season offline Finals for a prize pool of 45.000 $,Place 1 and 2 from the gold series automatically qualified for the season final, while Place 3-6 had to play a playoff against each other to determine which 2 Teams joined Place 1 and 2 at the season finals. Place 7 had a saved spot for the next season of the WGL gold series. Place 8-11 had to play pre-relegation Matches against each other, the 2 loser Team from the pre-relegation then played in the relegation against Place 2-5 from the silver series and 1 wildcard Team. Place 12 got automatically demoted to the silver series. Here are the price distributions for Season 2 2015-2016 of the WGL gold series:

  1. $ 22,000
  2. $ 18,000
  3. $ 16,000
  4. $ 15,000
  5. $ 13,000
  6. $ 10,000
  7. $ 7,000
  8. $ 5,000
  9. $ 5,000
  10. $ 5,000
  11. $ 5,000
  12. $ 4,000

Total Online $ 125,000


Prize distributions for the Season Finals:

  1. $ 25,000
  2. $ 15,000
  3. $ 5,000
  4. $ 5,000


total Season Finals Bonus $ 50,000
Bonuses up to $ 150,000
Season Total $ 350,000

Rules

Rules applied were the following:

  • Game mode: Assault with two Base Capture Circles
  • 70 Tier Points
  • 7 Players per team
  • Maximum Tier was 10
  • Time of a round was 10 minutes
  • No usage of any game modifications
  • Gold and silver series was played in a BO9 format
  • Bronze series was played in a BO5 format

Those were the most important to keep in mind. One can find all rules here

Maps

Maps played were:

  • Himmelsdorf
  • Ruinberg
  • Ghost Town
  • Mines
  • Steppes
  • Prokhorovka
  • Murovanka
  • Cliff

The Grand Final was so far the biggest eSports event held by Wargaming.net. The Grand Final lasted 3 days from the 4th to the 6th of April and took place in Warsaw, Poland in the Multikino cinema of the Złote Tarasy shopping centre. The best two teams from each server were sent to Poland to compete against each other plus two teams which had played exceptionally well outside of the Pro League and got the attention of Wargaming.net. The total price pool consisted of 350.000 USD with the overall winner having the chance to get a hold of 100.000 USD in total due to special rules like the Blitz Mechanism. Also a predetermined price pool was set for each Match. The whole Tournament used a double elimination system.

Blitz Mechanism

Wargaming introduced the "'Blitz Mechanism' to reward teams who win matches quickly. When two teams draw a battle the money will be removed from the pool available for that particular match. This money will be put into a pot that is only accessible through the Blitz Mechanism. Each day during the Grand Finals, the team that wins a battle in the shortest amount of time that day will be rewarded with this pool of money. [...]this mechanism [should] encourage the teams to try more aggressive tactics." [3]

The Teams

Korean Server:

  1. NOA
  2. ARETE

Chinese Server:

  1. El Gaming
  2. JL eSports Club

North American Server:

  1. Elevate
  2. Apex

CIS(Commonwealth of Independent States) Server:

  1. Not So Serious
  2. Tornado Energy
  3. Unique

European Server:

  1. DiNG
  2. Kazna Kru
  3. OOPS: The Tough Giraffes
  4. Utopia
  5. GoHard

Southeast Asian Server:

  1. PVP Super Friends
  2. U Are Dead

Joker Teams:

  1. Lemming Train (currently known as "Denial eSports")
  2. Team WUSA

History

The Final Battle 2017 (at WG Fest 2017)

  1. Tornado Energy
  2. DiNG
  3. Unique / OOPS: TTG


WGL Grand Finals 2017 Moscow

  1. Tornado energy (former Hellraisers)
  2. Ding
  3. Elevate / NSS


WGL Grand Finals 2016 Warsaw

  1. Natus Vincere
  2. Hellraisers
  3. Wombats on Tanks (former Virtus Pro)


WGL Grand Finals 2015 Warsaw

  1. Hellraisers
  2. EL Gaming
  3. Natus Vincere


WGL Grand Finals 2014 Warsaw

  1. Natus Vincere
  2. Virtus Pro
  3. The Red Rush: Unity


Europe
WGLeague EU Finals Katowice 2017

  1. DiNG
  2. Kazna Kru


Wargaming.net League EU Season #2 2015/2016 Cologne

  1. Wombats on Tanks (former Virtus Pro)
  2. Tornado Rox


Wargaming.net League EU Season #1 2015/2016 Cologne

  1. Virtus Pro
  2. PENTA Sports


Wargaming.net League EU 2014 Sofia

  1. Kazna Kru
  2. Schoolbus
  3. Virtus Pro


WoT Proleague Season #4 2014

  1. Schoolbus
  2. Virtus Pro
  3. CPLAY


WoT Proleague Season #3 2013/14

  1. Virtus Pro
  2. Synergy
  3. Denial eSports


WoT Proleague Season #2 2013

  1. Virtus Pro
  2. Evil Panda Squad
  3. Kazna Kru


WoT Proleague Season #1 2013

  1. team-dignitas
  2. Virtus Pro
  3. Mousesports

Death of the Wargaming.net League

Events

December 2017 saw the last major WGL tournament in the EU vs CIS playoff between DiNG (EU) and Tornado Energy (CIS). Following this, Wargaming announced that WGL for all regions would be taking a long break due to the upcoming 1.0 update that came in March 2018, and so that they could come up with an new, 'improved' format. At this point, Wargaming said that there would be an announcement on the new format in the summer of 2018, with the new WGLs beginning the autumn or early winter of the same year. As of October 2018, no such announcement has been made, and there have been no indications that WGL will be returning anytime soon.

Reasons for death

To sum it up: there weren't enough viewers. There have been many excellent discussions on the World of Tanks Subreddit and the official forums on reasons for why people didn't want to watch pro players fight against each other, and the following main points were raised:

  • the format is different from what the average player plays on a daily basis (7v7 at tier X rather than 15v15 following the 3/5/7, 5/10 or 15 templates)
  • because of this, the average player is unable to understand the tactics that are being used, and thus get quickly confused
  • the average player is unlikely to have many tier X vehicles, making it very difficult for them to join/make a team in order to participate in open qualifiers for the silver league
  • RNG is perceived to have too large of an impact on deciding games (penetration rolls, accuracy, damage rolls etc.)
  • premium ammunition is perceived to be cheating, by some players, or that premium ammunition removes some of the skill from the game
  • the average player is unlikely to have done much research in order to understand the game mechanics (using resources such as this Wiki), therefore making many of the interactions that are usually only seen in high level competitive play seem confusing
  • there were 3 games a day, 4 days a week, for a number of weeks: the seasons were too long and difficult to follow, unlike shorter tournaments as seen in other games that are played over a weekend or a week, meaning you couldn't jump in and watch for a couple of days and then not watch for a number of weeks without feeling disorientated when you return to watch

All of these factors came together and lead to essentially a very small number (varying between servers) of viewers in each stream, and because of the length of each season, these relatively small viewer numbers meant that running the WGL was no longer financially viable for Wargaming. It should be noted, however, that the yearly "Grand Finals" did attract a substantially larger audience, suggesting that a shorter tournament where the very best teams played each other in a ground stage followed by a single elimination bracket was much more accessible to the average World of Tanks player.

Impact

The main impact of the ending of WGL is that many excellent players left the game as there was no incentive to continue playing the game any longer. This is particularly the case in the CIS region, where a number of players were able to survive off of the money that they earned through playing WGL. An excellent resource of information for intermediate level players has also been removed, and another level of competition between the very best players in the game has gone, leading to them either stopping playing the game altogether, or transferring to clan play. This is an issue as the incentives to play Clan Wars are also diminishing, in terms of the gold payout on the global map and the reduction in reward tanks available in the annual Clan Wars campaign (both the VK 72.01 (K) and Object 907 were not available as rewards in the Arms Race Campaign).

However, the player community came together and organised their own inter-regional competitions, as the remaining players wished to continue playing in a competitive environment even if there was no monetary incentive to do so. This was also partially the case because the leadership of clans rarely changes in a dramatic way, and so the top few clans tended to fight each other in Clan Wars and in Advances on a very regular basis for weeks or months at a time, until one or more of the top clans fell and new ones rose to fill it. This led to a series of showmatches between the top clans on EU and CIS at the time (FAME and KOPM2 respectively), and between EU and NA (FAME and MAHOU respectively).

Suggestions for a future return

There has been much speculation on when and in what form the WGL might return. One idea is to change it to 15v15 at tier X, in a similar style to Clan Wars of Advances, however this would not only make it too similar to existing game modes, but organising LAN events at the end of a season would almost certainly be too financially unviable for Wargaming. Another suggestion is to return WGL in the 7/70 or 7/68 formats, but ensure that powerful vehicles that are seeing play frequently are changed after not too long a period of time, so that the meta is shifting more frequently, making it less repetitive to watch. Finally, an extremely popular proposition has been to change the Team Battles game mode format to be the same as that of the WGL, as it has not been touched since WGL changed from 7/42 to 7/48. This would allow the average player to play the same format as the WGL so they can understand the tactics and vehicles being used a lot better and be able to get involved with what is happening more. One excellent potential addition to this would be to make all vehicles that can be used in the format available for all players to use, but only in the Team Battles game mode. This would reduce the frustration that could arise from wanting to play a certain tactic, but the players do not have the required tanks. However this would not help with Wargaming's profits, as giving people tanks to use in one game mode for free would remove the need for some players to grind, meaning they will spend less money on premium account, premium vehicles and free experience, therefore making it very unlikely that such a feature will be implemented, and thus not removing a key reason for WGL's failure during 2017.