After Warcraft 3 Reforge’s disastrous launch propelled it to the lowest rated game on Metacritic while seeing it besieged by refund requests it is frankly astonishing the game maintained enough pull to warrant a tournament over the classic. Yet with a built-in community such a tournament was able to occur and it played out as poorly as the game’s launch.
As a quick recap, Warcraft 3’s development was partially farmed out to a Malaysian studio, similar to what Sony did before their plagiarism incident, and what EA has done with Command and Conquer Remastered, resulting in a game that looks atrocious. Expect this trend to continue producing disasters going forward, but in Reforge’s instance, it resulted in a game that was a graphic downgrade from the original while at the same time missing numerous features.
As for the tournament itself, it persisted through numerous bugs and several disconnects as reported poorly by Kotaku. Who dedicates the majority of their reporting to the tournament upset between long time Swedish player ThorZain and his favored to win rival Moon.
Following each of them achieving a victory on previous maps it came down to the third and final match to determine the victor who would move onto the semi-finals. Early in the match, ThorZaIN achieved an early lead before pushing hard on Moon’s left flank. With victory looking good the first disconnect occurred prompting a map restart.
During the fourth round ThorZaIN acquired a 615 mana lead over Moon and was favored to win before yet another disconnect forced the second map restart. Now familiar with his strategy Moon secured an early lead that he refused to relinquish allowing him to triumph in their fifth match. Propelling him into the semi-finals where he would go on to win the DreamHack Anaheim 2020 Open Cup.
From all accounts, ThorZaIN took his defeat with dignity, but the community were less than thrilled that he lost his upset not as a result of skill, but because the game itself was a buggy mess. Rather than complain fruitlessly at Blizzard they have started a GoFundMe Campaign to pay him the money he would have won from achieving victory and moving into semi-finals. As of this writing it has surpassed the initial funding goal of $750 and now sits at $865.
Rumors persist that developers of the game were in attendance, but after several disconnects began occurring during the tournament they left presumably out of shame. This is sadly the quality of product you get after a company farms out half of it to the cheapest studios possible and leaves the other half to be completed by a cadre of veteran programmers strewn among a mountain of Work Opportunity Tax Credit hires.