Pretty much nobody expected that success for the first edition of a French offline event: the Gaming WinterFest. Some of the world's finest players will compete next weekend for the €1000 cash prize.
This tournament will be played in Melun, a city next to Paris. The players who will compete in the GWF have heterogeneous skills so we decided to check out who can go far and who can create the surprise of the first offline tournament of the year.
Some players are definitely on the top. Former World Championship medalists, players who competed in the last World Cup and also some players coming from the best team in the world (#humblebrag).
Among them, Tween is the most decorated player. Pacher finished as World Championship runner-up 3 times as well as third place twice. Last November, he took the third place at the ManiaPlanet World Cup after a clean and smooth tournament. Therefore, he is the favorite going into the tournament as both CarlJr and Paco will not attend the event. He will be travelling all the way from Slovakia, his home country, he will probably want some return on investment. But will he be able to win his first major offline event after making such great results lately?
Finishing 4th in November at the ManiaPlanet World Cup and with one major victory at Gamers Assembly 2016, our very own Dennis 'Massa' Lotze will try his best to bring home the first offline tournament of the year. No doubt that Massa may perform really well for his first offline event in our organisation. He joined expert.Black some weeks ago and already had great performances online with his line up. Massa told us about the event: "I'm really looking forward to this new event in France. Personally, I couldn't prepare as much as I wanted to, but I will still give a great fight once again. GL HF to all participants and enjoy watching everyone!"
Kappa (in the foreground) finished 5th at the last World Championship and is therefore a player who can go quite far in this tournament. The 21-year-old Czech player will try his best after finishing second at the NEST Cup 2 last summer. He needs a victory in a major offline event - he didn't manage to reach the Grand Final at the ManiaPlanet Cup but is this Gaming WinterFest, he has some room to end up in the Grand Final. Kappa is currently one of the most talented players. In 2016, Kappa finished 3rd in Poitiers for the Gamers Assembly. Kappa is getting more and more offline experience and the GWF might be his first victory.
Our last favorite is probably the best French player of the moment. Kronos will try to get in his first Grand Final of a major international event. Kronos finished 5th in 2015's World Cup and 7th in the ManiaPlanet World Cup last November. He will probably be cheered by the French audience being the hometown hero. Kronos is definitvely a player to follow and we do think he can go far in the Gaming WinterFest and that's why he ends up in the favorite list.
HakkiJunior used to be the best player in the world. It will be the first tournament abroad after more than two years of international absence. Even if his level dropped a bit since he won the World Championships, he still is one of the finest players the scene has to offer and can go really far in this cup. HakkiJunior, being a master of communication, will be really active on Social Media and will be sharing his travel with everyone.
Both playing for expert, Brendan 'bren' Seve and Kenz 'Symbiose' Le Gouge will both make their first appearance under our flag at an offline event. They definitely are really great players and they both played an offline event before as bren played in the Zrt Cup 4 and NEST 2 and Symbiose played the Gamers Assembly in 2016. Even if they both had good results there, they didn't have the skills they have today and this tournament will probably be a good overview on how good they can perform in a major event.
5 players who registered for the Gaming WinterFest were playing in the last ManiaPlanet World Cup and while four of them are our four favorites, the fifth one may reach the Grand Final as well or at least get a really strong performance on the track. Cocow is definitely one of the best players of his generation. Finishing 9th at the 2016 World Cup, the 19-year-old French player is the fifth best player of this competition on paper.
Completing the challenger list, we can also mention Papou, a rising player in the past few months. He begun playing dirt and was one of the best players in this environment for one of the best teams in the world. Papou turned out to be also a really great player in tech and is currently participating in more and more tournaments with his new team. Papou is one of the best French players currently and might be able to make a good result happen at the Gaming WinterFest.
Completing the starting field
The Gaming WinterFest is a BYOC event where no qualification is needed. Therefore the level is quite heterogeneous and some players mostly are there just to have fun and enjoy a nice weekend playing videogames. But we never know and a surprise might always happen!
Make sure to keep an eye on our Social Media channels where we will keep you updated on everything happening in Melun.