It has been a big year for World of Tanks. The game received five major updates in 2016 and the New Year event saw big changes to the game. The World of Tanks Grand Finals 2017 took place on Sunday 28 May and I attended an event in London to watch the game with fans.
The two teams in the final were Tornado Energy, a Russian team which had a strong showing in the semi-final, and Ding, a European team who had a strong showing throughout the qualifiers that saw them through to the last game.
The game was (disappointingly) not close – here’s my blow by blow account of how the winners took the trophy.
Ding VS Tornado Energy
The Grand Final started with a troupe of female drummers in military style clothing hitting some beats while some very accomplished baton twirlers did, well… baton twirling. All very exciting so far. The team’s then game on to bright lights and inspirational music.
At this point the trophy is also brought onto the stage. It looks shiny and nice. The opposing teams have a very brief interview before the game starts (Ding’s representative looks much more hyped). It begins.
The pairing seems pretty equal at first but then Tornado start to pull ahead significantly.
The lead never really slipped behind 2000 points and in the end the round became a hunt for he the last surviving team member of Ding. Four of Tornado chasing now and Tornado Energy take an early lead after a very short first round. It’ll be over in 10 minutes at this pace.
Tornado start looking like the more co-ordinated team. Their medium and light tanks are travelling to strategic places in groups in the tight formation that they prefer. Ding instead choosing single file down narrower roads. Not sure that’s going to work so well for them.
Ding make gains at the start at the start of the round and take an early lead in the first 2 mins. Although, the match flips and Tornado take the lead after absolutely slaughtering a lone member of Ding as they attempt to scarper from their tight formation.
The map control by Tornado is really showing through here.
Ding fall behind again. Tighter than the first round but still would take a lot to come back from. Becomes clear 3 minutes in that they aren’t coming back from it. And they don’t. Second round to Tornado. Worth pointing out here that one member of Tornado took four of Ding down there. A very strong showing.
Round three starts well for Ding with early gains. Tornado pulls ahead again, this time due to some excellent shooting across range. One of Tornado dangerously low on health but two of Ding are damaged too.
Now two of Tornado seriously low on health and Ding do appear to have the edge for the first time here. The pace is a lot slower pace than the first two rounds which Ding seem to prefer. Four minutes in and no team has the advantage. One of the weaker in Tornado is taken out.
Now two in Tornado out. Another lull. More than half the time on the clock is gone now and still no counter from Tornado. Another in Tornado weakened. But now four in Ding are down to half health.
All happens very quickly now but another Tornado out. Seems inevitable now than ding will win with 2.5 minutes left. Round won for Ding. 2-1 to Tornado. Is this the start of a comeback?
Seems like it’s going to be another slow round. 3 minutes in and very little action. Tornado in that very tight 4-man formation again.
They break formation to scope out the map and take hits from Ding. Ding do seem to have the advantage and open a significant lead after taking out one and then two of Tornado. At this point, Ding still have a full team but they’re losing health and may be pushing just a bit too recklessly.
Ding struggling now. That lead has been lost. Two down from Ding. Lead completely lost now and Ding on the defensive. Three tanks left all with a third health each now against four in Tornado a few significantly damaged but one barely touched.
Things narrow AGAIN. Lost one Ding but lose two Tornado too. Now with two tanks left each, Ding finish another. The final Tornado finished off the two weakened Ding in quick succession and it’s all over. 3-1 to Tornado.
Early successful hit for Ding takes one Tornado down to 50% almost straight away.
A further shot on the same tank almost finishes him off. Ding come under fire and take big damage. First two kills of the round go to Ding as Tornado were made to pay for that offensive. Three of Ding are now wounded though.
Tornado have around a 3000 point lead at this point. Four minutes in.
Tornado lining up a shot on Ding for a long time but doesn’t take it. 3.5 minutes left and no movement. Ding have to push around one corner of the map right into the fire of Tornado. They come under heavy fire and things move fast with Tornado suffering from the Ding push. Triple kill from Tornado and Ding are on the back foot again. Less than two minutes left.
It seems all over for Ding. And now it is. 4-1 to Tornado. Rounds aren’t very close. Tornado are at clear advantage and I’ll be surprised if Ding can pull this back.
A slow start to the round again. Ding seem cautious – understandable given the lead Tornado have opened on them. 2.5 mins in and still very quiet.
Tornado coming under fire and Ding open a very, very small lead. Nothing to write home about yet.
Almost half way through the round and still relatively quiet. Tornado once again in that tight formation that appears to be working so well for them. Though they do present an easier target this way. They take some damage in a head to head but simultaneously do major damage to two of Ding. Tornado now have a huge lead.
It’s the same situation we’ve seen in previous rounds. Ding falling back and continue to take damage when trying to make up the difference. I can’t see how Ding come back from this. Tornado now flanking Ding’s defensive positions and it really pays off. Ding suffer a loss. And another. Time runs out and the round goes to Tornado.
Fast round. Tornado hit hard at first but make up the ground. Nowhere to hide on this map though so Ding are decimated in the first minute not leaving much room for a comeback. Huge win for Tornado there. Opened a huge lead right away and Ding just couldn’t come back into it. 6-1 to Tornado and not much else to say about that.
Good start for Ding as they open a very decent lead on Tornado. One down and another one looking very troubled. And another down.
First time Dig have dominated like this. 6v3 at this point with a 2500 health lead. Ding suffer another loss but so do Tornado. Ding comfortably see off the rest of the round and win their second round of the game. 6-2. Seems unlikely they can come back from such a lead but clearly not going down without a fight.
Tornado take a few early shots. Nothing significant and they’ll take that comfortably if it means getting their preferred positions. A few more minor shots are exchanged but no one suffers terrible damage. Quarter of time done now.
So far this is playing out like all the rounds that Ding have lost. As if they can hear me, they begin to take more damage.
Tornado now have a small, but clear, lead. It shifts quickly with one of Tornado taking massive damage – he’s almost out. They’re all in their preferred positions now but who’ll push first?
Further damage to Tornado but they return fire and now Tornado have control of the most favourable position and the lead. It’s going to be a close one.
Tornado still look like the strong team with 4 minutes left on the clock. Shot on tornado levels the playing field again. No clear advantage now and the round is still to play for.
Ding under some smart fire again and tornado resumes that small lead. Now 2v2 and really does come down to the wire. 1v1 now and no idea who will take this. Ding being chased across the map by tornado. Less than a minute left.
It looks like it’s all over for Ding with 20 seconds left and yup that’s Ding done. One final shot sees them off. Tornado Energy hit seven wins and as per the rules of the tournament, they take the trophy home.