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Predicting Winterfest Winners


Writer Predictions: Harold

Tournament time has arrived again! The Winterfest Season has given rise to a number of new or otherwise unfamiliar guilds while past playoff guilds have either relaxed this season or bowed out due to scheduling conflicts. These developments leave the playoffs somewhat open, particularly with eight teams advancing to the single-elimination rounds on Sunday. With that said, I expect the guilds to place as follows:

  1. Team Quitter [QQ] – Despite placing second on the ladder, QQ has proven itself a tough competitor over the past few seasons. QQ plays a wide variety of builds and had already begun dabbling with limited skill selection prior to the end of the ladder season. With QQ's flexibility to split on any map—including Burning Isle and Jade Isle—as well as dominate in fluid 8v8 situations, look for QQ to claim the gold cape trim they barely missed during the Autumn Season.
     
  2. Team Everfrost [eF] – The general Guild Wars community seems to think the championship will come down to eF and QQ, and with good reason. Team Everfrost consists of several experienced players formerly of Irresistible Blokes and has amassed an amazing 106-8 record to reach the number one spot after running up a 59-0 record in playing only part of the Autumn Season. As a newly formed guild, however, eF lacks the gold cape trim befitting a champion, so look for a showdown between eF and QQ in the championships.
     
  3. Peace and Harmony [PnH] – PnH plays at an exceptional level, but remains overshadowed by other high-flying European guilds despite several tournament appearances. After its strong finish in the Autumn Season playoffs, I expect PnH to make a push for the gold this weekend.
     
  4. Clan Detained [dT] – The Europe region has made a strong showing all season and dT stands out as one of the strongest of the European contenders. Recently spotted practicing for the playoffs, this guild looks primed to prove that they indeed have more than one trick up their sleeves.
     
  5. Esoteric Warriors [EW] – Despite its overall rating, EW sports a respectable winning percentage this season that ranks as third best among all of the playoff guilds. As a guild that already has its gold cape trim, it will come down to how much effort EW wants to put in to place at the top.
     
  6. Ominous Latin Name [tag]
  7. Chaossanctuary優 [WoW]
     
  8. Legion of Losers [LOL] – My dark horse pick, LOL, plays much better than its record indicates. After making a push on the final weekend to make it back into the playoffs, LOL plays like it wants to win this tournament and they have the talent and experience to back it up. Whether they can recover from last weekend's push and get builds together in time remains questionable, but their honorable conduct in battle makes them easy to root for.
     
  9. The Flying Liberaces [Ace]
  10. Supernova Jpn [SpNv]
  11. Moa Birds [MB]
  12. The Celebrities [Cel]
     
  13. Frozen Flame [ICE] – I had originally picked them to finish in the top five, but after one of its members admitted in a fansite forum recently that the guild will lose some core members after the playoffs, ICE's drive and desire to win this tournament seems unclear.
     
  14. Time Is Running [OUT]
  15. Portrayers of Valour [pV]
  16. Storm Bearers [SB]
  17. Smart People [sM]
  18. I Agony Realm I [AR]
  19. Powerpuff Boys [PUFF]
  20. The Bouncers [BcS]
  21. Zero Files Remaining [LaG]
  22. Bruderschaft Der Verdammnis [BdV]
  23. Bezmyslne Dogadzanie Sobie [MSI]
  24. Ward Against Noobzz [Wa]
  25. Rus Corp [RUS]
  26. Free Will [FW]
  27. Rise In Superior Competition [RiSC]
  28. Newbs On Tour [Nap]
  29. Necro Raiders [NR]
  30. Empty Skillbars [EaSy]
  31. L I Z Z A R D S [Lz]
  32. Oo The Ancients Oo [aNc]

Writer Predictions: Adam

This season has seemed quite formulaic to me, and given the nature of the rewards compared to earlier seasons, I think many good teams simply haven't made as much of an effort, which is a large contributing factor to the amount of new names at the top.

However, because only Nightfall and core skills will be allowed, I think the experienced teams will be the ones who come out on top. Nobody has practiced for a pure-Nightfall metagame, so build-wise it's almost a complete toss-up. Therefore, my picks are teams who have been around for a while and done well in different metagames in earlier seasons.

  1. Esoteric Warriors [EW] – The seasoned vets. They placed lower than usually this season, but there can be no doubt about their skill.
     
  2. Team Quitter [QQ] – With [Te] faltering, Team Quitter is the new emergent leader of the American guilds.
     
  3. Team Everfrost [eF] – They had a spectacular showing on the ladder this season, taking the top spot by a good margin.
     
  4. Frozen Flame [ICE] – This team has been around for a very long time, but has shown dramatic improvement only recently. I think their momentum will stay with them.
     
  5. Chaossanctuary優 [WoW] – A consistently good team who made a strong showing on the ladder this season.
     
  6. Peace and Harmony [PnH]
  7. The Flying Liberaces [Ace]
  8. The Celebrities [Cel]
  9. Legion of Losers [LoL]
  10. Supernova Jpn [SpNv]
  11. Clan Detained [dT]
  12. I Agony Realm I [AR]
  13. Smart People [sM]
  14. Time is Running [OUT]
  15. Ominous Latin Name [tag]
  16. Rus Corp [RUS]
  17. Powerpuff Boys [PUFF]
  18. Storm Bearers [SB]
  19. Ward Against Noobzz [Wa]
  20. The Bouncers [BcS]
  21. Portrayers of Valour [pV]
  22. Necro Raiders [NR]
  23. Empty Skillbars [EaSy]
  24. Bezmyslne Dogadzanie Sobie [MSI]
  25. Bruderschaft der Verdammnis [BdV]
  26. Moa Birds [MB]
  27. Rise In Superior Competition [RiSC]
  28. Oo The Ancients Oo [aNc]
  29. Newbs On Tour [Nap]
  30. Free Will [FW]
  31. Zero Files Remaining [LaG]
  32. L I Z Z A R D S [Lz]

Predictions: Christian

With the surprising withdrawal of some top American guilds from the tournament, will Europe's guilds come out on top? Can they show the rest of the regions that they are here to compete and dominate the top 32? Maybe, but I predict Team Quitter's [QQ] past experience will push past the competition to win the Winterfest tournament. But they won't have it easy; Europe is going to make a strong showing and I wouldn't be surprised to see some familiar guilds finish in the top few spots!

  1. Team Quitter – The guys in Quitter have only improved since their last tournament in the fall. They have adapted to the changing metagame, first when Paragons ruled, and then, after the game balance updates, they kept their poise and remained near the top of the guild ladder. They might be second overall upon close of the ladder, but they have shown that they are number one. Winterfest certainly doesn't mean quitting time for Team Quitter.
     
  2. Rus Corp – I'm picking RUS as the guild to finish second in this tournament. RUS has played the most games of the top 32 teams and as such likely have some of the most experience on what works and what doesn't. This translates into big gains when it comes time to making a build using only Nightfall and core skills. Will they try something different? Or will they work to create a balanced build? Either way these guys have been around since the first Guild Wars World Championship and I'll be happy to see them do well.
     
  3. Esoteric Warriors – In my opinion these guys are the best European Guild. Every tournament they show themselves to be experienced and ready to deal with any situation in game. They have run interesting builds in the past and will likely take advantage of that with the limited skill selection. They have a tough first round with Agony, a well established guild. If they can beat these guys expect them to finish somewhere in the top 3.
     
  4. I Agony Realm I – In my safe pick I am taking the guild facing EW in the first round. Both of the guilds in these matches are solid in both player skill and guild experience. Agony has always proved itself a top contender, and with the Swiss style format these guys might be able to cash in on quick tournament play and some trick builds to get them to the top. Whoever finishes on top between EW and AR will be prepared and ready for the next round and could potentially move into the latter part of the competition. Europe is going to make a stand this time and it might come from one of these two guilds.
     
  5. Zero Files Remaining – For fifth I am picking LaG. The Zeroes have faced my guild a number of times this season, and every time we have faced them it has proved an uphill battle for us. During the early part of the season we chose a new Nightfall guild hall and gained some advantage with tactics. LaG proved themselves superior; by the time we hit the halfway point they had their own counter-strategies to play against us. They have a tough first round to get past, but expect this American guild to come out fighting and to not let up. If they make it past the first round then who knows where they might finish.
     
  6. Team Everfrost [eF]
  7. Clan Detained [dT]
  8. Legion of Losers [LoL]
  9. Peace and Harmony [PnH]
  10. The Celebrities [Cel]
  11. Frozen Flame [ICE]
  12. Supernova Jpn [SpNv]
  13. Time is Running [OUT]
  14. Chaossanctuary優 [WoW]
  15. The Bouncers [BcS]
  16. Smart People [sM]
  17. Moa Birds [MB]
  18. Ward Against Noobzz [Wa]
  19. Necro Raiders [NR]
  20. Empty Skillbars [EaSy]
  21. Portrayers of Valour [pV]
  22. Ominous Latin Name [tag]
  23. The Flying Liberaces [Ace]
  24. Bezmyslne Dogadzanie Sobie [MSI]
  25. Rise In Superior Competition [RiSC]
  26. Storm Bearers [SB]
  27. Bruderschaft Der Verdammnis [BdV]
  28. Powerpuff Boys [PUFF]
  29. Newbs On Tour [Nap]
  30. Free Will [FW]
  31. Oo The Ancients Oo [aNc]
  32. L I Z Z A R D S [Lz]

Thank you to our writers for making predictions. We'll know shortly whether they were right or not. And don't forget to make your own predictions!


Harold J. Chow is one of our freelance Guild Wars reporters. His in-game name is Guild Informant.

Adam Sunstrom has been playing Guild Wars since February 2004 when he joined the Alpha test, and has been interested in the competitive aspects of the game from the beginning. In the early Beta Weekend Events, he led his former clan, The Fianna, with success. He is currently a member of Black Widow [Wi] and the proud holder of one [iA] stamp of approval.

Christian Brellisford is a college student currently studying video game design in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in hopes of pursuing a career in the field. A gamer since an early age, Christian has been involved with Guild Wars since the E3 for Everyone Event in 2004, and currently leads the Spirits of War guild. You can find him in game under the name Saidin Writer.