On September 11, the mythic-difficulty version of Uldir, the first raid in Battle for Azeroth, opens up. This brutally hard version of the raid will pit raid teams against a gauntlet of eight bosses, each possessing a series of abilities that will devastate all but the most skilled and coordinated teams. And for the first time ever, WoW’s top guild, Method, will stream the whole thing on Twitch—bringing an end to the mystery of World of Warcraft’s mythic world-first raid races.
For decades, these races have been the soul of competitive World of Warcraft, with top guilds from all over the world racing to be the first to defeat every boss in a given raid. Doing so is a serious feat of endurance, with guilds sometimes trying to beat the same boss for 16 hours day after day. While the last expansion’s raids didn’t take too long to complete, some of WoW’s older raids took weeks. The prize? Bragging rights for the next few months until a new raid was released and a new race began. But because the competition was so stiff, few teams were willing to stream their attempts on Twitch for fear of revealing their secret strategies, giving their opponents an edge.
It made for an awkward experience as a spectator. Players were deeply invested in who won the race but were unable to actually watch the damn thing. Instead, viewers would usually have to tune into streams by less competitive guilds who didn’t care about broadcasting their attempts. That often meant that entire boss fights were a mystery for days or weeks as only the most competitive guilds could actually get that far into the raid. It wasn’t until one guild actually managed to kill every boss that they’d release videos showing exactly how they did it.
“Strategizing on how to kill each raid boss plays a huge part in succeeding in the progress race,” explained Method’s guild leader, Sco, in a statement. “Guilds treat their strategies as top secret and as a result of this, no guild with a shot at claiming a world first has ever live-streamed this competition. We want to change that.”
To that end, Method is partnering with Twitch and Discord to stream their attempt to be the first to defeat Mythic Uldir when it opens on September 11. “It’s an incredibly exciting announcement for all of us at Method,” said Method’s communications director, Derrie. “We cannot wait to give you all a look (and listen!) at what it’s really like during World First progress.”
Dozens of Method’s guild members will be streaming the race from their point-of-view on Twitch next Tuesday, but Red Bull will also have a curated stream with key Method raiders and commentators live from their Gaming Sphere studio in the UK.
It sounds like the guild is going all-out to make the event special, but I’m interested in seeing if all the extra production value makes the race more compelling. At the very least, it’s great that Warcraft’s legendary world-first races will finally be a thing that average players can spectate. There’s no telling how long it’ll take Method to clear Mythic Uldir, but hopefully this will spark a new era of competitive World of Warcraft without all the secrecy.
On Tuesday, September 11, you can tune into Method’s main Twitch channel to watch the race from their perspective.