The Race to World First (RWF) is back for 2022 showing as Sepulcher of the First Ones (SFO) is released into the wild.
With the arrival of Patch 9.2, World of Warcraft gets a new raid. The release of SFO in normal and heroic difficulties as of March 1st (2nd for EU), we're just a week away until the RWF begins. With Guilds from all over the globe competing for the title, we'll take a look at those looking to claim the title. From the current holder's Echo, NA hopefully, Liquid (formerly Limit) and the chasing pack. There are more guilds than ever looking to claim the title, so don't miss a minute of the action.
We'll list all streams and any accessibility options at the end of the article, so jump there for that info. All streams linked are in English, unless stated otherwise.
Who are the Contenders
We'll base this on previous RWF and who looks likely to compete. Note, that due to the nature of the RWF, only a select few guilds can commit to the level of time and gold required to compete. Last RWF, guilds competing at the top spend upwards of 120 million gold just to take part. With repairs, consumables and paying "boosters" to help them trade gear, the RWF isn't a cheap way to play WoW. We'll take a look at the five top contenders below, with a special shoutout to a few of the other global hopefuls.
Echo: The winners last time out. Echo will go into this next tier as favorites by default. A new raid tier brings new challenges and with so much of the preparation coming down to luck with loot, it's hard to know who will come into the tier best prepared. Technically, Sylvanas was the guild's first RWF victory, having only competed in Castle Nathria (coming second) before. However, the guild is formed from Method members when the guild folded due to multiple reports of sexual assault and abuse.
Liquid: Best known as Limit, Liquid is the new name after the Guild was acquired by Esports organization Team Liquid. Liquid had picked up World First in the two previous raid tiers, so with SFO, they'll be desperate to reclaim their glory. It's also very clear how much gold the RWF cost, with Liquid posting a "We Want You" post looking for help.
SK Pieces: The next EU guild on the list, Pieces shot to prominence in BFA and have continued to push for another World First ever since. Pieces finished third in the last tier, and they'll need to bring their A-game if they want to break into the top two.
BDGG: A fourth-place finish last time out. BDGG has become a real contender in Shadowlands as they look to storm the top two. With the backing of esports organization Golden Guardians, BDGG has a similar level of backing as Liquid. For now, their battle seems to be with Pieces for third place, though keep an eye on NA's outside option.
Method: Arguably the most storied organization in WoW history. Method has picked up more World First victories than anyone else. The guild reformed in Shadowlands and has pushed on from where they left off. Securing the fifth place in the previous raid tier, Method surprised many with just how good they were. Now, though, Method has expectations to keep up with, and many fans want to see them pushing Echo and Liquid for RWF this time out.
Best of the rest
It's always hard to know who will show up during the RWF. As we mentioned above, the sheer volumes of gold required to be the best often squeeze out smaller guilds. On top of that, the top guild will typically "day-raid", meaning they can spend weeks raiding day-in-day-out. For guilds outside this, we sometimes see them spend the first day raiding all day. Usually, however, these guilds will just raid each day but only in the evening. While skill plays a huge part in the RWF, the time investment of the top guilds cannot be ignored. For this section, we'll go region-by-region and highlight the top contender.
NA: Soniqs Imperative, known as Lazarus Imperative in the past, is likely to be the next hope for NA. There's a fairly large gulf between the top two NA sides and Imperative, but the last raid of an expansion is certainly as good a time as any to step up.
EU: Aversion is Europe's next contender. The German guild is the first non-English guild on this list, and they've grown a lot in recent years. They've featured in both Method's and Echo's RWF streams in the past. This time, however, Aversion is doing it alone, with their own event and live broadcast.
Asia: Aster went big for 9.1, but they'll be going bigger for 9.2. With 33+ players on-site in Shanghai, the team is looking to push into the top 5. Sadly, Asian servers suffer from an extra day's wait (alongside Australia) on European servers, which themselves have to wait an extra day on the NA realms. It's less than ideal, and it often hamstrings Asia and Australia, however, Aster could be the ones to watch.
Australia: While they typically get included with NA realms, Australia holds a unique place on this list. For some reason, Australia is the only region that pushes Alliance raiding over Horde. While the best side currently in the region is ranked at 22nd and 28th, making them not only the highest-ranking Australian guilds but also the highest-ranking Alliance guilds. It'll be between Honestly and Copium for who comes out on top.
How to watch all RWF Streams
Below you'll find out how to watch the RWF and what guilds are streaming. Links are to a guild's main channel unless stated. Likewise, unless stated stream links are in English
- Team Liquid (Closed Captions available on the main broadcast)
- The Early Shift (DPS POV)
- Aster - (DPS POV)