This Halloween, dozens of corpses were scattered throughout a massive arena where 64 players dueled to the death in World of Warcraft Classic Hardcore's deadliest tournament: the OTK Network's Hardcore Mak'gora Event. The competition had WoW Classic players spend October leveling up new characters before battling each other to the death (permadeath, since this is a Hardcore server) for a cash prize of $50,000.
The only one left standing was Snutz, a Twitch streamer and Warlock player, who managed to defeat his rival Ziqo in the final Mak'Gora, the Orcish term for a duel of honor in Warcraft's universe. Both spellcasters leveled their characters from 1 to 60 without dying and bested opponents of all eight classes before entering the final battle in a graveyard of fallen players.
A couple weak blasts from Snutz' wand sent Ziqo to the afterlife, ending an almost four minute duel. Both players kept their distance while trying to drain the other of resources like healing and mana potions. In the end, Snutz' Warlock brought Ziqo to his knees using DoT spells and a deadly demon pet.
Snutz claimed the $50,000 first place award (as well as a custom Starforge PC) while another $50,000 was evenly distributed to the best players of each class. "I might have to [go to] BlizzCon," Snutz said when asked about what he plans to do with the money. "Originally I wasn't planning on it but we'll see how we feel; I'm definitely going to need a break after this."
Following his victory, Snutz dueled a player he was supposed to fight in the finals who couldn't make it to the tournament in time and won that too.
Three other competitors didn't survive what were supposed to be non-lethal qualifier duels on the day before the finals. One player tragically died right after winning a duel to a random explosion from their Goblin Rocket Boots. Another Goblin malfunction killed a player who was an official spectator for the fights. And a pair of Rogues entered their own Mak'Gora to break a tie for 8th place.
It wouldn't be a competition without a little drama though. Reddit user Contract007, who says they were a participant in the tournament, claims both Snutz and Ziqo took advantage of their popularity as streamers to jump far ahead of the competition. According to Contract007, both contestants had help from other players—who were presumably fans—to level up safely and attain valuable gear before the tournament.
"Both of them are incredible players, very skilled with a massive fan base so this isn't to hate on them or anything but the tournament itself was never going to be won from a dark horse non-streamer unless they bought a ton of gold to compete and had a whole month to grind, and even then they'd be behind the streamers by a large margin," they wrote.
"I just wish some no name guys [could] have a shot at a top spot to shake up the scene, but like any other WoW tourney it's always going to be the same names every year because it's what gets the most views and attention, which is a bit disappointing."
Commenters on the post seem mixed on whether or not viewers helping Snutz and Ziqo was unfair given the tournament's lack of rules prohibiting it, but several people, including Contract007 hope to see that changed with future tournaments.
PC Gamer Newsletter
Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors.
Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.