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Winter is Coming...
That's right ladies and gentlemen, the next major Age of Empires 3 event is on its way. Open to anyone, the ESOC Winter Championship 2020 marks our most ambitious effort yet, with the introduction of the division system and over 20 paid places for the tournament's top performers.
It's been over a year since the last ESOC Major Tournament's Grand Finals, where we saw a nail-bitingly close series between @koenigerik1 and @Kynesie for the $1600 prize pool of the ESOC Autumn Championship 2018. I'm proud to announce that we will be topping that this year with the $3000 ESOC Winter Championship 2020 — likely to be the most prestigious ESOC-hosted tournament to date.
Open to anyone with an ESO account and the ESOC Patch, you can register for the tournament in your MyESOC Panel. New to AoE3? Don't sweat it - take a look at the ESOC New Player's Guide. This year's major tournament is one that will be very friendly to beginning players!
The first round of the tournament is set to begin on Monday, January 6th, 2020, so mark your calendars and start getting some practice in!
A Place For Everyone - The Division System
The most important feature of the ESOC Winter Championship 2020 is the introduction of the division system. Based on Elo rating, players will be divided up into 1 of 4 different divisions - the Pro Division, Advanced Division, Intermediate Division, or the Beginner Division. The first week of the tournament will hold a qualifiers round for placement in each division - losing your qualifiers match will simply mean that you drop down one division. For example, if you are playing in the Advanced Division Qualifiers and lose, you will be dropped into the Intermediate Division Round of 32.
What this means is that the competition should be much more balanced for all skill levels. Our hope with this system is that each player's individual tournament experience is one that is more unique, dynamic, and full of depth than those of previous Major tournaments.
All divisions will run concurrently beginning on January 6th, 2020. The Pro Division is slated to last around 5 weeks, ending on February 9th. The Advanced and Intermediate Divisions will last one additional week, ending around February 16th. And finally the Beginner Division, with the largest representation of players, is set to end some time in late February / early March. Here is where you can find more information on the tournament schedule.
The ESOC Winter Championship 2020 will use the same civilization rules as the New World Championship 2019 Qualifiers. This means that after you have won with a civilization you can no longer play it in a series, and the winner of the previous game locks his civilization first going into the next game of a series.
To be eligible to participate in the tournament, a prospective player must have played at least 5 online rated games on the ESOC Patch. If you are in need of a partner to play some games with on the EP, try using the #find-a-match channel on the ESOC Discord server or check out the Active EP players page to find other players at your skill level. You can view your overall match history and Elo rating on the ESOC Ladder.
The tournament map pool will feature 9 maps in total. Additionally, all tournament maps will contain Trading Posts to varying degrees.
The tournament map pool is as follows:
Mendocino / New England / Bonnie Springs / Arizona / Florida /
Arkansas / Colorado / Hudson Bay Summer / Manchac
ESOC Patch Version 7.0
The long-awaited next iteration of the ESOC Patch is coming to a launcher near you. After months of development, and even some testing, the release of EP7 is here and just in time for ladder season this December.
ESOC Patch Version 7.0 includes
- – Buffs to weaker civilizations (e.g. Aztecs, Spanish) and nerfs to stronger ones (e.g. Germans, Iroquois)
– Improved viability of many basic features, including buffs to underused units and minor natives as well as Trading Post-reliant civilizations on maps that do not include Trading Posts
– Superior treasure balance
– Tons of bug fixes, including hero cover-mode bug, Explorer crack-shot bug, and the Heal Dance War Chief bug
With so many divisions and players from all kinds of skill levels, it's no surprise we'd like to have as many games as possible streamed. For this reason, ESOC is looking to recruit talented casters into our ranks. This is your chance to grow your casting skills and to provide entertainment to hundreds of people all over the world. This tournament is the perfect opportunity for you to develop yourself, as new casters will be given the chance to stream games from the lower divisions on ESOCTV. Being an ESOC caster has many perks and is a voluntary position.
If you are interested in joining the team, please shoot a message to @Mr_Bramboy or @Cometk!
Thanks everyone, and lets have a great event!