After a grueling and hotly contested two-week marathon through World of Warcraft’s newest raid, Azshara’s Eternal Palace, European guild Method won yet another Race to World First by downing Queen Azshara. The Race to World First became an esports-style competitive experience for viewers during the Battle for Azeroth expansion, and Azshara’s Eternal Palace proved to be the biggest stage yet for the world’s top guilds.
World of Warcraft raids have always been a way for the world’s top guilds to compete and see who can kill the final boss first, but in Battle for Azeroth that the Race became openly streamed and broadcast for entertainment purposes. Streaming progress through each boss fight of a raid has an inherent risk; guilds who stream expose strategy and intel to their opponents.
Uldir and the Battle for Dazar’Alor brought in over 160,000 viewers for Method. So far, American guild Limit has made it to the final boss of every raid first, but Method managed to execute its strategy and claim the World First victory in Uldir, Battle for Dazar’Alor, and now Azshara’s Eternal Palace.
Not only did viewers have the storyline of champion Method competing against underdog Limit, but there was a secondary conflict. Red Bull sponsored Method’s first two Races to World First, but Method and Red Bull ended up having a split. Method’s main tank and raid leader said that Red Bull was attempting to claim ownership over this burgeoning esport. Red Bull ran its own first Race to World First event, with Limit and other guilds competing through Azshara’s Eternal Palace.
With multiple streams and perspectives, this is the best look that fans have gotten inside a World of Warcraft Race to World First competition. World of Warcraft ended up topping the Twitch rankings over the weekend, beating the Fortnite World Cup. We can expect one more major raid to be released in World of Warcraft, and we’ll likely see the infrastructure and spectacle around the Race to World First continue to ramp up.