The Grand Finals for Wargaming League’s “World of Tanks” championships held in Warsaw, Poland Apr. 25-26 claimed a somewhat unexpected winner over the weekend. Reigning champions Na’Vi from last years tournament were beaten out of the finals to many a fans chagrin. Instead, an unexpected final round between Asian team EL gaming and RU/CIS team HellRaisers determined who would take home the metal slab of a trophy.
Many fans expected Na’Vi to be in that final match up, as was demonstrated by the voting predictions of fans that had overwhelming support for the previous champions, but in the end it came down to APAC representatives EL gaming and Na’Vi’s rivals HellRaisers. These final bracket results were unexpected because, despite the Asian regions dominance in many other eSports competitions, European teams and RU/CIS regional teams specifically have proven themselves the unequivocal bosses when it comes to “World of Tanks”. So while it was a surprise that EL Gaming made it into the final bracket it wasn’t really a surprise that HellRaisers were crowned champions.
HellRaisers, formerly known as Unity, have a bit of a history with former champions Na’Vi. In fact gaming club Natus Vincere was home to both Na’Vi and their sister team Unity during previous seasons. However, in an effort to make the most of their competitive gaming career the rosters of both teams were changed up a bit, trying to take the best of both Na’Vi and Unity for an A string “World of Tanks” line up for Natus Vincere.
Looking to become champions in their own right former team Unity found a new home under HellRaiser’s banner and there they seem to have found the support and confidence boost needed to rise to their championship position of the worlds best “World of Tanks” players. Both hailing from the RU/CIS region and getting more practice playing against each other than many other teams in the international competition had the privilege of, a rivalry between last years champions Na’Vi and up-and-comers HellRaisers developed. Under these circumstances it must have been a very satisfying win for HellRaisers on day 2 of The Grand Finals.
The newly crowned champions are comprised of the seven young players: Ruslan “LUCIQUEII” Ermakov, Andrew “LOLWO” Denisenko, Vladislav “NESKWI” Kanaev, Aleksey “NEAR_YOU” Kuchkin, Dmitry “KAMAEK” Grankin, Vladimir “DYADOR” Drutskiy and Yuriy “_YR_” Buharov. The team won a decisive victory over ELong in the final battles of the competition. While HellRaisers were not the expected finalists they weren’t complete underdogs either. They won season 2, took bronze last season and continually outplayed many of their opponents on their way to The Grand Finals. Ousting Na’Vi from the chance to take 1st or 2nd place certainly made the finals interesting though.
During the tournament HellRaisers felt very confident after beating Na’Vi but were having trouble against the foreign strategies used by Asian teams. However, the team said after playing Yato they were able to learn and adapt to the Asian style of playing which enabled them to perform better against ELong in the final match. After their epic win and accepting their huge trophy HellRaisers, who hail from different countries within the RU/CIS region, said “we hope our countries are proud for us.”