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World champion gladiator Venruki cracks open arena PvP

World champion gladiator Venruki talks arena PvP
There's more than one World of Warcraft within Azeroth. The high-stakes realm of competitive arena play is one such microscosm. Compared to WoW's gargantuan PvE player base, relatively few players delve very deeply into arena play, and an extensive fandom for arenas as an e-sport has been slow to catch on. So when Blizzard took the Battle.net World Championship to Shanghai last month, the StarCraft II-crazed event cracked the door wider for gladiators from World of Warcraft.

At stake: international dominance and a prize pool of nearly $200,000. The BWC threw the top 10 WoW 3v3 arena teams from across the world into a high-pressure, best-of-five round robin series. The top four teams emerged to face a brutal double-elimination bracket for the global championship. When the void zones dispersed, one team remained: Bring It, a North American team composed of frost mage Venruki (Elliott Venczel of Calgary, Canada), BlizzCon veteran and warlock Snutz (Kelvin Nguyen, also of Canada), and well-known PvP shaman Kollektiv (Timothy Yen, United States). We caught up with Venruki to crack the high-stakes world of WoW arena as an e-sport.

WoW Insider: Congratulations on your win! I'm guessing you've been kicking back and taking it easy since the championship?

Venruki: Thank you very much! I have been taking it easy since the championship. It's funny though, I thought after BWC was over I could finally take a break from World of Warcraft ... Recently seems like I play more than I did before. I'm still having a lot of fun with the game.

How do you go about preparing for a championship like the BWC, anyway?

Because the game was on the new expansion Mists of Pandaria, I knew that I had to play ... a lot. I practiced over 1,000 games of 3v3 arena in the couple of months I had to prepare. When my team was on, I played with them; otherwise I would practice with whomever I could find. I knew that to do well, it was going to take knowing the game inside and out.

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Filed under: PvP, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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