Feb. 21-23 marked the second major DreamHack event of the year after the LAN festival’s trip to Leipzig, Germany. This time going to Anaheim, US, the tournament featured a wide list of esports competition, among which the first major LAN event for Warcraft 3: Reforged.
Reforged’s own launch ended up a disaster. Missing features, performance issues, and long bugs lists ignited a community uproar, with many players opting for a refund, which ended up a whole other ordeal by itself. DH Anaheim, therefore, became an even more important event for Reforged. The success of the original Warcraft 3 was rooted in its diverse esports scene and the storylines around its best players. Although a memorable esports debut in Anaheim would not magically erase all the problems Reforged still has, it would at least be a first step towards repairing the public trust in the game.
Moon wins DH Anaheim amid disconnect controversy
Ultimately, the tournament became memorable for all the wrong reasons and marred the otherwise great grand finals. In the last game of the tournament, Warcraft 3’s best Night Elf player of all time, the “fifth race” Jang “Moon” Jae-ho, faced fellow Korean Orc Eom “FoCuS” Hyo-sub. In a best-of-5. Playing his signature expansion-heavy playstyle, Moon barraged FoCuS with a series of fly-by attacks, constantly denying the Orc’s expansions and forcing his army to ping-pong around the map. The game on Concealed Hill was especially tense with FoCuS getting early game advantage and Moon patiently engineering a comeback in a match that went close to 40 minutes.
But Moon’s victorious march was somewhat spoiled by the myriad of technical issues the Reforged players experienced during their Anaheim weekend. The quarterfinal game between Moon and Swede Marcus “ThorZaIN” Eklöf went to the deciding third game, only to see ThorZaIN disconnect twice after being ahead both times. The players jumped into a second remake of game 3, which Moon eventually won to advance to the semifinals.
“This is gross incompetence”
That wasn’t an isolated incident by any means. After the thread about ThorZaIN’s disconnect blew up on Warcraft 3: Reforged’s subreddit, pro player Matt “lnclnerator” Schlenker, who also competed in Anaheim that weekend, confirmed that this has been happening “the entire tournament”.
“Being here in Anaheim I can tell you these drops have been happening the entire tournament. In my first BO3 vs SoSorryMan we played 5 games, with two drops after 20 minute games – absolutely unacceptable. Blizzard was here yesterday and saw it, knew about it and left, and no one from their side bothered to do anything about it or even acknowledge its existence.
Many people blame corporate greed for the state of the game, but this is gross incompetence by the team that made Reforged. Where is Pete Stillwell and where has any sense of responsibility gone? I always try to stay positive, but this is beyond the pale for those of us who simply love Warcraft 3.”
The “good” news is that Blizzard have ample time to fix the disconnect issues and all the bugs stopping Reforged from being an adequate esports client. The next major World Championship qualifier is DreamHack Summer, Jun. 12-14, in Jönköping, Sweden.