Another season of BWCL (BroodWar Clan League) has come to an end and with it, goals and dreams have either been fulfilled or failed. Head admin iCCup.Face is happy with how well the season has gone, stating; «Was surprising to have practically no W.O. this season, also by the very new teams like the peruvian team Clan Ranked which lost almost all weeks, was nice to see the dedication to participate».
Fellow admin ReD.fischei agrees:
«Ye everything went pretty smooth
It's sad that NaS-A disbanded at the end of last season, but with iRk and SouL 2 top teams fighting it out. Although it's sometimes very hard to find casters, everyone being busy, we managed to show cws every week but one ! Last season we've only got vincent and evilbringer as 2 main casters, this season 4 with additional help from iraddiar and docholiday.»
Fischei also points out that they have finally gotten a sponsor in eSports.fund for this season's King of Kings-tournament, which is an individual tournament eligble only to players who've participated in the clan league.
«I'm glad that Gecko and Cele restarted BWCL after remastered was announced, it revived the entire Clan scene and without BWCL other great leagues like STPL wouldn't even exist», he concludes.
This season there were four Divisions with varying competition within each of them. In Division-A, iRk and SouL really stood out as top dogs. In Division-B, BuLL went steamrolling while the other teams were more evenly matched. Division-C was overall quite even, and in Division-D the D seemed to stand for Diverse. Since it both contains the lowest level teams, as well as the teams that has just joined the league, it lead to some really strong teams being mixed with some rather weak teams. However, despite some discussions on the Discord server whether or not the format should be changed, it seems as though the teams had for the most part a great experience.
But the best experience must have been for iRk who were able to defeat SouL in the Grand Finals and thereby winning Season 50 of BWCL. Both clan leaders have been briefly interviewed about it all and had this to say:
Incomplete: Congratulations on winning Season 50 of BWCL! This is the third time you've won, and you've also reached the Grand Finals in every single season since Remastered. How would you compare winning this season to previous seasons?
iRk-AgGe: Thanks bro! Yeah, finally the trophy is back were it belongs. It was a bit of an upset when we lost it last season to [NaS]. I think this season was a bit special since [NaS] threw in the towel and we ended up only five teams in Div-A. Ofcourse the rivalry between iRk and SouL) has been going on for quite some time now, but [NaS] has always been the third party in the love triangle of BWCL Div-A. So just as much as I feel happy and very proud of my players for their great achievement this season, I also feel sad we didnt get to beat [NaS] on the way to reclaim the crown.
Incomplete: Are there any particular players in iRk-A that has stood out throughout the season? Whether in securing resuts, improval etc.?
iRk-AgGe: I've always had the advantage of being able to pick between a large Group of high ranked players in iRk-A, but this season has been a bit more complicated due to alot of players going inactive. But ofcourse Dewalt is almost an autowin for us, OyAji has progressed rapidly this year, and our latest A-team addition, vOddy has been terrific all season and has been working hard to prepare for every battle. Trutacz also decided to finally start playing in cw's and that has been a big boost, both in 1on1 and 2on2. Special shoutout to Favorit who always steps up and plays whenever called upon.
Incomplete: iRk is a large clan, and I saw there were talks about forming an iRk-C Squad again to participate in the lowest division. What's your ambition for iRk overall? Both for BWCL and in general.
iRk-AgGe: iRk has Always been a family like clan. Eventho we're a very large clan, we still only recruit players that we Think will fit in with the rest. My amibition with iRk has somewhat changed since the birth of sc remastered. At first we only brought iRk back to Life, because we were alot of old members who came back to hangout like in the old Days. Later of we recruited some former Swe-A and B players and started playing in BWCL and RTL just for fun, and noticed that we still had it in us to compete on the highest level. And after the first season we had pretty much built a mentality within the clan that we expected us to be at the top of the table, and around the same time I recruited Dewalt and that settled it all. Eventho we had that winning mentality and eagerness to be the best, I still felt that we lacked a bit of the old iRk family feeling, and so i decided to form a B-team of the old iRk members and some inactive Swedish players. But I couldnt really stop there, since I love the brood war scene and the Community I wanted to give more back, and that's when me and some other clanleaders (you were one of them) decided to start the RAN-initiative (recruit-a-noob). And so i formed a C-team of players with the potential,and same eagerness as the A-team players, to become great. After two season we had to reconstruct the team once again due to many players going inactive, so we decided to merge the B- and C-team.
Now with covid19 hitting the world, it felt like the right time to bring back the C-team and once again do a large recruitment of new players that want to become greats. And ofcourse I couldnt do all of this without my captains Strömkarlen, Tim, Doco and most recently Aalm.
Incomplete: How important do you feel BWCL is for the community?
iRk-AgGe: I think it's very important, for me as an old timer, the clan leagues have always been the most exciting part of BW for me. It's always fun with the individual leagues and so on, but in a team league you can always have other upsets and the winner isnt always predetermined. Just because you have a Dewalt, Bonyth, Trutacz, TerrOr on your team doesnt mean you will automatically win, there are more four sets in a clanwar, including a 2on2 that gives it yet another dimension to think about. BWCL is the next step for players in leagues like CPL (Coach pupil league). During the CPL season you get that team spirit feeling when winning and losing together, and after the season is done alot of players feel sad that they wont be playing with the people they've gotten to know for 10 weeks. Imagine if you could keep that feeling after the CPL season is over? That's were BWCL comes in, anyone can form a clan with a couple of friends, make a discord server and sign up for BWCL and keep that fuzzy feeling even after CPL season.
Incomplete: Any particular plans or things you look forward to for next season of BWCL?
iRk-AgGe: I'm really looking forward to see how our newly formed C-team will do in Div-D in their first season. I'm also excited by the B-team, and their active group of players, and really hope they can motivate each other to advance from Div-C and push for a spot in Div-B. And ofcourse (I'm prolly one of very few tho) looking forward to a new map pool. Every season I get this tingeling feeling when it's time for the map pool reveal, and see wich new maps it will consist of. But most importantly for me as clanleader and captain of iRk-A, too make sure my players defend the title as BWCL champs.
The last time SouL and iRk faced one another in a Grand Final, it was SouL who came out victorious. Furthermore, they were undefeated this season up until the Grand Final, meaning they beat iRk both times they met during the regular season.
Incomplete: Congratulations on getting second place in the playoffs! However, you got first place in the regular season, defeating iRk both times you met - what happened?
SouL)P(Fujikura: Bonyth had a family emergency, that I can't really speak to. So missing the best player in the Foreigner scene and a good 2v2 player at that hurts. While iRk had a really good line up, Ty2's loss to Voddy was unexpected, Voddy has been really strong lately.
Incomplete: After [NaS] disbanded, you and iRk reign supreme in BWCL. SouL won every single CW except the grand finals, and iRk's only loss (other than against SouL) was against dM in week 2,where iRk had one of their weaker line ups. Does it affect your goals and ambitions in any way? Do you miss more teams to be up at your level?
SouL)P(Fujikura: It doesn't effect us, that is the nature of games. Teams come and go. Ultimately new teams rise up.
Incomplete: You've also made some new additions - what's your recruitment strategy? Primarily looking for skill, or do you also put weight on how well they'll fit in with the other clan mates?
SouL)P(Fujikura: These players both approached me, Dyna is a former member of SouL, and there are some Peruvian only team leagues coming up so that is why I got him back. Cross, recently left vT and I have a good relationship with him in the past and he's a good fit as a Korean that speaks fluent english, he's a "Foreigner" Korean player, so he can be a bridge between both scenes.
Incomplete: What's your next plans and goals for SouL?
SouL)P(Fujikura: Well, some sort of sponsorship would be ideal. We got a site completed a few months ago, finally: https://soulgaming.net/
[ReV] had their debut in Division-A and beat dM- in the playoffs, granting them third place. dM- had the same fate as SouL, where they had higher position in the regular season than [ReV], and beat them on both occasions during the regular season.
Meanwhile at the bottom of Division-A, ash had to fight for their spot against vT, as vT came in second place in Division-B. ash.BlackSun was interviewed about their endeavors:
Incomplete: ash has a lot of history in BWCL, and you have just defended your spot in Division-A. The last year in particular, ash has risen a lot both in skill and size, having no less than three squads in BWCL. Has this come naturally, or has there been put down a lot of deliberate work to get ash where it is today?
ash.BlackSun: I don't think we're better skillwise than before. We always had good players like GoOdy, TeH, Bizarre one year ago, and recently PrO and Squall. Due to do different circumstances people went inactive for a while or retire so naturally we were trying to find new players. The recent new recruits like Ptak and dsaqwe are starting to perform well and hopefully will have a bigger affect on us next season. Also some older members are doing quite well again - Our performance this season was really shaky, sometime really good, sometimes rly bad.
We originally had not planned to play with three teams but somehow old friends came back and lots of people started playing again so we decided to give it a try with 3 teams. There was nearly no single recruit for the Division D teams, all natural.
Incomplete: Seems like there's a lot of activity in ash these days then? Do you have a lot of internal tournaments and such too?
ash.BlackSun: Well, we're still all 30+ so even though we have quite a few players lots of us only play 4-5h a week. We try to play internal tournaments once a while, especially during the STPL and BWCL breaks but if both leagues are running we usually don't. We randomly meet in our BW channel and usually play some inhouse games when someone asks for it in Discord.
Incomplete: What's your ambition for next season of BWCL?
ash.BlackSun: Getting more points than previous season, ... maybe playoffs?
Also we hope that one Div-D team will make it into Div-C and hold a good middle rang
Someone who'll be joining ash and the other clans in Division-A is BuLL), who've been directly promoted from Division-B as they reached first place:
Incomplete: You've had an impressive season, winning every single CW, going directly into Division-A. Looking forward to playing in the top level? What's your goal for next season?
BuLL)dAiO: We were always very humble, with players only from Bolivia ... now from Peru, we are looking for players who have an acceptable level, who have good behavior, and who have a passion for this game, the results will later be enjoyed ... our expectation now it is to stay in div -A and when an opponent sees the name of our team he has a lot of respect for us and says "it will be a difficult opponent to win".
Incomplete: You also have a squad in Division D. How has it been with two squads in BWCL?
BuLL)dAiO: BuLL B was created so that all our members had the opportunity to play the league ... there are good players, BuLL) Skoger helps me to manage the team in that division, it is not easy ... and the level is good ... many new players
Incomplete: What do you enjoy most about BWCL?
BuLL)dAiO: I like that the versus are bo3, the maps are those of ranked, that it has an easy process to send lineups ... and separating it by divisions motivates to compete ... I am happy with the BWCL
In Division-C, both the top two teams were able to advance to Division-B. [eF] advanced directly due to reaching first place, whereas [pariah] had to face the last place of Division-B – the Polish clan [KDV] – for their spot. And as you probably guessed, we've had a chat with their clan leaders as well!
First out is Kingtoss[eF], leader of the Peruvian based team [eF].
Incomplete: Congratulations on advancing to Division B. Are you happy with the season?
Kingtoss[eF]: if our team is very happy and our goal is to reach division A
Incomplete: Which team in Division B do you think will be hardest to compete against?
Kingtoss[eF]: team VT will be a tough opponent
Secondly, [pariah]m0ses, leader of the all Czech clan [pariah], formerly known as inae.:
Incomplete: After reaching second place in Div-C, you were able to beat [KDV] and snatch their spot in Div-B. It's been a good season in seemingly tight competition. Are you happy with how things have progressed?
[pariah]m0ses: Well I am really happy. Because after years of problems with activity, we found a new players. They are oldschools, who started to play again. Guys made me proud by success in Div-C. We were even able to make a B team who is fighting in Div-D.
Incomplete: Are all the new players also Czech, or are you branching out to other countries as well? The Czech scene seems quite active!
[pariah]m0ses: Everyone is Czech, many people started to play again... God bless quarantine
Lastly, there's Division-D. There appeared to be three groupings within the league. The best teams that stood out, namely oG) and ash-D1. Then there were the middle teams – [a.G], BuLL-D, ash-D2, and [pariah]-D. And in the bottom there was [ReV]-D, and Rkd_. Many of you may not know why there's a «D» or «D1» behind various names. Clans which have more than one squad in the clan league are given an additional letter to clarify which division they're in. If a clan has more than one squad in the same division, they're additionally given a number. Hence, ash-D1 and ash-D2. For instance, that's also why BuLL's A-squad was called BuLL-B, since their top squad was in Division-B. But in the next season they'll be BuLL-A, as they've reached Division-A.
Due to uneven number of teams in the various Divisions, the season also varied in length. Division-D was the largest, hence the last to finish. In the end it was ash-D1 who won first place and advanced directly. Their captain, the veteran admin ash.Baal, managed both ash-D1 and ash-D2.
Incomplete: You've managed two squads this season - both in Division-D, one of which advanced to Division-C. How has the work load been?
ash.Baal: it actually went very smoothly. I was lucky to have 3 amazing co-captains in ArtOfTurtle (for ash d2) as well as Jojo and 4stars (both for ash-d1) so we distributed the work load and they all did a tremendous job, we did not give away any wo nor were we ever late in submitting our lineups, something I take great pride in. The heavy workload was mostly just before the season started. We initially wanted to have 2 tiers with one team completely stacked with our absolute best players and the other more casual, but we decided against it in the end and went for what we considered as balanced teams so that both had a chance. Turns out ash-d1 was "a little bit" stronger in the end but I was happy that we placed both teams in the 4, given how stacked div-D was this season.
Since we still share a common discord channel it just meant I pinged (some would say spammed ^^) more players to get 8 instead of 4 on any given week but we have reliable folks who are always available, and we tried to get some sort of rotation going so that everyone would get their chance to play.
Incomplete: Any players in particular you feel have developed more than others this season? Or who've stood out in other ways?
ash.Baal: ash.jojo improved his 1v1 quite significantly on top of his new admin duties and being our regular 2v2 player. It was nice to see. There were also several talented players but the one who stood up the most was ash.jedi_one who carried us by showing up every single CW except one (due to RCG being at the same time) and delivered strong performance every time.
Incomplete: How is the atmosphere in ash these days?
ash.Baal: The atmosphere is great. Having two teams in the same division actually created a bit of friendly rivalry and push players to try and outdo the other squad for in house bragging rights. As for the clan in general we try to select our recruits based as much on their personality as on their skills. We prefer manner and fun people, since it is then both easier to manage for the admins but also creates a nice team spirit and practice environment.
The second team to advance was the returning team oG), who defeated BuLL-D in the playoffs. There were some issues with one of the matches due to disconnects, but the teams resolved it quite well and all things were good in the end.
All the teams will now be able to have a breather until Season 51, and in the meanwhile all teams interested can either confirm continued participation, or sign up a new team if they so desire. Confirmation and sign-ups are done here: https://tl.net/forum/bw-tournaments/560827-bwcl-season-51-preview-and-registration
(As a somewhat informal note: For any mistakes or poor quality, I blame my son for being demanding of my time. All hail BWCL! -.^)