For a long time now, TheViper has been regarded as the best player in the Age of Empires II esports scene. But the past few months have brought that into question, with some very unexpected results going against the great player from Norway. These include the defeat in Red Bull Wololo to Mr_Yo, Team Secret’s loss to Aftermath in Battle of Africa 2, and now his 4-0 defeat to Hera in the Arabia Invitational. The Arabia Invitational was a tournament organized by AoE II caster Mario Ovalle. It featured seven of the eight players who have received a direct invite to Red Bull Wololo II.
Both the best-of-5 semifinals of the event went to the last game, with TheViper winning 3-2 against Liereyy and Hera winning with the same scoreline against TaToH, who nearly made a comeback after being 2-0 down. The final was set for a close series between the two players who are probably the top two in the game right now, but no one would have expected what happened. The first two games were extremely close and could have gone either way, but Hera held his own and played some amazing AoE to win them both. the second one was especially impressive, with him being on the backfoot the entire game, defending against TheViper’s all in push. With the momentum on his side, Hera went on to clinch the series 4-0. Here are the matchups for the grand final:
Game 1: Hera – Ethopians vs TheViper – Huns
Game 2: Hera – Malay vs TheViper – Saracens
Game 3: Hera – Burmese vs TheViper – Franks
Game 4: Hera – Lithuanins vs TheViper – Teutons
It is a great victory for Hera, who takes home $1000, as he had lost to TheViper in Red Bull Wololo (the first edition) and more recently, in the Clown Cup, both times in the semifinals. As we head into Red Bull Wololo II and King of the Desert 3, this will be a major mental boost for Hera and at the same time, a bit of a wake up call for TheViper, who will need to bring his best game if he wants to defend his KotD 2 title.
Speaking of Red Bull Wololo II, the Empire Wars event got its first four qualified players over the weekend. The ones that made it through were:
Of these, Villese was not a part of Red Bull Wololo I, so we will at least be having one new player for the second iteration of the tournament. The player who will feel a bit relieved with qualifying is dogao, who received a direct invite last time, but lost out this time.
The next set of qualifiers will take place on the next weekend, and a few days after that, the main event will begin. With a different format than most tournaments, a completely new patch, and competition heating up in smaller tournaments, Red Bull Wololo II has all the markings of a great tournament.